The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Protection Services, in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), hosted a two-day training course for its support staff and security personnel.
The course, Introduction to State Protocol and Official Etiquette, trains staff at the correct level of protocol.
Mr Taariq Kagee, Director: Operations, Protection Services said it was important to train the UJ staff in order to have internal capacity to operate on the level of state agencies.
“The requirement was identified following several visits this year of high profile dignitaries either hosted by members of the MEC, academic units or the Vice Chancellor, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, himself.”
Most recently former President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Joseph Kabila earned his Master’s degree from the University.
“We realised that within the Support Services domain, primarily Protection Services, there is a requirement for our staff to be trained at the correct level to support these roles. At present we are playing a secondary role to departments like Dirco, SAPS and state security agencies, however, the frequency of events, noting UJ’s increased profile aligning to the VC’s overall strategic objective, means we are going to have an increased number of high profile diplomats and former diplomats. We decided that we need a certain degree of internal capacity so that we aren’t totally dependent on state agencies.”
He added that this training would also enable professional development to support staff on a more tactical operations level.
“If they decide this is an environment they would like to explore, we are creating those opportunities. If this training does go well, we will hopefully roll out additional training opportunities for more of our own staff and other university departments.”
The training included both a theoretical look at state protocol as well as simulation and scenarios practicals. The protocol training is normally given to Dirco diplomats who travel abroad.
Dirco’s Protocol Training Assistant Director, Ms Janette Joubert, said while the training was normally given to Dirco diplomats who travel abroad, it was useful to government departments, other agencies and institutions. The training is based on practical experience and skills development.
Ms Joubert presented the course topics including the role of diplomacy, foreign policy, embassies & consulates, appointment of ambassadors, immunities and privileges, state protocol, forms of address, national symbols & orders and more.