DA: Ramaphosa must come clean on Russian arms claim

DA: Ramaphosa must come clean on Russian arms claim

The DA has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to come clean about what happened when a Russian ship docked in Simon's Town in December. 

Lady R Russian tanker docked in Simons Town
twitter: @TheLegalSA

The US ambassador to South Africa last week claimed the Russian freighter The Lady R was loaded with arms that were carried to Russia, which is at war with Ukraine. 

The explosive remarks drew an angry response from President Cyril Ramaphosa, who did not deny the charge but said a retired judge would lead an investigation into the matter.

They were also seized on by the Kremlin, which on Friday said Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to deepen ties with Ramaphosa.

South Africa has been walking a diplomatic tightrope over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which it has refused to condemn, saying it prefers dialogue to end the war.

The Presidency has since also announced a commission of inquiry while Rueben Brigety's been reprimanded. 

The DA’s Emma Powell says Ramaphosa and his cabinet need to explain.

“It is clear that both President Ramaphosa and Minister (of Defence Thandi) Modise know exactly what transpired in December and are now desperately treading water. 

“By announcing that a judge will be called out of retirement to conduct an investigation, the ANC is simply kicking for touch in what appears to be a desperate scramble to manage this fast unfolding diplomatic crisis.

“In order to shore up party-political funding from warmongers, the ANC has played Russian roulette with 100 000 jobs and billions of rands worth of trade currently protected by the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.” 


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