Opposition parties seek Parliamentary answers on African Peace Mission

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Predictably, the South African Parliament in the form of its International Relations and Co-operation Portfolio Committee, “applauded” the mid-month Cyril Ramaphosa-led African peace mission to Russia and Ukraine.

Joining committee chair, former North West provincial premier Supra Mahumapelo, on the praise podium is the SA Communist Party (SACP) with two other political parties taking opposing views.

To support his applause, Mahumapelo, according to a Parliamentary Communication Services statement, said: “South Africa holds a strategic position of being non-aligned, a position which promotes its standing among countries and enables it to be a legitimate facilitator for peace in the circumstances of conflict among countries in the world including the Russia-Ukraine conflict”.

SACP General Secretary, Solly Mapaila, called the mission “crucially important” adding his party “fully supported the effort by Africa to seek an end to the conflict in Ukraine by peaceful diplomatic means, as opposed to those who want South Africa and other African states to pick a side and unashamedly that of imperialist forces”.

Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader Pieter Groenewald maintains Presidential Protection Unit head, SA Police Service (SAPS) Major General Wally Rhoode, should answer to the Portfolio Committee on Police (PCOP) to explain the “fiasco in Poland”. That was where a chartered SAA jet was held at an airport, reportedly due to documentation problems and permits for “goods and personnel”.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said the South African president “disgraced” the country when embarking on the peace mission.

“Not only did the Presidency lie about being unaware of missile strikes on Kyiv while Ramaphosa’s so-called peace mission was in town, but his administration’s sheer incompetence caused a planeload of his bodyguards, journalists and apparently unauthorised weapons to be denied entry to both Poland and Ukraine.

“Ramaphosa must be held accountable for the millions of Rand in taxpayer funds wasted on his failed PR stunt,” Steenhuisen said adding his party will submit urgent parliamentary questions to determine “the full cost to the people of South Africa of this shambolic political stunt”..