Eric Naki
Political Editor
3 minute read
4 Mar 2022
4:30 am

South Africa chose the ‘wrong side of history’

Eric Naki

US Secretary Antony Blinken was quoted as saying “An abstention speaks louder itself compared to no vote. We need to look at the individual country and assess their relationship with Russia and look at how they voted in that context.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 02: The results of a vote at the United Nations General Assembly are displayed on a screen during a special session on the violence in Ukraine on March 02, 2022 in New York City. Members voted overwhelmingly for a non-binding resolution that condemns Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demands that Russia immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

South Africa will be placed under a diplomatic microscope by the rest of the world – and the government will be a political target at home – after it abstained from voting on a United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. US assistant secretary for the Bureau of the African Affairs, Molly Phee, said an abstention did not mean the country supported Russia, although she believed it was important for all countries to stand together against what she termed “Russian aggression”. The principle should always be it is unacceptable to use force of any kind...