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Naledi Pandor insists BRICS summit will be in SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019. File Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019. File Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Published Jul 11, 2023


Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor has confirmed that the BRICS summit will go ahead in Johannesburg in August, but said President Cyril Ramaphosa will make an announcement regarding the visit by the leader of Russia.

There has been speculation on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the BRICS summit.

Pandor said the summit will go ahead as planned in Sandton in August.

Ramaphosa also said recently he will make further announcements on Putin.

There has been work done by government on Putin’s visit after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest over the alleged deportation of Ukrainian children into Russia during the conflict.

Police Minister Bheki Cele also refused to be drawn on whether the SAPS will effect an arrest warrant should Putin set foot in South Africa.

“The South African Police Service cannot comment on a matter that is outside its scope of responsibilities. The SAPS is not in possession of the warrant of arrest for the head of state or foreign state. In terms of the South African law, the SAPS is not responsible for interacting with international institutions that have mandates to issue warrants against foreign heads of state like the International Criminal Court.

“The law is clear about sister departments that carry out such responsibilities of receiving and processing after certain legal requirements have been satisfied,” said Cele.

Cele was replying to a written parliamentary question from EFF MP Henry Shembeni.

In another written question from EFF MP Thapelo Mogale, Pandor said South Africa will host the BRICS summit.

This is despite speculation that it may be moved to China because of the ICC arrest warrant against Putin.

Pandor said the issue of Putin was under consideration by Ramaphosa.

There are a number of countries that have expressed an intention to join BRICS. Egypt, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates were recently admitted as members of the BRICS Bank.

This is one of the issues on the agenda at the summit. Ramaphosa also said recently at the climate finance conference in Paris that BRICS will also discuss the issue of an alternative currency.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil had raised this issue.

Pandor said Ramaphosa will make an announcement on Putin.

“The subject of President Putin’s attendance and the warrant issued by the International Criminal Court are matters under consideration by the government of South Africa. The President will make an announcement on this matter once a decision is finalised,” said Pandor.

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