Former South African President Thabo Mbeki says he doesn’t believe there were weapons sold to Russia by the South African government.
This follows the allegations of the US ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety that South Africa sent weapons to Russia in December last year. President Cyril Ramaphosa has instituted an inquiry into the allegations.
Speaking to the SABC in Guinea Conakry, the former President says South Africa has strong laws that regulate the sale of arms.
Mbeki says the Russian weapons industry is far more sophisticated than that of South Africa.
“The law in South Africa does not allow for the export of weapons to countries that are in conflict- so, I doubt it, I don’t think it happened. If it happened, whoever is responsible must be criminally charged. The second thing I would say – as far as I know, the South African armaments industry does not produce the sophisticated weapons that the Russians are using. There are no weapons that the Russians would want to buy from South Africa.”
SABC International News editor Sophie Mokoena has more from Guinea:
Mbeki has also weighed in on the issue of the warrant of arrest that was issued against the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court on the allegations of war crimes committed in Ukraine.
On peace and security on the continent, Mbeki says both Sudan and the DRC security challenges must be addressed.
On South Africa’s social and economic challenges, he has again called on government and stakeholders to finalise and implement a compact that South African President Ramphosa announced during the State of the Nation Address.
Bellow – the full interview with former President Thabo Mbeki