Posted on November 13, 2008

Wife of Britain’s First Black High Commissioner Investigated for Alleged Bullying of Domestic Staff

Daily Mail (London), November 13, 2008

The wife of Paul Boateng is being investigated for the alleged bullying of her domestic staff in South Africa.

The Foreign Office in London is monitoring the scandal that threatens to engulf Janet Boateng, married to Britain’s first black High Commissioner.

Mrs Boateng, a former social-services administrator, oversees the running of the couple’s two official residences: the High Commissioner’s nine-bedroom thatched mansion in Cape Town and the luxury eight-bedroom residence in Pretoria.

Now she is facing accusations against her by black domestic staff of verbal bullying.

“While a grievance has been raised by some members of the residence staff, it has not been made against Mr Boateng,” a Foreign Office spokesman was quoted as saying.

The spokesman would not give details of the alleged bullying.

“It is an internal personnel matter being investigated in South Africa at the appropriate level with assistance from our legal adviser on local labour law issues and the Foreign Office in London.

“Ministers are aware of the situation, no disciplinary action has been taken and the term of Mr Boateng’s posting has not been altered.”

Mr Boateng was a incendiary left-wing lawyer who made history in 2002 by becoming Britain’s first black Cabinet minister.

The 57-year-old was given the posting in South Africa by Tony Blair when he stepped down at the 2005 general election.