It is unfair for South Africa to be pushed to decide whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could or could not attend the 15th BRICS Summit taking place in the country next month, according to the ANC.
The ANC’s first deputy secretary-general, Nomvula Mokonyane was speaking on the sidelines of the BRICS Political Party Plus Dialogue taking place in Boksburg, Johannesburg this week. More than 50 political parties from various countries around the globe have gathered to discuss BRICS and Africa and its partnership for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Mokonyane said that while commissions sitting on Wednesday would look at issues related to peace and security, she doubted there would be any “concerning“ deliberations over Putin’s invitation to the summit.
“Invitations have been sent out, but no one has said that they will or will not attend, or they will attend the conference virtually or send a statement, and I think we should leave it at that.
“For us to be pushed to a situation where it must be us to decide who has to be here and who is not to be here because of very subjective interests is very unfair,” Mokonyane said.
Mokonyane was reacting to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s once confidential but now court ordered public affidavit regarding the Democratic Alliance’s call to arrest Putin if he arrived in South Africa for the summit.
In his affidavit, Ramaphosa said he could not risk going to war with Russia and that he and other African leaders would pursue their peace initiative to silence the guns between Russia and Ukraine.
She said there was also a wrong perception that South Africa was anti-West.
“The South African government is one of many nations that commits to the United Nations resolutions, and commits to conventions that can make everybody feel respected. We are calling for mutual respect, support to developing nations and respect of the United Nations Charter.
“Any attempt of being arrogant or bullied may lead unnecessarily to a war situation,” she said.
Mokonyane said the bottom line was that the BRICS Summit would take place in South Africa “and for now, everybody has been invited to attend”.