South Africa says inquiry finds no evidence of arms shipment
According to the panel, a Russian ship loaded with ammunition and arms in Cape Town last December was denied by the US ambassador to South Africa.
A number of allegations raised doubts about the country’s neutrality in the war with Ukraine.
According to Ramaphosa, the nation’s currency and reputation had been damaged.
In a televised address on Sunday, the president said the panel found no evidence to support the claim that the ship was transporting weapons from South Africa to Russia.
Arms were not exported and no permits were issued.”
According to the investigation, the Russian cargo ship had delivered weapons from Russia to South Africa, ordered in 2018.
The docking of Lady R at Simon’s Town naval base between 6 and 8 December 2022 was the subject of Ambassador Reuben Brigety’s claims.
During a media briefing in May, he said he was “confident” weapons and ammunition had been loaded onto the vessel.
South Africa’s foreign ministry said Mr Brigety apologized “unreservedly” a day later.
Following the meeting, Mr Brigety expressed gratitude for the opportunity to “correct any misimpressions left by my public remarks”.
After Mr Brigety’s comments, Mr Ramaphosa ordered an independent judge-led inquiry.
The people who made these allegations could not provide any evidence to support the allegations against our country, Mr Ramaphosa said following the inquiry.
Due to security concerns, the president will only release an executive summary of the report.
According to Ramaphosa, the inquiry had visited the naval base, heard from almost 50 witnesses, and reviewed more than 100 documents.
Despite criticism from the US and other western nations, South Africa has sought to maintain friendly relations with Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Only a few nations have abstained from UN votes on the conflict, refusing to publicly condemn Russia.
A joint naval exercise between Russia and South Africa has previously raised concerns in the US.