South Africa rejects US claims of delivering weapons to Russia
An independent probe has found no evidence that South Africa supplied weapons to Russia for the war in Ukraine, despite accusations from the United States, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
"In recent months, statements from various [sides] have used these accusations to question South Africa's commitment to its position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict," Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation on Sunday.
In a press conference in Pretoria, the US ambassador, Reuben Brigety, claimed on May 11 that South Africa provided weapons to Russia through the Russian ship Lady R, which docked in Cape Town in December last year.
Ramaphosa established an independent inquiry in the aftermath of the accusations and appointed retired judge Phineas Mojapelo as chair of that panel.
"From its investigation, the panel found no evidence that any cargo of weapons was loaded for export onto the ship Lady R. The panel found that there was no evidence to support the claim that the ship transported weapons from South Africa destined for Russia," the president emphasized in his speech.
During the course of its investigation, the panel visited the Simon's Town naval base in Cape Town and obtained sworn testimony from nearly fifty people at all relevant levels of Government, while more than one hundred documents were submitted for review.