On Tuesday, the DA submitted an application in terms of the Act on the Promotion of Access to Information (Paia) to the Department of Defense in which information is requested about the recent presence of a Russian ship and aircraft in South Africa.
The DA demands that the department provide him with documentation about the cargo that the Russian ship, which was moored at the naval base in Simonstad, transported, as well as the cargo on the Russian plane that landed at the air force base in Waterkloof.
“Since the ANC gave its apparent support to pres. Wladimir Putin agreed in the midst of the war in Ukraine, the Russians have turned South Africa into their backyard by coming and going as they please,” says Kobus Marais, the DA’s spokesperson on defence.
“The problem is that the Russian plane and ship in question are currently under sanctions, which could potentially expose South Africa to the risk of international isolation and economic exclusion.”
The European Union (EU) already has its suspicions that some countries may be importing products that are under sanctions and then back to Russia sell.
The EU intends to soon introduce another round of sanctions against Russia and at the same time arrest countries that help Russia circumvent the sanctions.
Rhewal it earlier reported that a Russian cargo ship docked in Simonstad in the Western Cape in December last year. The ship arrived at the naval base and again left it unaccompanied. The vessel was reportedly towed out by two of the navy’s tugs.
The DA is now demanding in its application to the department that it provide a list of the goods that were unloaded by this ship at the naval base, as well as the goods that were loaded onto the ship before its departure and copies of the approval of these in- and exports.
The DA is demanding the same information about a plane from a Russian airline that landed at the Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria in April landed has. This aircraft is currently subject to sanctions by, among others, the US Treasury.
The cargo plane of the private cargo airline Aviacon Zitotrans in Russia was apparently unloading mail for the Russian embassy in Pretoria when it landed quietly at Waterkloof on 24 April.
“The Waterkloof air force base and the naval base in Simonstad are military facilities that must not be misused for the ANC or any political interests,” says Marais.
“South Africans need to know who authorized the landing at Waterkloof and mooring in Simonstad, including the type of goods brought in and taken out.”
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