‘This follows Mandela’s example’: Madonsela weighs in on Putin Brics summit decision
Madonsela said the announcement Russian president Vladimir Putin will not be attending the Brics summit is ‘great news’.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets President Cyril Ramaphosa during the official welcoming ceremony for the heads of state and government of states participating in the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit. Photo: AFP/POOL/Sergei Chirikov
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has praised President Cyril Ramaphosa for his consultations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which led to Putin’s decision not to attend the Brics summit in South Africa next month.
Madonsela hails Ramaphosa
Madonsela, who is now a professor of law at Stellenbosch University, said the announcement Putin would not be attending the summit was “great news” and followed the example of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, in “deference to the law despite misgivings”.
“South Africa has many faults but being a rogue state is not one of them,” Madonsela tweeted on Wednesday. “The rule of law has always been one of our strongest links.”
Madonsela said it seemed Ramaphosa had used what Yale and Harvard Universities credited him as his greatest strength during the constitutional negotiations nearly three decades ago during South Africa’s transition from apartheid rule to a constitutional democracy.
The announcement that Putin would not be attending the summit came amid pressure on Pretoria to arrest him on an International Criminal Court warrant on alleged war crimes in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya on Wednesday said the 15th Brics summit will be attended by the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa.
He said by mutual agreement, Putin will not attend the summit but Russia will be represented by its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“In due course, a comprehensive statement on the substantive issues to be covered at the summit and other related foreign policy matters will be issued,” Magwenya said in a statement.
Magwenya added that Ramaphosa was confident the summit will be a success and called on South Africa to extend the necessary hospitality to delegates.
DA legal challenge
The confirmation of Putin not travelling to South Africa comes as the Democratic Alliance (DA) was headed to court on Friday to compel the government to execute an arrest warrant for the Russian leader.
The president also told the High Court in Gauteng that South Africa does not have the capacity nor appetite to wage war with Russia and Putin.
The court on Tuesday ordered Ramaphosa to make public his answering affidavit on the DA’s application to force government to arrest Putin.
Additional reporting by Faizel Patel