Government silence on Russian ship is deafening

Issued by Kobus Marais MP – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Affairs
12 Dec 2022 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbites by Kobus Marais MP.

The complete silence of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, supports the suspicion that something illegal happened with the unwelcome visit of the Russian cargo ship, the Lady-R. It also supports the inferences that weapons were unloaded and transported by trucks.

It is now clear that the question by DA Leader John Steenhuisen to Minister Modise on whether the South Africa government sells weapons to Russia was apt and on point.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the South African government is openly siding with Russia – as also proven by their refusal to reject the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

If the disembarkation of defense equipment was legal and a declaration of goods took place in terms of the relevant legislation and regulations, why all the secrecy?

The Minister is silent as the grave and did not respond to my letter, requesting answers. This involuntarily raises the question of whether these are similar illegal imports as with the Cuban medicine. The military’s declarations that these were legal imports were later proven to be false and contrary to the relevant laws and regulations governing medicine imports.

Does the Minister realise the damage her silence is doing to our essential trade links, foreign policy and the already unsatisfactory image of our military as well as the government’s image to instead side with the pariahs of the world?

The ANC government, with the Commander-in-Chief and Minister of Defense at the helm, is proving that they cannot be trusted with our country’s security and essential trade links.