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A residential building destroyed in Mariupol, Ukraine. Picture: ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/REUTERS
A residential building destroyed in Mariupol, Ukraine. Picture: ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/REUTERS

As an online subscriber, I’m a longtime admirer of the FM as a commentator on matters of socioeconomic importance. There was also a time when I enjoyed reading the humorous quips on the back page.

Sadly, Chris Roper’s column about DA leader John Steenhuisen’s trip to Ukraine (The adventures of John Steenhuisen in Ukraine, May 12-18), while perhaps amusing to some, was neither funny nor appropriate considering the tragic circumstances that surround both Ukraine and SA.

Unlike SA’s president, Steenhuisen has had the foresight, common sense and guts to visit a country that has been illegally, dishonestly and barbarically invaded by one of SA’s close geopolitical associates and fellow Brics member, Russia. The consequences of this aggression is being felt deeply, not only by Ukrainians but around the world — including in SA, where the prices of fuel, foodstuffs and many other products are climbing sharply.

I salute Steenhuisen and whichever SA private sector institutions funded his fact-finding mission. They have done what the SA government and President Cyril Ramaphosa have not had the decency or common sense to do. By their neglect, Ramaphosa and his cabinet have placed themselves firmly on the side of Russia’s dictator and criminal oligarchy.      

The FM would do well to invite experts to comment on issues surrounding Russia and its war on Ukraine. Better still, I believe you should undertake some proper research by visiting both Russia and Ukraine. I am sure any editorials or articles that flow from that would do the image and reputation of the FM a power of good, and assist SA in overcoming the huge socioeconomic hurdles that confront us.

Jeremy Wiley
Newlands

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