The US ambassador to Pretoria has made a damning accusation against the South African government – and it seems to have caught South African officials off-guard.
Ambassador Reuben Brigety says that the US has reliable intelligence that South Africa supplied arms and ammunition to a Russian ship which had docked, for about two days, at the Simon’s Town naval base last December.
It is thought that the arms and ammunition were for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
For months the US has been critical of South Africa’s cosy relationship with Russia. This includes South Africa’s decision to carry out military exercises with Russia and China during the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
South Africa has repeatedly said it is neutral on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Hot on the heels of the ambassador’s accusation, an opposition MP ambushed South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa with a question about it in parliament, pressing him for clarity.
Mr Ramaphosa responded by saying that “the whole matter is being looked into. Allow the process to continue… in time we will be able to speak about it”.