SACP calls for expulsion of US ambassador after Russian ship report

The SACP wants the US Ambassador to SA Reuben Brigety to be expelled. Picture: Supplied

The SACP wants the US Ambassador to SA Reuben Brigety to be expelled. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 5, 2023


The South African Communist Party (SACP) has called for the expulsion of US Ambassador Reuben Brigety after an inquiry cleared South Africa of any wrongdoing.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said a commission of inquiry, chaired by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo, had found no evidence that South Africa sold arms to Russia.

The Russian ship that docked in Cape Town’s naval base in December was delivering equipment that was ordered in 2018, said Ramaphosa.

When the allegations first emerged last December, Defence Minister Thandi Modise said the equipment could not be delivered because of Covid-19.

Ramaphosa told the nation on Sunday that he would not disclose the nature of the equipment delivered by the Russians for security reasons.

The SACP said on Tuesday Brigety must be expelled because his allegations were unfounded and baseless.

It added that the claims by Brigety had caused huge economic damage to South Africa and affected the rand.

"Dr Brigety’s baseless allegations and diplomatic misconduct occurred within this context when South Africa was preparing for the African Peace Mission to seek an end to the war by peaceful diplomatic means.

"Notwithstanding the independent investigation which proved the hysteric United States ambassador’s wild claims wrong, our country has the full democratic and sovereign right to associate with any country it wishes to associate with. The United States does not have the right to dictate to other countries on their national and foreign policies, and as the people of South Africa we retain our right to resist such imperialist aggression.

"In defence of our democratic national sovereignty, the SACP reiterates its call that South Africa must expel Dr Brigety as a matter of urgency. The SACP supports our government’s peaceful and non-aggressive approach to seeking an end to the war," said the SACP.

The SACP is not the only party that has called for the expulsion of Brigety after his remarks.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also called on the government to expel the US diplomat.

African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula made a similar call recently.

When Brigety made the claims a few months ago, he was called to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor’s office to apologise for what he had said.