The accusation made by the American ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, that South Africa supplied weapons and ammunition to Russia, which could possibly be used in the war against Ukraine, is very serious.
During a recent news conference, Brigety said that America possesses information pointing to the fact that “weapons and ammunition” were uploaded to the Russian ship Lady R last year December while it was docked at Simon’s Town, and that America considers the incident as “extremely serious”.
I personally contacted the American Embassy earlier today and it was confirmed to me that the allegations were indeed made.
The FF Plus demands answers about this from the Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise.
She must, firstly, indicate whether it is in line with existing agreements concerning the export of weapons and ammunition, and whether the correct procedure was followed in terms of the guidelines of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).
South Africa’s Conventional Arms Control Act clearly stipulates that such weapons and ammunition may not be used in regional conflicts.
Secondly, the Minister must disclose the conditions of the end-user certificate of the weapons and ammunition, and indicate exactly what type of weapons and ammunition were supposedly supplied to the Russians.
It is general knowledge that the end-user certificate must stipulate what the weapons and ammunition will be used for.
The ANC government will be guilty of sly deception if the weapons are used in armed conflict in Ukraine.
It would be totally unacceptable for the South African government to try and pretend that it is neutral with regard to this war.
America’s intelligence service is highly sophisticated and an ambassador would not make such claims without having proper proof.
Seeing as this is, therefore, not some unfounded allegation, it is vital for South Africa to respond to it at once.
If satisfactory answers are not provided soon, the incident may seriously tarnish South Africa’s perceived integrity in its relations with Western superpowers.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus