What is the Chief of the SA army doing in Russia?

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

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Kobus Marais MP.

The DA notes reports that the Commander of the South African ground forces, Lieutenant-General Lawrence Mbatha has led a delegation to Russia that discussed “issues relating to military cooperation and interaction” with their Russian counterparts.

This once again demonstrates the ANC government’s callousness and insensitivity to our diplomatic and trade dilemma.

News reports also state that the visit by the South African delegation is “unannounced” and that Mbatha will discuss with his Russian counterpart “issues relating to military cooperation and interaction aimed at the implementation of projects aimed at improving the combat readiness of the armed forces of both countries”.

This unsolicited visit is also just the latest incident in a string where the South African government clearly and unashamedly demonstrates its support for Russia.

Even after the collapse of the Rand and the call from the United States to honour relationships they still went ahead and conducted this visit. It is shameful.

The DA calls on the Minister of Defense, Thandi Modise, to address South Africans and explain to the country what exactly the purpose of this visit – paid by the taxpayer – is?

Just this morning, in his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa again made the assertion that South Africa is “non-aligned”. Yet again, he has lied to South Africa and the world.

I am quite sure that had the Russian media not reported on this visit, it would have been hidden from the South African public. Like so many other events and instances where the ANC government had tried to hide and obfuscate their own embarrassing and disgusting conduct.