Ml Muhammad Bham | firstname.lastname@example.org
29 May 2023 | 15:30 CAT
3 min read
President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally reacted to calls from several political parties and social society organisations and appointed a panel to probe allegations around what is dubbed the #LadyRussiagate scandal.
It is alleged that while the Lady R was docked at the Simon’s Town harbour in December, South Africa loaded the vessel with weapons for Russia, secretly smuggled into it.
Retired judge Phineas Majapelo will chair the panel probing the allegations with advocate Leo Gabashe and former Deputy Minister of Education Enver Surty.
The panel have been given six weeks to probe this incident.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, OUTA’s Advocate Stefanie Fick said that an investigation panel with well-known, objective names on the panel was positive and hopefully without political interference.
However, the public is questioning the government’s ignorance about the goings-on at the harbours and if an investigation would see anyone held to account. South Africa does have a history of investigations and panels that have so far proved toothless.
Fick said that it was hoped that South Africans would be kept in the loop regarding the investigation, and possibly, the terms of reference should include what went wrong.
She added that both sides were denying that weapons were given to Russia because there were severe consequences for South Africa if it sided with Russia.
According to Fick, more concerning was the Minister of Defence claiming not to know of an enormous ship in a South African harbour that was initially denied entrance to another harbour, making it clear that the government had some knowledge of the events.
Listen to the full interview with Sulaimaan Ravat on Sabahul Muslim here