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Libyan embassy under fire for instructing SA staff to undergo HIV/Aids tests

The Union for the Local Employees in Missions Accredited to South Africa (Ulemasa) has written to the Libyan Chargé d'Affaires, asking the mission to withdraw the unlawful instruction.

FILE: A nurse conducts an HIV test at a voluntary testing centre. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - The Libyan embassy in Pretoria has come under fire from a new union after it instructed its South African staff to undergo medical tests, including an HIV/Aids tests.

The Union for the Local Employees in Missions Accredited to South Africa (Ulemasa) has written to the Libyan Chargé d'Affaires, asking the mission to withdraw the unlawful instruction.

Eyewitness News has seen the letter sent to South African staff at the Libyan embassy last week, which states that on instructions from the Libyan foreign ministry and to update their files, staff must undergo several medical tests.
It states that staff are required to undergo tests for HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and hepatitis.

However, Ulemasa’s Advocate Riaan De Jager warns the embassy in a letter sent this week that medical testing of employees is unlawful in terms of the Employment Equity Act.

De Jager further reminded them that it is under international law required to respect the laws and regulation of the host country.

Neither the embassy nor the International Relations Department responded to a request for comment.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)