South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded on Sunday (Sep 3) on the allegations that were levelled against the country earlier this year regarding a Russian ship that docked in Simonstown late last year, where it was alleged that South Africa had supplied weapons to Russia during the current Ukraine-Russia conflict.

In claims that sparked a diplomatic row, the South African President told local journalists, that the investigations have found no evidence that any cargo of weapons was loaded for export onto the ship Lady R.

In an address to the nation, Ramaphosa said the accusations had a damaging effect on South Africa’s economy and its standing in the world.

“The panel found that there was no evidence to support the claim that the ship transported weapons from South Africa destined for Russia,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said the ship docked at Simonstown to deliver equipment that had been ordered for the South African National Defence Force in 2018 by Armscor, the country’s arms procurement company.

“In terms of the contract for the supply of the arms, neither Armscor nor the South African National Defence Force had any control over the means through which the supplier of the ordered equipment would transport them to South Africa,” he noted.

“All relevant permits had been obtained for the importation of the equipment that were delivered by the ship. No permit was issued for the export of arms and no arms were exported,” he also added.

He said he could not reveal details of the equipment offloaded because it could jeopardise the work and safety of South Africa’s forces in various deployments on the continent.

“To reveal the details of the equipment offloaded would compromise important military operations and put our soldiers’ lives at risk.”

“When all matters are considered, none of the allegations made about the supply of weapons to Russia have been proven to be true,” Ramaphosa pointed out, adding that “none of the persons who made these allegations could provide any evidence to support the claims that had been levelled against our country.”

Shipping Telegraph reported earlier this year the allegations that have been made against the country about the purpose of the voyage of the Russian vessel which was docked in South Africa.