Russian Arms Inquiry: Who will be the Judge?

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister for International Relations and Cooperation
18 May 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.

South Africa cannot participate in “mediation efforts” between Russia and Ukraine with any credibility whilst allegations that the country may have aided and abetted Russia’s war of aggression remain unresolved.

In a portfolio committee meeting of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) yesterday, senior government officials informed Parliament that the President has yet to provide any details or timelines related to the investigation of claims made by US Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, last week.

Whilst the nation has become quite used to waiting indefinitely for details relating to commissions and inquiries into ANC malfeasance, it is clear that in the current circumstances, time is not a luxury South Africa can afford.

As the inter-ministerial committee headed by the country’s Deputy President prepares to receive their second legal opinion in relation to South Africa’s obligation to arrest Vladimir Putin when he visits the country in August, the President must now urgently reassure the international community that a full investigation into the events of December is indeed underway.

As the world watches the South African government with skepticism, the DA calls on President Ramaphosa to urgently provide the name of the Judge who will lead this inquiry, as well as full terms of reference and timelines for the investigation.

The DA will today submit a PAIA application to obtain the full details of all deliberations to date, relating to the establishment of an inquiry into allegations that South Africa has supplied arms to Russia.

The DA has also made a formal request to Parliament to receive a full briefing on the outcome of all meetings conducted by the President’s special envoy to Washington, who met with various officials and Congressional representatives earlier this month. Details as to the true purpose, nature and outcomes of this taxpayer-funded trip still remain unclear.