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Pretoria Reportedly Keeps Pushing For Expulsion Of US Ambassador Reuben Brigety


The Mail & Guardian reports today that "an aggressive push is underway for the expulsion of Reuben Brigety, the United States ambassador who unleashed a diplomatic storm when he alleged that South Africa loaded arms on the Russian cargo ship, Lady R," revealing more details on top of similar reports circulated earlier by multiple local media outlets.

  • The Mail & Guardian suggests that Pretoria would like to expel Brigety, but the US would prefer their envoy to be recalled. A key hurdle in finalising the move outright are reportedly the optics of expelling an African-American ambassador.
  • Brigety's explosive interview led to a crisis in the relations between South Africa and the US, with a group of Congress members calling on the White House to reconsider holding an AGOA summit in the sub-Saharan nation.
  • A special panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly concluded that Lady R had loaded food and not weapons, casting doubt on Brigety's accusations, even as he said he would "bet his life" on their veracity.
  • The situation is obscured by the fact that Brigety has not provided any evidence to back his claims, while President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson said that the investigative panel's report "is not going to be made public."

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