Diplomat quizzes Ramaphosa on whether Mandela would have stood idly by while Russia bombs Ukraine

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war is once again in the spotlight
  • Speaking in Cape Town, Liubov Abravitova, Ukraine’s Ambassador to South Africa, gave an overview of the current crisis
  • Abravitova also asked if Ramaphosa’s approach was the same as Madiba’s.
  • South Africans had a lot to say in response to Abravitova’s comment, with many expressing polarizing views

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CAPE TOWN — Ukraine’s Ambassador to South Africa, Liubov Abravitova, asked President Cyril Ramaphosa about one of the continent’s biggest economy’s responses to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club, Abravitova said Moscow’s history of helping the southern African country fight the apartheid regime comes across as an excuse to ignore the monstrosities unfolding in Kyiv.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was interviewed by Ukrainian Ambassador to South Africa Liubov Abravitova. Image: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Noting the current state of affairs, after high-level ceasefire talks failed, she said Ukraine was under heavy shelling from opposing forces.

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Ukrainian ambassador wants Africa to do more to stop Russian invasion

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in the first high-level meeting between the two countries since the invasion of the Kremlin two weeks ago. Kuleba said the talks in Turkey came to nothing as no progress was made to reach a truce, The Guardian reported.

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SA called for mediation

By appealing to Ramaphosa, Abravitova did not hide her hope and that of her compatriot in the face of the ongoing conflict.

“I hope that President Vladimir Putin has brought [Ramaphosa] updated to get ‘an overview of the situation in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion,'” she said.

The diplomat was referring to Ramaphosa’s remark in which he detailed Putin’s appeal on Thursday, saying South Africa had been called upon by a third party to broker a peaceful resolution, Daily Maverick reported.

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Cyril Ramaphosa calls Vladimir Putin amid Ukraine invasion, says Putin appreciates SA’s peaceful approach

“Because of Russia’s aggression, a child [reportedly] died of dehydration. Is this what is called “the unfolding situation”? Brutality, murders and offenses against humanity. Could this be a balanced approach to Madiba [Nelson Mandela]?” asks Abravitova.

Locals scold the question asked

Predictably, South Africans had a lot to say against the backdrop of impassioned remarks from the Ukrainian ambassador. Locals criticized the question posed to Ramaphosa, with many pointing out that Madiba was not there to justify himself.

@Lihle Zwitty wrote:

“When Africans were massacred in July of last year in Phoenix, no one in the world bothered to condemn it outright. Instead, the criminals responsible were lauded and branded as heroes for murdering innocent.”

@Precious P. Mdutyana said:

“Maybe he would have said, ‘South Africa belongs to all who live in the country, including European refugees, who still want to invade our land and discriminate against us further. Go defend Ukraine.’

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Russian forces close in on Kiev ahead of talks

@Ernest Emenike Okeke added:

“This is totally excessive! Emotional blackmail will not help this case. Too many bad examples and thousands of lives lost through negligence have brought us here.”

African students recall hostility encountered during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Elsewhere, In brief News previously reported that African students and other foreign nationals studying in Ukraine remember the horror they faced while escaping the war-torn country.

Several students managed to flee the escalating crisis as Russian troops blockaded the strategic Ukrainian port city of Mariupol last week. Despite this, reports on the ground suggested that the two countries planned to hold further talks.

SABC News reported that a group of students were confronted by soldiers, who pointed guns at them and ordered them back as they tried to board a train leaving Ukraine.

Source: News in Brief

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