Though the full panel report into the now-debunked claims that South Africa supplied Russia with arms through the Lady R cargo vessel will be kept classified. President Cyril Ramaphosa said he would release an executive summary of it on Monday.
TSHWANE – President Cyril Ramaphosa said he would not disclose the independent panel’s full investigative report into the Russian cargo vessel, known as Lady R, due to national security concerns.
In a Sunday evening address to the nation, Ramaphosa confirmed that the probe, led by retired judge Phineas Mojapelo, found no evidence that arms were loaded onto the ship, putting an end to months of speculation.
The docking of the vessel caused a diplomatic row after United States ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigit accused Pretoria of supplying weapons to Moscow for its war in Ukraine.
Ramaphosa said though the contents of the investigation would remain confidential, he would be releasing an executive summary of the report on Monday.
“Given the fact that the evidence given to the panel was classified and the fact that revealing the details of the equipment off loaded could jeopardise the work and safety of South Africa’s forces in various deployments on the continent, I have decided not to release the panel’s full report and require that certain information that may be prejudicial to the defense and the security of the republic be kept classified and confidential.”
The president said the panel outlined the circumstances that led to the docking of the vessel, the type of goods supplied, and the reasons why the goods were offloaded at the time.
He said revealing this could jeopardies the work of the South African National Defense Force.
“To reveal the details of the equipment that was ordered and offloaded would compromise important military operations and put our soldiers’ lives at risk.”
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