South Africa was one of 35 countries that abstained from a vote condemning Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territories.
On Wednesday, members of the UN General Assembly voted against the annexation of partially occupied territories in Ukraine, including the Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.
North Korea, Belarus, Syria, Nicaragua and Russia itself were the only countries that voted against the resolution. It was passed after 143 countries voted in favour of it.
Earlier this year, South Africa and others abstained from voting on a resolution to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.
Some of those that took a non-aligned stance alongside South Africa earlier this year, took a different stance during this week's vote.
Bangladesh, Morocco, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates voted in favour of the resolution.
The SABC reported that South Africa's envoy, Mathu Joyini, explained that the country's abstention was based on the view that there is a need for a constructive solution in Ukraine.
"We abstained on the resolution because we believe that the objective of this assembly in keeping with its mandate must always be to contribute to a constructive outcome conducive to the creation of sustainable peace in Ukraine. Unfortunately, some elements of the resolution do not address this.
"In the context of the heightened tensions in recent days, all efforts should be geared towards a ceasefire and a political solution. Mr president, the General Assembly must stand together in seeking peace and unanimously call for an immediate end to the war. That should be our immediate focus."
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