South Africa has summoned the US ambassador to Pretoria to explain recent comments he made accusing the country of transferring military aircraft and other weapons to Russia.
The South African government has strongly denied the allegations made by Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, with the Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu saying the US envoy’s comments were “unacceptable and unwarranted”.
Gaspard had told US lawmakers that South Africa had recently transferred military aircraft and other weapons to Russia, which he said would “increase the threat posed to Ukraine and its neighbours”.
The South African government has called the claims “baseless” and “irresponsible”, and said it has not made any such transfers. It has also accused Gaspard of “interfering in the internal affairs” of the country.
In response, the US embassy in South Africa said it would “further review the ambassador’s statements” and that it “takes the concerns of the South African government seriously”.