President Ramaphosa appoints panel to probe Lady R saga

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a three-member independent panel to enquire into the circumstances of the docking of the Russian vessel known as Lady R in Simonstown, Western Cape, in December 2022.

The panel comprises of Judge Phineas Mojapelo as Chairperson, as well as Advocate Leah Gcabashe and Mr Enver Surty. Through this inquiry, government seeks to establish the circumstances that led to the docking of the ship, and the alleged loading of cargo, and its departure from Simonstown, during the period from 6 to 9 December 2022.

Additionally it will evaluate whether constitutional, legal or other obligations were complied with, and will make recommendations on any steps that may need to be taken in light of its findings.

Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya explains:”The President decided to establish the enquiry because of the seriousness of the allegations, the extent of public interest and the impact of this matter on South Africa’s international relations.The panel will finalise its investigation within 6 weeks of its appointment and will be expected to submit its report to the President within 2 weeks of concluding its work. The panel may request an extension of this time frame should it be necessary.”

Questions about mysterious docking of Lady R continue to raise concerns: Professor Chris Landsberg: