The Nelson Mandela Foundation has urged South Africa to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid mounting calls for the government to clarify its stance on the ongoing conflict.
In a statementThe foundation said it mourned those affected by the Russian invasion and called for “an cessation of hostilities and the restoration of peace”.
“We are concerned about the complexity of the global order challenge and the vagaries of international engagement rules. We see the unspeakable danger of nuclear power plants being attacked. We call for the cessation of hostilities and the restoration of peace in the region.” foundation said Saturday.
“We have urged the South African government to show leadership and push for a ceasefire at this critical juncture so that rigorous negotiations can be mapped out for the future. We have indicated to the government that we are available to assist with this.
“A lesson to be re-learned is that, whether we are talking about Ukraine or the many other crises in the world, when the rule of law is set aside and strategies of violence are adopted, the resulting misery is far more devastating among the weak and vulnerable. to land. †
“It is imperative that channels for peace, negotiation and dialogue are pursued urgently and relentlessly,” it added.
The statement of the foundation comes after the United States (U.S) also urged the South African government to reprimand Russia.
“We think it’s very important when we look at this unprovoked aggression, this attack on democracy, Russia’s war against Ukraine, Putin’s war against Ukraine. It’s important to say this is wrong,” Todd Haskell, acting US ambassador to South Africa, said during a media briefing on Thursday.
Haskell argued that South Africa’s neutral stance suggested that the government took a side, citing the words of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who stated: “In the struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed, choosing not to side is choosing the oppressor.”
EU ambassador to South Africa Riina Kionka also wanted South Africa to clarify its position.
“We are amazed because South Africa sees itself and is seen by the world as a country that stands up for human rights, international law and the rule of law,” she says. said†
Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in South Africa went to Twitter to thank the South Africans for their support, who said they had received dozens of messages.
“We have received a large number of solidarity letters from South Africans, both individuals and organisations. We appreciate your support and are pleased that you have decided to stand with us today, as Russia fights Nazism in Ukraine, as it did 80 years ago,” the embassy said.
However, many South Africans responded to the tweet by stating that they do not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
‘Don’t take sides’
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has defended itself, saying the government’s failure to recognize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “does not mean it approves of the war”.
Earlier this week, South Africa abstained from voting on a United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion.
“Abstinence doesn’t mean we approve of what happens… abstaining means we don’t take sides,” Monyela said.
In addition, the Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor, went back on her statement that: Russia must withdraw her troops from Ukraine during her speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Monday.
Last SundayPresidency Minister Mondli Gungubele also claimed that South Africa’s position remained a mediated dialogue.