Probe found no proof of arms shipment to Russia: S.Africa's Ramaphosa
The South African President says the unsubstantiated claims had a negative impact on South Africa's economy and international position.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that an independent investigation found no proof that a Russian ship transferred weapons from the nation late last year to Russia.
US Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, claimed in a May briefing to local press that the Russian cargo ship Lady R had collected weapons at a naval base near Cape Town in December, sparking a diplomatic controversy.
In a speech to the nation, Ramaphosa indicated that the unsubstantiated claims had a negative impact on South Africa's economy and international position.
"The panel found that there was no evidence to support the claim that the ship transported weapons from South Africa destined for Russia," he confirmed.
"No permit was issued for the export of arms and no arms were exported."
The South African President pointed out that the ship has moored at the facility to deliver equipment bought by South Africa's arms procurement firm Armscor for the country's National Defence Force in 2018.
He emphasized that revealing information about the equipment would jeopardize critical military activities and endanger the lives of South African soldiers.
"When all matters are considered, none of the allegations made about the supply of weapons to Russia have been proven to be true," Ramaphosa stressed.
He made it clear that "none of the persons who made these allegations could provide any evidence to support the claims that had been leveled against our country."
It is noteworthy that when the US allegations surfaced, South African officials swiftly denied them, while Ramaphosa authorized the independent investigation.