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Mseleku: South Africa Not Supporting Russia Or Ukraine, We Must Encourage Negotiations

The high commissioner said the conflict should be resolved, not through one group’s beliefs, but in a way the world will benefit.

Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku (H.E), the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, has said that South-Africa is not in support of either Russia or Ukraine in the ongoing war, but is in support of negotiations so as to broker peace between both countries.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, Mseleku reacted to the sayings that South Africa is in support of Russia in the ongoing war by emphasizing that the nation was not in support of anybody. He explained the stand of the country saying that they will never be in support of war, and while they condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the issue could have been, and still can be, resolved through discussions.

His Excellency, explaining further, said, “As a country, South Africa, we do realize that what is happening at the moment is of very serious significance to the world. Right now, you know that the African continent is actually challenged when it comes to agricultural products like grains for example because of what is happening there. But not only that, the economies of the south are actually being impacted by what is happening between Russia and Ukraine.

“Our belief is that this is an unnecessary war, these things should have actually been settled through round table discussions, and can still be solved if the negotiations are taken seriously. However, there are parts of the world that actually are fanning the war, they don’t want this war to end, instead, they want everybody to take their own position, which is to say that let them actually support Ukraine more than Russia.

“We don’t support anybody in relation to this war. We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but at the same time, we are saying that we need to resolve this crisis of the world, not in accordance with the beliefs of certain groups of people, but with what the world will benefit through the resolution of those conflicts through negotiations. So, that is our position as a country.”

Going on to explain South Africa’s stand in the ongoing war, Mseleku said, “The stand is that we do not support the war in Ukraine. We also don’t support military solutions to that war in Ukraine. That’s a very firm stand, it’s not actually dilly dallying about anything. The rhetoric that is coming out to say we support Russia in this is actually because we do not vote with people who want war.

“We don’t vote with war mongers, we vote with peace mongers, and therefore, we will continue to stand our ground to saying our position is clear. Let’s encourage negotiations on the Russia and Ukraine conflict. Not more war, more weapons, more whatever. We are not taking anybody’s side. But remember, the very people that are saying that we are friends of Russia, we are also friends to them too, we are friends to everybody else. So, we are not taking anybody’s side.”

Speaking on the upcoming BRICS summit which will be holding in South Africa, when Mseleku was asked on the positions of the leaders of BRICS on the absence of President Putin, he said, “That’s one of the concerns of BRICS, that we have a situation where the structures of the world are actually determining how the rest of the world must behave, and that is actually dominated by one or a few states as such. And one of the things that we are talking about in terms of transforming the governance structures is indeed the challenge to ensure that we move away from the unilateral dominance of a single state or a few states into a much more inclusive and democratic government approach.

“So, they understand the position of South Africa that we have been put in a very difficult position where we have to comply with the decisions of the international court, but at the same time, they are aware that that is actually a process that is triggered by some very funny processes that have not necessarily been transparent. So, both President Putin himself and the rest of the BRICS leaders understand therefore the need for us to continue the conversation on how we transform the governing structures of the world.”

His Excellency then spoke on the points of focus that the members of BRICS will be discussing at the summit, saying, “Focus is on three areas. One is inclusive economic growth which actually looks at how we can grow the economies of the South through cooperation and through market access.

“And secondly, we are also looking at sustainable development in the context of the climate changes that are taking place in the world and other challenges that are facing our planet. The BRICS nations are going to look at issues of sustainable development. How do we ensure that the development, because most of the south is actually developing nations and therefore, we are looking at a balance at development with sustainability.

“And of course, the third aspect is looking at the transformation of the economic and the governance structures of the world, for example, the transformation of the IMF, World Bank, including the security council itself. We need to ensure that it’s much more representative, much more participatory from various nations. If you take the security council for example, the African continent as a whole is not even represented in the permanent structures of the security council. So those are the 3 broad areas that are going to be focused on in terms of our theme”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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