- South Africa did not cast its vote on a United Nations resolution to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine
- 141 of the General Assembly's 193 member states supported the resolution at an emergency session of the UN Security Council
- Addressing the conflict in Ukraine, US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, described the Russian invasion as extraordinary
- South Africans on social media castigated the government for its ineptitude and apparent lack of support and concern for the people of Ukraine
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CAPE TOWN - The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has undertaken to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine amid a Moscow offensive that had by Wednesday surpassed a week since the first missiles targeting Kyiv were launched.
But where is South Africa in all of this? At the start of the conflict, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor sent out a strongly worded statement in which she called for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden promises Russian military will suffer in future, prohibits Russian flights in the US
Not long after, Pandor backtracked on her sentiments, now toeing the party line in supporting talks, as President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly expressed his unhappiness with his minister's "misrepresentation of South Africa's position on the conflict", SowetanLIVE reported.
Briefly News has it on good authority that the UN's resolution was supported by 141 of the assembly's 193 member states, but not South Africa, as the country reportedly abstained from the vote, along with 34 other countries, including China.
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TimesLIVE reported that five countries, not least Russia, Syria and Belarus, voted against the resolution. The country at the centre of the conflict – Russia, has reportedly destroyed critical infrastructure such as drinking water and gas on which millions are reliant.
The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, described the Russia-Ukraine conflict as an "extraordinary moment". She accepted that the UN was challenged more now than at any other point in recent history.
"Vote yes if you believe UN member states, including your own, have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. Vote yes if you believe Russia should be held accountable for its actions," Thomas-Greenfield said in her plea.
Locals slam SA government
On social media, South Africans en masse berated the government for not showing its support to Ukraine in their time of need. To make their point, others drew on the country's political and social history.
@Tisha Powell wrote:
"It would be nice if our government grew a pair! As a country that should understand oppression we should be standing up for Ukraine!"
@Mokone Wa Bokone said:
"There are those who think they have a monopoly of deciding what is humanity and whose lives are more important. Well done, SA."
@Jack Prentice added:
"The ANC government has a bad habit of supporting lost socialist causes and corrupt dictators, often against South Africa’s best interests. The ANC government, through their abstention, has just endorsed the brutal Russian invasion of an independent, democratic country."
Ukrainian Association urges SA government to cut ties with Russia
Elsewhere, Briefly News recently reported that the South African government has been called upon to act decisively as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensifies in Kyiv.
The Ukrainian Association of South Africa (UAZA) is digging deep for their allies in the southern tip of Africa to respond to the request in kind. The request: to stop all economic relations with the country waging the conflict – Russia.
The Ukrainian community took to the streets of Cape Town to demonstrate outside the Parliament building in an attempt to have their cries heard. Various slogans with messages strewn across were carried by the country's immigrants and other supporters standing in solidarity with Ukraine.
Source: Briefly News