WATCH | Mbalula slams Steenhuisen over SA-Rassia arms deal claims 

Cape Town – ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says the government would act against anyone found to have sold arms to Russia. Mbalula’s comments came in response to the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen’s claims that South Africa sold arms to Russia, which were allegedly used in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. He accused Steenhuisen of prioritising the interests of his political... Read more → The post WATCH | Mbalula slams Steenhuisen over SA-Rassia arms deal claims  appeared first on African Insider.

WATCH | Mbalula slams Steenhuisen over SA-Rassia arms deal claims 

Cape Town – ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says the government would act against anyone found to have sold arms to Russia.

Mbalula’s comments came in response to the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen’s claims that South Africa sold arms to Russia, which were allegedly used in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

He accused Steenhuisen of prioritising the interests of his political party over the country’s.

During an interview on BBC HARDTalk, Steenhuisen warned of “serious geopolitical consequences for Africa and South Africa if those allegations (of arms shipments to Moscow)” were proven to be true.

“I happen to think they are true. I happen to think that we have been supplying arms to Russia,” he said.

These allegations have strained diplomatic relations between South Africa and the United States, with the US ambassador Ruben Brigety initially suggesting that arms had left Simon’s Town in the Western Cape but later apologising for his statement.

Mbalula said there was need for restraint in political discourse on diplomatic matters and criticised Steenhuisen for causing unnecessary tension between South Africa and other countries.

“There will always be anarchists in this country like Steenhuisen who says that he believes there were arms sent to Russia.

“… Steenhuisen went and told a reporter from the United Kingdom that he believes that what he saw when he went to Ukraine were arms from South Africa. He said he saw it for himself. So what should we do,” Mbalula said.

According to EWN, he added: “These people, the way they want power, they don’t care about South Africa, as a country. They don’t care, as long as it will bring the ANC down.

“We are being accused here by John Steenhuisen. Leave Brigety, the US ambassador. We understand the US. They like to make these allegations. They can tomorrow wake up and say, ‘there’s going to be a big war in South Africa’.”

Mbalula welcomed the establishment of a panel to investigate the arms sales allegations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a three-member independent panel to investigate the docking of Lady R, in Simonstown in December 2022.

Ramaphosa initially announced this independent panel on 11 May 2023, when replying to questions in the National Assembly.

The panel, led by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo, will also include Advocate Leah Gcabashe SC and Enver Surty.

“Through this inquiry, government seeks to establish the circumstances that led to the docking of the ship and the alleged loading of cargo, and the departure of the Lady R cargo ship from Simonstown, during the period from 6 to 9 December 2022.

“The president decided to establish the enquiry because of the seriousness of the allegations, the extent of public interest and the impact of this matter on South Africa’s international relations. The panel has been tasked to establish persons who were aware of the cargo ship’s arrival, and, if any, the contents to be off-loaded or loaded, the departure and destination of the cargo,” Spokesperson to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Vincent Magwenya, said on Sunday.

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Compiled by Betha Madhomu

The post WATCH | Mbalula slams Steenhuisen over SA-Rassia arms deal claims  appeared first on African Insider.


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