President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office says the BRICS summit will be held in Joburg although there is speculation that it may be moved to China.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said they had seen reports about the summit being switched to China, but as far as they knew South Africa would host and chair the BRICS summit in August.
Ramaphosa will be joining President Macky Sall of Senegal, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville, Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda in the peace mission.
South Africa has been trying to find a way to handle the issue of Russian leader Vladimir Putin after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.
Deputy President Paul Mashatile is chairing an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Putin’s visit.
But there has been increasing speculation in recent weeks that South Africa was talking to China to host the BRICS summit.
Magwenya, who was briefing the media on Monday, said as far as they knew South Africa was still hosting the meeting of the BRICS leaders.
“As things stand South Africa will be hosting and chairing the upcoming BRICS summit,” said Magwenya.
He said Ramaphosa also discussed with Xi last Friday the BRICS summit and the peace mission to Moscow and Kyiv by African leaders.
“There was a call last week Friday between President Ramaphosa and President Xi Jinping and that call was in regard to the imminent peace mission that is led by African heads of state. Ramaphosa was briefing his counterpart. You will recall that China has produced a peace plan with respect to the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. The president is in support of all initiatives that are aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict, including the China initiative. The call further discussed the upcoming BRICS summit as well as general co-operation at BRICS with the two leaders affirming their commitment to a successful BRICS summit,” said Magwenya.
He said Ramaphosa had also engaged with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva around matters of BRICS.
Magwenya also said the commission that was set up by Ramaphosa to investigate the Russian ship that docked in Simon’s Town had started doing its work and welcoming any submissions from interested parties.
The inquiry is chaired by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo and it was given six weeks to complete its work.