Ntshavheni slams 'false impression' that SA has anti-US posture

Ntshavheni slams 'false impression' that SA has anti-US posture

 Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni defended South Africa's relationship with the United States, saying a false impression has been created of the country's attitude towards the superpower.

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

Ntshavheni was presenting the State Security Agency’s budget policy statement in the National Assembly on Friday.

The comments come amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries following allegations by US Ambassador Reuben Brigety that South Africa provided weapons and ammunition to Russia.

Although she acknowledged that Brigety's comments were not raised through the relevant channels, Ntshavheni said there is a false impression that the South African government has adopted an anti-USA posture.

"I must clearly indicate that we have cooperation agreements with the US in areas of intelligence sharing, training, cybersecurity, and counter-terrorism, among others. As recently as March 2023, a high-level delegation, represented at the highest level, was in the USA, and this was a follow-up to the visit by the US counterparts in November 2022.

“We must also assure South Africans that genuine intelligence from South Africa or the USA in each other's territories is shared through proper channels and at all material times. South Africans must remember that the US remains South Africa's largest trading partner, and we value that relationship highly," said Ntshavheni.

 Ntshavheni urged MPs to avoid taking a political stance on matters of security and intelligence.

"Any posturing on this matter is because we are in that period ourselves as politicians call a cynicism.

“But I would like to caution that on matters of state security, we cannot afford to have cynicism because that means a collapse of our national security system and our national security architecture, and therefore a threat to the democracy that we seek to achieve and protect at all times.

“Ours is a responsibility that goes beyond party political allegiance, ours is a responsibility not only at the standing committee level but also as members of the executive assigned with a responsibility of overseeing state security.

“It is not about party-political matters, it is about patriotism, it is about a republic itself," she added.

She reiterated that South Africa will continue to support the efforts to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“We believe that such a conflict should be ended through peaceful negotiations and engagement, and not through South Africa taking sides.”


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