Presidency responds to claims of weapons supply to Russia made by the US Ambassador

The Presidency has noted with concern remarks attributed to the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E Brigety, alleging the supply by South Africa of weapons to Russia.

The Ambassdor’s remarks undermine the spirit of cooperation and partnership that characterised the recent engagements between US government officials and a South African official delegation led by National Security Special Advisor to the President, Dr Sydney Mufumadi.

It is public knowledge that a Russian vessel known as Lady R docked in South Africa. Allegations have since been made about the purpose of the voyage. While no evidence has been provided to date to support these allegations, the Government has undertaken to institute an independent enquiry to be led by a retired judge.

In recent engagements between the South African delegation and US officials, the Lady R matter was discussed and there was an agreement that an investigation will be allowed to run its course, and that the US intelligence services will provide whatever evidence in their possession.

It is therefore disappointing that the US Ambassador has adopted a counter-productive public posture that undermines the understanding reached on the matter and the very positive and constructive engagements between the two delegations.