ANC, SACP slam US ambassador for reckless Russian arms comments

Picture: Werner Beuke/SAPA/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Werner Beuke/SAPA/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 12, 2023


Cape Town - The ANC and SACP have accused US ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety of reckless behaviour, saying his public utterances were not warranted and he breached diplomatic protocol.

The ANC said Brigety had chosen to publicly make his allegations while there was an ongoing consultation process between the US authorities and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national security adviser Sydney Mufamadi.

Brigety has been summoned by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation over his remarks.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said on Friday the US ambassador’s conduct was unprecedented.

“The ANC is disappointed by the reckless and regrettable public utterances attributed to USA’s ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety against the Republic of South Africa. His chosen cause of action is an unprecedented breach of diplomatic protocol by an ambassador against a host country,” said Bhengu-Motsiri.

The SACP also said South Africa must send Brigety packing.

It said his behaviour was unbecoming and he should have stuck to diplomatic protocol in handling these issues.

The SACP said this was not the first time that the US embassy and consulate had done this in South Africa.

“On 26 October last year, the United States Embassy and Consulate in South Africa issued what they called a security alert as part of the United States government, alleging it has ‘received information that terrorists may be planning to conduct an attack targeting large gatherings of people at an unspecified location in the greater Sandton area of Johannesburg, South Africa, on 29 October 2022’. In what did not make sense, the statement concluded that there was ‘no further information regarding the timing, method, or target of the potential attack.’

“The claims Brigety spreads amount to attempts at destabilising South Africa and are a national security threat. That said, the United States does not have a single right whatsoever to determine South Africa’s international relations policy, to tell South Africa which country to associate or dissociate with in any aspect of international relations, and to decide on behalf of South Africa what is fundamentally unacceptable,” said the SACP.

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