Presidency denies talk of sanctions against SA or of moving Brics bash
The presidency says talk of sanctions against SA is alarmist and undermines the country’s sovereignty and economic stability.
Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya told journalists on Monday there was no evidence of sanctions by any country or the UN Security Council, which is the only authority to institute global sanctions.
“There is no such talk,” he said.
Magwenya said the government has had discussions with the US government and there was no suggestion the US will consider sanctions against SA.
“It’s difficult to respond to a question that says we are afraid of sanctions because we don’t have the line of sight as to where those sanctions will be coming from, what would inform them and what purpose they will serve.
“South Africa has taken a non-aligned stance on the conflict in Ukraine. It has not participated in arming any of the parties involved. South Africa has taken upon itself to mobilise support and engagement that will result in a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” said Magwenya.
He was responding to a question on whether SA’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was informed by fear of sanctions. The country has been criticised by some for its non-aligned stance.
Magwenya said President Cyril Ramaphosa has repeatedly stated no conflict will end with a winner or a loser, particularly this one, and only peaceful negotiation and resolution will see peace in that region.
“It’s difficult to entertain speculation about sanctions, which we find to be reckless and undermining efforts under way to rebuild our economy which is under strain and pressure.”
He distanced the presidency from reports that the Brics summit scheduled for SA in August may be moved to China.
As things stand, SA will host and chair the summit.
The Sunday Times quoted sources who claimed there were discussions to move the summit to China or Mozambique. SA has been trying to find a way to deal with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) warrant of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As a signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute, SA is expected to arrest Putin should he set foot in the country.
Magwenya said the executive was responsible for the management and execution of SA’s foreign policy and does so within the prescripts of the constitution and in adherence to the country’s laws.
“At no point will the president and his administration lead a process in violation of our laws.”
Magwenya announced the inquiry led by retired judge Phineas Mojapelo, which is investigating the circumstances of the docking of the Russian vessel Lady R in Simon’s Town, is progressing with its work.
The panel will interact with role players and hear from interested parties with information that will assist its investigation, he said.
Written submissions can be sent to the panel’s secretariat by email on LadyRsubmissions@presidency.gov.za.
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