Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday evening during which he announced the outcomes of the 15th Brics summit, as well as the conclusion of the panel investigation into the Russian cargo ship Lady R made known.
He referred to the 15th Brics Summit, which concluded more than a week ago in Johannesburg, as a “successful and historic summit” which “brought glory” to South Africa and which ushered in a new chapter for Brics.
“During the Brics summit, several decisions were taken to continue the fight for a fairer and more inclusive world order, focused on the equal development of all people.
“One of the key decisions taken by the Brics member states was to support the call for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative and effective.”
According to Ramaphosa, the member states said during the summit that there should be a greater representation of countries with developing economies in the UN Security Council’s membership.
“So that countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, including Brazil, as well as India and South Africa, can play a greater role in international affairs.”
Ramaphosa says the other important outcome of the summit was the decision to expand Brics to include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“By expanding Brics, we will be able to better align countries seeking a fairer global governance and financial investment‑ and trade system, based on clear rules.
“Together these countries make up almost a third of the global economy and 46% of the world’s population.
“This also means that we will be able to export more of our products to large markets and consequently produce more in order to create more jobs,” says Ramaphosa.
He then added that other countries that have applied to join Brics will be considered at a later stage.
According to the president, the summit also decided that the ministers of finance or central bank managers of Brics countries, as appropriate, should regulate the use of the different countries’ local currencies, payment instruments and platforms in international trade and financial transactions between Brics and their respective trading partners. consider. They are expected to report back at the next summit.
The second matter on which Ramaphosa addressed the nation is about the damning allegations that South Africa at the end of last year arms and ammunition on the Lady Rwhich docked in Simonstad in December, loaded and shipped to Russia.
“The allegations made against our country have had a damaging effect on our currency, our economy and our standing in the world.
“To ensure that the mooring of the Russian ship in Simonstad was thoroughly investigated, in May I appointed an independent panel of three members to inquire into the circumstances of the mooring of this Russian vessel.
“The panel was chaired by Judge Phineas Mojapelo and the other members of the panel were adv. Leah Gcabashe SC and Enver Surty.
“The panel visited the Simonstad Naval Base and obtained evidence under oath from nearly 50 people in every relevant component of government. More than 100 documents were presented to the panel for investigation.”
According to Ramaphosa, the panel found no evidence that any cargo of weapons for export was on the cargo ship Lady R is not loaded.
“The panel found that there is no evidence to support the claim that the ship was transporting weapons destined for Russia from South Africa.
“During the investigation, it was established that the ship docked at Simonstad to deliver equipment ordered in 2018 by Krygkor, the country’s arms procurement company for the South African National Defense Force.”
Ramaphosa further says that all the relevant permits for the import of the equipment have been obtained and reiterates that no weapons have been exported to Russia.
However, he decided not to release the full report to the public.
“Under these circumstances, when lives would be at risk as a result of the disclosure of the type of equipment used by our armed forces, the need for confidentiality is necessary and justified.”