South Africa: Ramaphosa Denies Arms Delivery to Moscow and Defends His Record

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As the South African general elections loom less than a year away, political parties are strategically positioning themselves. For Cyril Ramaphosa, it’s a moment to highlight his achievements as the head of state, succeeding Jacob Zuma. Addressing allegations that Pretoria had delivered arms to Russia during the Lady R cargo ship’s stopover at a South African military port in May, President Ramaphosa revisited the inquiry commission’s findings tasked with shedding light on the matter.

While he won’t release the full commission report due to security concerns, Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized its key conclusions on Sunday, September 3rd. According to the head of state, no evidence suggests that South Africa supplied arms to Russia.

“According to the commission members, there is no evidence that the ship transported arms from South Africa to Russia. Furthermore, they demonstrate that this ship made a stop in Simon’s Town to deliver equipment ordered in 2018 for the South African defense forces.”

The president also took the opportunity to celebrate South Africa’s diplomatic successes at the recent BRICS summit. This could prove advantageous as he seeks to gain favor in the upcoming elections. Earlier in the day, during a Congress of the African National Congress (ANC) meeting in Soweto, he attempted to persuade attendees that significant changes have occurred since the party came to power in 1994.

The forthcoming general elections could potentially see the ANC’s vote share fall below 50% for the first time.


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