Pretoria – South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation on Friday said it will summon U.S.A. Ambassador to SA Reuben Brigety over his allegations that the country provided arms to Russia.
Dirco spokesperson, Clayson Monyela said on Twitter: Dirco will today démarche the U.S.A. Ambassador to South Africa following his remarks yesterday. Well issue a detailed statement after the meeting.
A démarche is a petition or protest presented through diplomatic channels .
Weighing in on the matter, South Africa Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Friday revealed that there was no record that South Africa sold arms to Russia as per the claims by the U.S.A. Ambassador to SA.
Minister Ntshavheni added: “We value the U.S.A. as a trading partner, but the U.S.A. can not bully us… we are a sovereign state”.
The SA governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), has condemned the comments made by Ambassador Brigety as relations sour after claims of weapons transfers to Russia.
The ANC said it was disappointed by the “reckless and regrettable public utterances” attributed to Ambassador Brigety, who claimed he had it on good authority from intelligence sources that South Africa sent weapons to Russia.
“His chosen course of action is an unprecedented breach of diplomatic protocol by an ambassador against a host nation,” the ANC said.
“We are concerned that this unfortunate attitude by Ambassador Brigety may undermine ongoing constructive engagements between the two countries (U.S.A. and SA) and the work done by the South African envoy to the U.S.A. led by national security advisor to the President Dr. Sydney Mufamadi.”
Commenting on the matter Thursday, the SA Presidency said it, has noted with concern remarks attributed to the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E Brigety, alleging the supply by South Africa of weapons to Russia.
In a communique issued by Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Ramaphosa, the Presidency said the Ambassadors remarks undermine the spirit of cooperation and partnership.
It is public knowledge that a Russian vessel known as Lady R docked in South Africa, said Magwenya.
Allegations have since been made about the purpose of the voyage.
While no evidence has been provided to date to support these allegations, the government has undertaken to institute an independent enquiry to be led by a retired judge.
Magwenya said in recent engagements between the South African delegation and US officials, the Lady R matter was discussed and there was agreement that an investigation will be allowed to run its course and that the US intelligence services will provide whatever evidence in their possession.
He added: It is therefore disappointing that the US Ambassador has adopted a counter-productive public posture that undermines the understanding reached on the matter and the very positive and constructive engagements between the two delegations.
John Steenhuisen, the leader of SA’s biggest opposition party the Democratic Alliance, said Ambassador Brigetys revelations were a chilling and deeply troubling confirmation that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government are actively involved in the Russian Federations war on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the U.S.A. is satisfied that SA President Cyril Rampahosa stated that the matter would be probed by an independent judge.