US ambassador’s bullying tactics unwarranted

US ambassador’s bullying tactics unwarranted Why did the US ambassador to South Africa take the bel-
ligerent stance he took this week, calling a media conference to
lecture SA on how to conduct its diplomatic missions?

In his conference, diplomat Reuben Brigety alleged, with no evidence, that South Africa had provided Russia with weapons and ammunition to make war against Ukraine, ostensibly using the Lady R vessel docked at Simon’s Town.

There is no question that South Africa enjoys bilateral relations with the US, and why, if aggrieved, did the ambassador not see it fit to use proper channels to ventilate his country’s baseless rant?

How SA chooses to forge its relationship should be a matter that should not concern the US – SA should be allowed to choose its friends with no strings attached. Period.

The Presidency was obviously peeved. It issued a statement decrying intemperate claims made by Brigety, arguing his assertions “…undermined the spirit of
cooperation and partnership that characterised the recent engagement between [the] US government officials and a South African delegation led by [the] national
security special adviser, Dr Sydney Mufamadi”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa this week told parliament the government would investigate the claims and appoint a judge to investigate their authenticity.

But the bottom-line remains: the bullying tactics by Brigety were unwarranted.

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