By Riches Soberekon
An independent investigation has concluded that South Africa did not supply weapons to Russia for the war in Ukraine, according to South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
In a recent address to the nation, President Ramaphosa stated that despite accusations from the United States, there is no evidence to support these claims.
The accusations against South Africa have led to questions about the country’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The US ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, alleged in a press conference that South Africa provided weapons to Russia through the Russian ship Lady R, which docked at the Simon’s Town naval base in December of last year.
However, President Ramaphosa established an independent inquiry to investigate these claims. Retired judge Phineas Mojapelo was appointed as the chair of the panel.
After conducting a thorough investigation, the panel found no evidence to support the claim that weapons were loaded onto the ship Lady R for export to Russia. The panel also found no evidence that the ship transported weapons from South Africa to Russia.
To gather information, the panel visited the Simon’s Town naval base and obtained sworn testimony from nearly fifty individuals. Based on their findings, President Ramaphosa emphasized that there is no evidence to suggest that South Africa supplied weapons to Russia for the war in Ukraine.
These findings are crucial in clearing South Africa’s name and addressing concerns about its commitment to its position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The independent investigation provides reassurance that South Africa has not violated any international agreements or engaged in activities that are “fundamentally unacceptable,” as claimed by the US ambassador.
President Ramaphosa’s statement aims to restore confidence in South Africa’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and reaffirm the country’s commitment to peace and diplomacy. The results of the independent inquiry highlight the importance of evidence-based investigations and the need to address accusations with transparency and fairness.
Moving forward, South Africa can now focus on its diplomatic efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, without the burden of unfounded accusations. The findings of the independent investigation serve as a reminder of the importance of accurate information and the potential consequences of baseless claims in international relations.