South Africans Call For US Ambassador – Reuben Brigety to be declared “persona non grata”

Some South Africans are calling for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to declare the US Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety, persona non grata and sent back to his country. He is blamed that his irresponsible statement is the reason why the Rand hits a new record low at around R19,47c against the US dollar on Friday.

This is following his unfounded claims with no tangible evidence, that Russian forces received arms from South Africa last year – the statement that sent the shockwaves to the markets. Brigety said America was well convinced that South Africa, despite the fact that it claims it takes a non-aligned stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had supplied arms to Vladimir Putin’s army. He said that “”Among the things we noted was the docking of the cargo ship in the Simon’s Town naval base between 6th to 8th December, 2022, which we are confident uploaded weapons and ammunition onto that vessel in Simon’s Town as it made its way back to Russia,”

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has demarched the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E. Brigety, and expressed the South African Government’s utter displeasure with his conduct and statements made yesterday, alleging that South Africa sold weapons to Russia. Dirco says it finds this behaviour by the US ambassador to South Africa puzzling and at odds with the mutually beneficial and cordial relationship that exists between the United States of America and South Africa.

Following today’s meeting, Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety admitted that he crossed the line and apologised unreservedly to the Government and the people of South Africa. The Department says “South Africa is known globally for having one of the most stringent processes when selling arms to other countries. The process is managed by the National Convention Arms Control Committee (NCACC), which was created through an Act of Parliament, the National Conventional Arms Control Act 41 of 2002 (NCAC Act), and the Constitution.”

Dirco has also welcomed the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint an independent inquiry to be chaired by a retired judge to look into the allegations made by the US ambassador to South Africa. It says that this process will allow for facts to be established and for role players to be identified. Anyone found to have broken the law will face severe consequences. South Africa is also calling on the US Embassy in Pretoria, to use established diplomatic channels of communication to convey any concerns or to seek clarity on any misunderstandings that may arise in the bilateral relationship.

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