Presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, has batted away suggestions that South Africa may be hit with international sanctions due to its non-aligned stance regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Magwenya was addressing the media at the Union Buildings on Monday (12 June).
The government has repeatedly described its stance as one supporting the emergence of peace between the two countries through negotiation and talks.
“We are a little bit surprised at this talk of sanctions, which we regard as reckless and as very damaging to our already ailing and struggling economy. We find this talk of sanctions as being purely alarmist, and we find it to be quite undermining to South Africa’s sovereignty and the stability of our economy,” he said.
Magwenya emphasised that no international body or trading partner, including the United States, has indicated that sanctions will be imposed on the country.
“There is no evidence whatsoever to point to any emergence of sanctions from any country or even the United Nations Security Council, which is the only authority to institute global sanctions.
“There is no such talk. As a government, we’ve had several bilateral discussions with the US government, and there has been no suggestion that the US will consider applying sanctions to South Africa,” Magwenya said.
The spokesperson strongly reiterated the government’s stance on the conflict.
“South Africa has taken a non-aligned stance on the conflict in Ukraine. South Africa has not participated in arming any of the parties involved in that conflict. On the contrary, South Africa has taken it upon itself to mobilise support and engagement that will result in a peaceful resolution to this conflict.
“South Africa has been, from the onset, consistent in calling for peace and to call for the parties involved in the conflict to sit down at the negotiation table. President Ramaphosa has reportedly stated that no conflict will end with a winner or a loser and that only a peaceful negotiation and resolution will see peace in that region,” he said.
Magwenya said a delegation of African Heads of State would be heading to Ukraine and Russia to participate in a mission to bring peace between the two Eastern European countries.
“Due to the sensitivity of the security situation on the ground, particularly in Ukraine, we cannot publicly confirm the dates on which the delegation of the African Heads of State will travel to both countries.
“We will most likely confirm on the day that peace talks are taking place,” he said.
Magwenya said support for the mission had been garnered from varying quarters.
“There is a great deal of commitment from all Heads of State involved to see through this mission. President Ramaphosa has participated in several consultations with both Heads of State involved in the conflict, the UN General Secretary, and Heads of State members of BRICS.
“There have been a number of consultations with regard to this peace mission, with the aim of getting some kind of support to the mission but also alignment,” he said.