South Africa won’t take Putin’s superyacht

South Africa won’t take Putin’s superyacht

The South African government has declined to confiscate a superyacht belonging to a sanctioned Russian tycoon that attempted to dock in Cape Town, with a government official stating that the country has “no motive” to adhere to Western sanctions.

Superyacht Nord, which has two helipads, mini-submarines, 20 en suite staterooms, and costs £200,000 a day to run

Alexey Mordashov, a 57-year-old millionaire mentioned in the Pandora Papers who controls the Russian mining corporations Nordgold and Severstal, is the owner of the $500 million superyacht.

Last year, Forbes rated Mordashov as the 51st richest person in the world with a net worth of $13.2 billion, but Western sanctions have sent the tycoon plummeting in international wealth rankings as of this year.

President of South Africa Vincent Magwenya’s spokesman stated, “South Africa has no legal duty to comply with US and EU sanctions.” We have no reason to prevent them from entering South Africa.

“South Africa’s obligations regarding sanctions are limited to those specifically adopted by the United Nations.” Currently, there are no UN sanctions on the specific individual.

Alexei Mordashov, owned of the superyacht, is thought to be onboard, with his arrival drawing criticism from South Africa's opposition party. Pictured: Vladimir Putin listens to Russian steelmaker Severstal Chairman Mordashov (right) as they attend the opening of a tube-rolling plant outside Saint Petersburg, 2006

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, sent observers to sham referendums held in Ukraine last month as a pretext for annexing occupied land in the country’s east.

It costs £200,000 a day to operate the superyacht Nord, which has two helipads, mini-submarines, and 20 en suite suites.

The owner of the superyacht, Alexei Mordashov, is believed to be onboard, attracting criticism from South Africa’s opposition. Pictured: Putin listens to Mordashov, chairman of the Russian steelmaker Severstal, at the opening of a tube-rolling plant outside Saint Petersburg in 2006.

A spokesperson for South Africa's president has said there is no reason for the country to comply with Western sanctions against Russia. Pictured: President of ruling African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa President Ramaphosa addresses the 6th National Policy Conference in Johannesburg

During the apartheid era in South Africa, the former Soviet Union trained and supported the ANC’s soldiers. The ANC has deep historical ties to the former Soviet Union.

However, Geordin Hill-Lewis, the mayor of Cape Town, does not wish for his city to become a refuge for Russians fleeing Western sanctions.

According to The Times, he stated that South Africa had a’moral obligation’ to protest an unlawful war.

Hill-Lewis, a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance party, has urged the government to prevent the superyacht from docking, tweeting that ‘enablers of Putin’s war’ have ‘no place’.

The current president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, blamed NATO’s expansion for the unrest in Ukraine.

Last month, Ramaphosa was required to deny allegations that he illegally held approximately £3.46 million in cash at his game ranch.

Former head of South Africa’s national intelligence agency filed a criminal complaint against Ramaphosa, accusing him of money laundering and other crimes.

During a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in August, his foreign minister, Naledi Pandor, complained of Western “bullying” over the superyacht issue.

The superyacht Nord, which has two helipads, mini-submarines, 20 en suite staterooms, and a daily operating cost of £200,000, was spotted leaving the Russian Far East port of Vladivostok on October 6 after arriving from the Seychelles.

It is arriving in South Africa after a trip to Hong Kong in response to sanctions, and after the oligarch’s yacht appears to have spent time in the picturesque Seychelles.

Since the beginning of this year, Mordashov has lost approximately £10 billion due to western sanctions against him and his business interests.

A spokesman for the president of South Africa stated that the country has no reason to comply with Western sanctions against Russia. Pictured: President of South Africa and the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, addresses the 6th National Policy Conference in Johannesburg.

In March, Italian authorities seized one of his smaller vessels, the 215-foot Lady M.

Putin’s 100-million-pound superyacht, recently renamed Killer Whale, was spotted off the coast of Estonia earlier this month; it narrowly escaped capture when the war broke out in February.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western authorities have seized more than a dozen yachts worth a total of £2billion that belonged to the country’s wealthy elite.

Numerous yachts have fled to Turkey, which has not severed its ties with Russia and continues to conduct business with Putin’s regime.

In 2009, South Africa denied the Dalai Lama entry into the country, where he was scheduled to attend the 14th world summit of Nobel peace laureates, a decision that was widely criticized domestically.

It was the third time in five years that a South African visa was denied to the Dalai Lama.

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