Cape Town – Deputy President Paul Mashatile is set to meet with a Brics technical team in Pretoria before convening a meeting with an inter-ministerial task team to discuss the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit in August.
According to News24, Mashatile made the announcement at an impromptu media briefing at the Ntshongweni Catalytic Project site, a smart city being constructed between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The task team, chaired by Mashatile, was established by President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the legal implications of Putin’s visit, considering the recent warrant of arrest issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged complicity in war crimes during the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni recently said that arresting Putin was not the only option for the South African government if he decided to attend the Brics summit in Cape Town, the report said.
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says SA has various options, apart from arresting Russian President Vladimir Putin, should he set foot in the country. International relations expert Brooks Spector weighs.
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“The work of the IMC is to consider the various options. You (media) have claimed there are no options, and you must only arrest. That is not correct. The IMC is there to consider the legal options and options in place. The IMC will go to Cabinet and make recommendations,” Ntshavheni said.
The team’s focus has intensified following accusations by the US ambassador that South Africa was aiding Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine, the report said,
Mashatile plans to present a report to the Cabinet in the coming weeks, and the inter-ministerial committee will address issues related to Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and make their position public.
“The inter-ministerial committee [ministers] are probably going to be meeting in the course of next week to look into [related issues]. The technical team will meet me when I get back to Pretoria. Then the incoming inter-ministerial committee constituting of ministers will meet to deal with how we’re going to manage those issues around BRICS and then we will make our position public once we are done,” Mashatile was quoted as saying.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu