The ANC has confirmed several members are on a “working visit to the Russian Federation”.
The visit follows concerns about South Africa’s stance on whether it intends to act on the warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a statement on Saturday evening, the ANC said the visit follows an invitation from United Russia Party, Russia’s largest political party and a “longstanding ally and friend to the ANC”.
“The engagements, which are led by NEC [national executive committee] member and International Relations Subcommittee Deputy Chairperson Obed Bapela, will include discussions on the recalibration of the global order to reverse the consequences of neo-colonialism and the previously prevailing unipolar world,” it said.
The party added that the delegation also includes NEC Member and Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes.
“It is anticipated that the delegation will also participate in the inaugural International Organising Committee of the Inter-Party Forum, which includes progressive as well as fraternal movements and political parties from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
“The delegation will report to the national executive committee upon their return, and the public will be kept abreast on the mission and the plans of the Inter-Party Forum,” it said.
South Africa’s stance on the Russia and Ukraine war has previously drawn sharp criticism.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor has repeatedly stated that they have decided to take a “non-aligned stance”.
Last month, Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Hadja Lahbib threw a few veiled jabs at South Africa’s non-aligned foreign policy on Ukraine.
During official talks, she said Belgium had “always looked up to South Africa as a key partner for peace and the defence of human rights and basic international principles, so given your strong historical links with Russia, we would be delighted if you consider using your channels of communication to advance on a path towards peace based on the international principles”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa responded at the time, saying that the country would continue promoting peace.
The South African government has requested a legal opinion on how to address the arrest warrant that the ICC issued against Putin on 18 March for alleged war crimes relating to the abduction of children from Ukraine.
Source: News 24