#LadyRussiagate: Defence Minister Thandi Modise must step down

Issued by Kobus Marais MP – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
12 May 2023 in News

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

On the 8th of December last year, I wrote a letter to the Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, requesting urgent answers around the unwelcome visit of the Russian cargo ship, the Lady-R, to our shores. I wanted to know why there was so much secrecy around this ship and what the reason for its visit was. The Minister was as silent as the grave and never responded to my letter.

I subsequently submitted a number of Parliamentary questions to attain clarity on the matter but have received no response to these either.

The shocking declaration yesterday by the United States Ambassador, Reuben Brigety, that war materials and ammunition were loaded onto this sanctioned ship, explains the minister’s unresponsiveness to my probing questions and desperate request for clarity. It is clear to me now that Minister Modise knew what was going on and has since tried to cover it up: She must go.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemns this illegal conduct, and we now demand full transparency and accountability from President Ramaphosa to ensure that such actions do not go unchecked and that South Africa does not become complicit in illegal activities and war crimes that undermine international peace and security.

As a nation, we must take a clear and principled stance against all acts of aggression and support the rule of law. The DA urges the president to take swift and decisive action and to prevent any future occurrences that may damage South Africa’s international reputation and relationships.

It is imperative that South Africa maintains a principled stance in matters of international relations and that our actions do not compromise the safety and security of other nations or regions. The DA will not stand by and allow our country to be complicit in such conduct and become the skunk of the world.