Exercise Mosi II: South Africa will be the ‘useful idiot’

Issued by Kobus Marais MP – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Affairs
13 Feb 2023 in News

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

The ANC government’s nonsensical decision to host Exercise Mosi II with Russia and China from 17 to 27 February off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal coincides with the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

Despite wide condemnation by experts, diplomats, activist and the DA, South Africa is forging ahead with its planned naval drill with Russia and China.  By participating in this drill South Africa is abandoning its officially declared neutral position on the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Reports from Russian news agency TASS suggests that Russia will practice and test its Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile during Exercise Mosi II and make us complicit in their war crimes.  It is obvious what the objective of the ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ warship with her capability to carry and launch of the hypersonic Tsirkon missile is.

Russia’s clear objective with Exercise Mosi II is to abuse SA for their propaganda against the west.

Despite the SANDF now denying it, SA seems to be prepared to play the role of “the useful idiot.” This is a senseless and very irresponsible act by the ANC government to please their Russian masters at any costs.

Given our very limited budget and naval capabilities to currently partake in a naval exercise we clearly have little or no benefits to take away from Exercise Mosi II, especially from the presence and possible launch of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile. This will set our naval prime mission equipment recovery back further with the funds being wasted as there are other higher funding priorities for the navy.

Given the outrage by Western diplomats, this silly attitude by the ANC will alienate us further from our major trading partners and investors and might push us over the edge into grey-listing and the loss of major trading concessions like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The DA will continue to hold the ANC government responsible for its irrational behaviour within the defense and military sphere, at the expense of the integrity of our country and the safety of our people.