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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Military exercise with Russia, China benefitted SA navy more, says Modise

Modise says no missiles were tested on South African soil either.

Defence Minister Thandi Modise says Exercise Mosi, the military exercise South Africa held with China and Russia in the country last month, actually benefitted the SA navy more.

Modise was answering questions in parliament on Wednesday.

“This exercise actually benefitted the SA navy more, not just the SA navy, because we brought all arms of our service. It benefitted us in South Africa more than these ones who brought their vessels here because the exercises were in two parts – one which was closer to home and the deeper ocean exercise,” said Modise.

ALSO READ: SA navy stages exercises with China, Russia

“We do want to confirm that Admiral Gorshkov as well as the Russia tanker Kama docked and participated. We do want to add that China brought three vessels – their destroyer, frigate and replenishment ship. We participated in that exercise and we only contributed our personnel. This was all done under Exercise Mosi.”

Russia vs Ukraine war

Modise further defended the country’s decision to hold military exercises with Russia while the latter and Ukraine were still at war.

South Africa has also been highly criticised for its “neutral” stance on the war, though Modise said the country’s stance was not “neutral” as it did encourage the two countries to engage in a dialogue.

Modise said it is the countries that have sent military help to the two warring countries that should be condemned.

ALSO READ: SA unveils joint naval drills with Russia, China

“This was an exercise among three militaries that have agreements and have exercised together before. These militaries also belong to sovereign states that can take decisions to continue with these exercises,” said Modise.

The first Exercise Mosi took place in 2019.

According to Modise, this was the second operation and was planned and budgeted for, and was already in the schedule.

No missiles tested

While ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba claimed last month that Russia would test its hypersonic Zircon missile, “which has never been seen in public, and is believed to be nearly unstoppable – being able to destroy an enemy target as far away as Durban is from Cape Town”, Modise dismissed the claims.

“There was no hypersonic or missile fired or tested because that was not the intention of the exercise,” clarified Modise on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Russia’s alleged plans to test ‘super missile’ in SA cause a stir

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