The United States Alleges South Africa Supplied Arms to Russia — True or False?
So many stories we could turn them into a series on Netflix
First, we have the rumpus over the US Ambassador in South Africa, Reuben Brigety, crossing the diplomatic line by accusing the country of sending arms to Russia.
Oh, in case you didn’t know, the Lady R, a Russian cargo ship sanctioned by the US and known for transporting weapons, sneaked into Simons Town Naval Base with her transponder off on 19 December last year and off-loaded cargo in the dead of night with armed guards keeping curious residents away.
Eyewitness accounts say they saw six pallets loaded onto the Lady R as well. Our industrious (I exaggerate) Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, who attended the Moscow Security Conference last year with other apparatchiks and sputniks, said she’d have to see the paperwork.
A few days later she said it was a late delivery of ammunition for our Special Forces (I didn’t know we had any — our army is short of personnel, equipment, modern weaponry and money.)
Apparently this order was placed before Covid struck us down and the government ordered us to stay at home, not walk on the beaches and face jail time for wearing open-toed shoes (you know, sandals) because smelly feet can make you ill. Also, no booze or tobacco to ease our cabin fever..
Jeez, they didn’t even allow us to buy books or toys!
Anyway, the US Ambassador bet his life on it that arms had been loaded onto the Lady R bound for Russia. Our government was also up in arms. They didn’t directly state he was lying but nor were they denying it.
Our Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, summoned him to a demarche (diplomatic speak for a dressing down) and said he had apologised. That’s a stretch!
Brigety himself said only that he had been able to “correct any misimpressions left by my public remarks”. Ha!
So our complacent President Ramasofa — his new moniker after the scandal about thousands of dollar notes cash stuffed in the couch at his Phala Phala game farm — said he will appoint a commission…