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US, South Africa in spat over arms-to-Russia accusation

President Joe Biden walks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa outside the West Wing of the White House following their meeting on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Washingto   -  
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Manuel Balce Ceneta/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.

South Africa

Pretoria rejected Thursday (May 11) allegations by the US envoy that South Africa supplied weapons to Russia. It also criticizes a 'counter-productive public posture' by the US saying both countries had discussed the matter.

Is there trouble brewing between the United States of America and South Africa?

The US ambassador to the southern African nation accused South Africa of having provided weapons to Russia via a cargo ship.

During a press conference Reuben Brigety pointed to alleged weapon supply that took place last December at a naval base near the city of Cape Town.

"Amongst the things that we noted, were the docking of the Russian Cargo ship Lady R in Simons Town, between December 6th and December 8th, 22, which we are confident uploaded weapons, ammunitions onto that vessel in Simons Town as it made its way back to Russia."

The diplomat added: this "does not suggest to us the actions of a none aligned country."

Since the war broke a year ago, Pretoria has repeatedly stated its stance on the conflict was "neutral" and a "pro-negotiated settlement" one. Western partners of Pretoria such as the US have on many occasions urged the nation to condemn Russia.

The South African Presidency noted with concern the US envoy's remarks adding "the Lady R matter had been discussed" by both sides who reached "an agreement for an investigation to run its course, and that the US intelligence services would provide whatever evidence in their possession."

The statement read that the South African government had undertaken to institute an independent enquiry to be led by a retired judge.

Pretoria is set to host a meeting of leaders of the BRICS economic bloc in August. The group includes Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and India.

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