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US accuses South Africa of supplying arms to Russia


The US envoy to South Africa has accused the country of supplying weapons to Russia despite its profess neutrality in the war in Ukraine.

Ambassador Reuben Brigety told local media he was confident that a Russian ship was loaded with ammunition and weapons in Cape Town last December.

The South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa however said the claims were being investigated.

Mr. Brigety at a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday said Washington had concerns about the country’s stated non-aligned stance on the conflict.

He added that the US also had concerns about South Africa’s participation in military exercises with Russia and China during the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

The naval exercises took place over 10 days in February and were criticized by opposition as an endorsement of the Russian invasion.

The BBC reports that the South African authorities denied the war games were provocatively timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary and said the country routinely hosts similar drills with other nations, including France and the US.

South Africa had previously abstained from a UN vote condemning the invasion. 

It also refused to join the US and Europe in imposing sanctions on Russia.

In response to the allegation, President Ramaphosa told parliament on Thursday that the comments made by the US ambassador would be looked into.

The President asked opposition parties to allow for the process to be completed.

Writing by Fany Olumoye