Cape Town – The US ambassador to South Africa Rueben E Brigety II says Washington is concerned over what he termed “hostility” from the ANC.
Brigety said this on Thursday while addressing the media in Pretoria
According to Times Live, Brigety said the US had been noting the hostility of the ANC towards Washington as per its resolutions adopted at the last elective conference, which blamed the war in Ukraine on US’ foreign policy and the expansion of Nato.
US ambassador to South Africa Rueben E Brigety on the ANC’s hostility against the United States of America which is one of their concerns. He even read from the ANC’s latest conference resolution document to illustrate his point. @SundayTimesZA @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/poNcR7dD0a
— Isaac Mahlangu (@IsaacPat) May 11, 2023
He also described what was contained in the ANC resolution document as “patently false”, “outrageous” statements.
“Our senior government officials noted with great concern the 55th national conference report and resolutions from the ANC’s conference…,” said Brigety.
He also accused South Africa of having covertly provided arms to Russia, a charge that drew an angry rebuke from Pretoria.
Brigety said that the US believed weapons and ammunition had been loaded onto a Russian freighter that docked at a Cape Town naval base in December.
“We are confident that weapons were loaded onto that vessel and I would bet my life on the accuracy of that assertion,” Brigety said, according to a video of the remarks.
“The arming of Russia by South Africa … is fundamentally unacceptable.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office hit back, saying it was “disappointing” that Brigety had “adopted a counter-productive public posture”.
The remarks “undermine the spirit of cooperation and partnership” between the two nations, Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya said in a statement.
“While no evidence has been provided to date to support these allegations, the government has undertaken to institute an independent enquiry to be led by a retired judge.”
In Washington, the State Department took a noticeably milder tone than the outspoken ambassador and welcomed the promise of a probe.
“We continue to be committed to our affirmative agenda with our South African partners,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters, pointing to cooperation on public health, climate and trade.
He declined to spell out any repercussions for South Africa, after repeated US threats to punish China if it sends arms to Russia.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu
Additional reporting by AFP