South Africa denies giving Russia weapons but refuses to reveal ship’s cargo
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared on Sunday that an independent panel had found no proof of the government selling weapons to Russia.
This remark comes in reaction to charges made by Reuben Brigety, the US ambassador to South Africa, that a Russian vessel, Lady R, was laden with weaponry near Cape Town in December.
Mr Brigety claimed that before delivering the arms to Russia, the ship docked at Simon’s Town Naval Base.
South Africa has frequently emphasised its wish to maintain neutrality in the crisis by abstaining from voting on UN resolutions concerning Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
On Sunday, September 3, President Ramaphosa insisted: “None of the allegations made about the supply of weapons to Russia have been proven to be true.”
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He added: “The allegations levelled against our country had a most damaging effect on our currency, our economy, and our standing in the world, in fact, it tarnished our image.”
Following Ambassador Brigety’s allegations, President Ramaphosa launched an investigation led by a retired judge.
The investigative group say they went to Simon’s Town Naval Base, took sworn testimony from about 50 people, and obtained more than 100 papers as evidence.
The findings of the commission found that the Lady R had moored at the facility to deliver weaponry requested for the South African National Defence Force in 2018, before to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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President Ramaphosa, on the other hand, refrained from providing detailed specifics about the unloaded weaponry, fearing that such disclosures would jeopardise crucial military operations and imperil the lives of South African soldiers.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Kyiv’s primary offensive efforts are concentrated in the southern region, as they slowly approach the shores of the Sea of Azov with the apparent intention of disrupting the land connection to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
This move would effectively divide the Russian-occupied territory in southern Ukraine into two segments, thereby weakening Moscow’s supply routes.
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