South Africa has not authorised any arms transfers to Russia since 2020. That’s the word from Digital Communications Minister Mondli Gungubele who is the chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).
Responding to a parliamentary question, Gungubele reiterated that no arms to the knowledge of the NCACC was approved.
It follows the US ambassador Reuben Brigety’s accusation that arms were loaded onto the Russian Vessel Lady R when it was at the Simons Town Navy Dockyard.
A three-person panel, headed by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo is investigating the matter. It’s understood that to date the panel has not received any evidence of the supposed arms.
The US has a chequered history when it comes to such claims. Washington unleashed an aggression on Iraq after lying about the Arab country having Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). It has also been attacking Iran on unfounded claims of it pursuing nuclear weapons. Washington often uses bullying tactics against countries who refuse to toe their line. South Africa has taken a non-aligned stance in the Ukraine Russia conflict, a position that has seemingly upset those in the West.