Former SA defence minister to be part of Russia/Ukraine mediating team


Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, until last August South African Minister of Defence, will be part of an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) task force that will mediate the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

South Africa abstained from United Nations voting to remove Vladimir Putin’s country from the world body’s human rights organisation and also abstained from a General Assembly vote to condemn the invasion of Ukraine. International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor has it South Africa is in favour of a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The appointment of the erstwhile defence minister, now National Assembly (NA) Speaker, was today reported by the South African Parliament. A formal invitation was made during a virtual meeting between Mapisa-Nqakula and IPU president Duarte Pacheco. She will be part of the “global legislative effort to, through dialogue, promotion of mediation and diplomacy, bring about a peaceful resolution to the current situation (in Ukraine)”. Additionally, Mapisa-Nqakula will represent the African Geopolitical Group on the IPU task force.

The IPU is a global organisation with 178 country members and the stated impact of facilitating parliamentary diplomacy and empowering parliaments and parliamentarians to promote democracy, peace and sustainable development worldwide.

A Parliament statement has it that “the Speaker has conferred with President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the appointment and the President expressed support and wished her well”.