The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday questioned President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Deputy President David Mabuza as South Africa’s special envoy to Russia, saying it appeared Ramaphosa was following former President Jacob Zuma’s lead in his appointment of former Energy and Intelligence Minister David Mahlobo as his liaison to Russia.
Mabuza, as special envoy to the Russian Federation, will meet with President Vladimir Putin in Russia.
“These relations are underpinned by the common values the two countries share with regard to respect for the rule of law in international relations, multilateralism, the central role of the United Nations in global governance, the primary role of the United Nations Security Council in the maintenance of global peace and security, the development of bilateral relations on the basis of equality, reciprocity, mutual benefit and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states,” said the Presidency in a statement.
The DA said it was important that Ramaphosa shed light on his appointment of Mabuza to this new role and the brief that he has been given, as it would likely determine whether South Africa adopts an expensive nuclear energy build as part of the Department of Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Parliament was told in March that Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet was reconsidering the IRP. Ramaphosa has himself stated in the past that the country had no money to pursue a nuclear plant build programme at the World Economic Forum in January this year.