South Africa Responds To US Accusations Of Arming Russia
South Africa has criticised the United States for alleging that a Russian ship, Lady R, was loaded with weapons while docked at Simon’s Town naval base in South Africa in December last year.
In an interview with the SABC News on Friday, minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said if the United States has security concerns, it must go through the correct channels. She said:
The ambassador has not followed diplomatic channels in terms of dealing with issues in South Africa and this is not the first time this has happened.Feedback
She castigated US ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety’s “megaphone diplomacy” approach.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Thursday, Brigety alleged that Washington had established the vessel was loaded with weapons while docked at the naval base. Said Ntshavheni:
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It doesn’t work. If the US has concerns about anything in South Africa, they are allowed to raise them — but the channel they need to contact is DIRCO [the Department of international relations and co-operation] to say these are the issues they have problems with because we have a relationship with the US.
… They have not done that. What was worrying is that the embassy once issued a terror alert, not only for the richest square mile in the African continent but at a period when there was a gay pride march scheduled.
If you know that on our continent we are faced with the challenges of homophobia … when you issue a terror alert based on not-ascertained information, you are saying the LGBTQI community are up for being targeted and anybody can do anything to them.
Ntshavheni said the United States of America should respect South Africa’s sovereignty and not treat it as a client State. She said:
They don’t gather information to the extent that we gather, and did not compare notes to see whether what they had gathered was the same as ours.
We have co-operation on security matters, to share information, and they want to treat us as if we are one of their states. We are not.
We are a sovereign and republic state and we are not going to co-govern with the ambassador of the US.
On Thursday, Brigety told a media briefing that the US believed weapons and ammunition had been loaded onto a Russian freighter that docked at a Cape Town naval base in December 2022.
Brigety said, “We are confident that weapons were loaded onto that vessel and I would bet my life on the accuracy of that assertion”.
Ntshavheni also said South Africa has no sanctions against Russia therefore the US should not drag South Africa into its issues with Russia and China.
More: Pindula News
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