Cabinet has welcomed the appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa of a three-member independent panel to enquire into the circumstances of the docking of the Russian vessel known as Lady R.
“The panel chaired by former Deputy Judge President of the South Gauteng High Court Justice Phineas Mojapelo has been given six weeks to evaluate whether constitutional, legal or other obligations were fulfilled or violated when the vessel docked in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, and will report their findings to the President,” Minister in The Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Thursday.
Through this inquiry, Government seeks to establish the circumstances that led to the docking of the ship and the alleged loading of cargo, and the departure of the Lady R cargo ship from Simonstown, during the period from 6 to 9 December 2022.
The President decided to establish the enquiry because of the seriousness of the allegations, the extent of public interest and the impact of this matter on South Africa’s international relations.
The Minister was briefing the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.
Envoys to G7 countries
Cabinet also welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to send ministerial envoys to meet Group of Seven (G7) countries to explain the country’s non-aligned stance on the Russia-Ukraine war.
The envoys will include International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.