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International Relations Committee disappointed with court decision to block R50 million donation to Cuba

The contingent of 217 Cuban health specialists arrived in South Africa in 2020 to support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 after it broke out in the country. This followed a request by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Cuba. Picture: Elmond Jiyane-GCIS

The contingent of 217 Cuban health specialists arrived in South Africa in 2020 to support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 after it broke out in the country. This followed a request by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Cuba. Picture: Elmond Jiyane-GCIS

Published Mar 23, 2022

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The National Assembly committee on international relations and co-operation has been left disappointed by the high court judgment in Pretoria that blocked the donation of R50 million to Cuba.

AfriForum went to the North Gauteng High Court to stop the government from sending the donation to Cuba.

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But chairperson of the committee Supra Mahumapelo said on Wednesday they were left disappointed with the judgment.

He said they will meet with the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Naledi Pandor, on Friday during an oversight visit.

“The ruling prevents the Department of International Relations and Co-operation from making the donation.

“The committee will study the judgment and respond at an appropriate time,” said the committee.

Mahumapelo said they have been left disappointed with the judgment as it would have implications on work with other progressive partners in the world.

“Of course we are not happy, as this outcome will likely have major implications on other progressive international solidarity work that South Africa still has to do with countries like Cuba,” said Mahumapelo.

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“The committee’s responsibility will be to look at the extent to which the department will respond, particularly as it relates to the Constitution and AfriForum’s views on solidarity work and the relationship between the arms of state,” said the committee.

The judgment was delivered on Monday which prevented the department from making the donation to Cuba.

The opposition parties have been criticising the decision of the government to make the donation.

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But the ANC has backed the decision to send the donation to the Cuban government.

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