South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a panel to investigate U.S. allegations that a Russian ship had collected weapons from a naval base near Cape Town last year, the presidency said in a statement on Sunday.
The U.S. ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety said on May 11 that he was confident that a Russian ship, which docked at a naval base in Simonstown in the Western Cape in December last year, took aboard weapons from South Africa, an allegation South Africa has since denied.
The allegations have caused a diplomatic row between the U.S., South Africa and Russia and called into question South Africa’s non-aligned position on the Ukraine conflict.
South Africa says it is impartial and has abstained from voting on U.N. resolutions on the war.
The President decided to establish the enquiry because of the seriousness of the allegations, the extent of public interest and the impact of this matter on South Africa’s international relations,” said the statement