‘Appalled’ DA calls on SA government to take a stand on Russia

DA DIRCO SHADOW MINISTER SPEAKS

The DIRCO shadow minister for the official opposition, Darren Bergman, said the vote was the perfect opportunity for the South African government to take “a clear and moral stand that would gain them ground.”

“Abstaining or voting for Russia is a sign that one is complicit or condones a military invasion into Ukraine.

“We call on South Africa to hold Russia accountable to international law in line with the Geneva Convention and ensure that no weapons on the list of the Lieber Code are used,” said Bergman.

The DA MP accused the government of having double standards when it comes to human rights and said loyalty seated in historic relations cannot be a reason for important decisions in the present and future.

European Union (EU) Ambassador to South Africa, Riina Kionka, said South Africa’s abstention in the vote was “puzzling.”

“We’re puzzled because [South Africa] sees itself and is seen by the world as a country championing human rights, international law and the rule of law,” said Kionka.

South Africa was one of 35 countries to abstain from the vote, along with fellow BRICS countries India and China. Brazil voted in favour of the move and Russia was against it.

Bergman called on the country to use its BRICS membership to attempt engagements with Russia and convince them to leave Ukraine.

DIRCO explained its abstention and said the resolution of the vote – that Russia immediately withdraws its troops from Ukraine – could drive a deeper wedge between the warring neighbours. Our government felt that the resolution should have welcomed the commencement of negotiations between the parties.