South African Inquiry Rebuts U.S. Charge On Russian Arms


In May, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E. Brigety II, made the highly unusual move of publicly accusing South Africa of loading arms onto the Lady R, saying that he would bet his life on it based on the intelligence he had seen. That caused a serious backlash in South Africa, with Mr. Brigety being summoned to meet with the foreign minister, Naledi Pandor, and, according to South African officials, apologizing for his public statement.

Since then, officials in each country have attempted to patch up the wounds, but threats have lingered that the United States could revoke South Africa’s trade privileges.

During the South African investigation, the panel traveled to a naval base in Simon’s Town, interviewed more than 50 people and reviewed over 100 documents, Mr. Ramaphosa said. The officials who made the claims were also invited to submit evidence, but they either did not appear or said they did not have firsthand information, Mr. Ramaphosa said in his address.

“None of the persons who made these allegations could provide any evidence to support the claims made against our country,” he said.

The accusations, South Africa’s president said, had damaged the country’s economy and its standing in the world, and called into question the country’s position in the war between Russia and Ukraine.


Leave a comment