US Ambassador apologizes to SA over Russia Weaponry claims
The South African Foreign Ministry has said that US Ambassador, Reuben Brigety, has "apologized unreservedly" for claiming that the country sold weapons to Russia.
Brigety made these allegations on Thursday.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that these allegations were "distasteful," calling them an "attack" on South Africa. Ramaphosa has also frequently emphasized that South Africa is not taking a side in the war in Ukraine. He has also urged both sides to end the conflict.
On a social media post, Brigety said that he was "grateful for the opportunity to... correct any misimpressions left by my public remarks."
He said in the conversation that he "re-affirmed the strong partnership between our two countries and the important agenda our presidents have given us".
Despite the apologies and accusations there is no dispute that a Russian ship docked at a naval base in Cape Town last December, prompting much dispute amongst local politicians at the time.
Cape Town Mayor, Geordin-Hill Lewis, strongly condemned the incident. "We are not hosting this warship, nor is it welcome in the Mother City. Cape Town will not be complicit in Russia's evil war," he said on Twitter at the time.
Should South Africa be found guilty of supplying Russia with weaponry, the country will have violated its own Arms Control Act, which says the country will "not trade in conventional arms with states engaged in repression, aggression or terrorism."
South Africa remains one of the select few nations which have chosen to abstain from UN votes on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and has refused to publically condemn Russia, insisting it is non-aligned to either side.
Done by: Thaakiera Ackerdien