The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has welcomed the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint an independent inquiry, which will be chaired by a retired judge to look into allegations that South Africa sold weapons to Russia.
“This process will allow for facts to be established and for role players to be identified. Anyone found to have broken the law will face severe consequences,” DIRCO said on Friday.
United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E Brigety, alleged that South Africa sold weapons to Russia, “with no evidence to support these claims”.
DIRCO has demarched the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E Brigety, and expressed the South African government’s displeasure with his conduct.
“DIRCO finds this behaviour by the US ambassador to South Africa puzzling and at odds with the mutually beneficial and cordial relationship that exists between the United States of America and South Africa.
“Following today’s meeting, Ambassador Reuben E Brigety admitted that he crossed the line and apologised unreservedly to the Government and the people of South Africa,” DIRCO said on Friday.
DIRCO affirmed that South Africa is known globally for having one of the most stringent processes when selling arms to other countries.
The process is managed by the National Convention Arms Control Committee (NCACC), which was created through an Act of Parliament, the National Conventional Arms Control Act 41 of 2002 (NCAC Act), and the Constitution.
“South Africa calls on the US Embassy in Pretoria to use established diplomatic channels of communication to convey any concerns or to seek clarity on any misunderstandings that may arise in the bilateral relationship,” DIRCO said.
Source: South African Government News Agency