Nelson Mandela Foundation urges SA govt to take stand in Russia/Ukraine war

In a statement released on Saturday, the foundation said it has been closely monitoring the ongoing conflict that has now entered its 10th day with hundreds of people killed, thousands displaced, and Russia allegedly failing to observe the temporary ceasefire in some cities.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation Address in Cape Town City Hall on 10 February 2022. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Nelson Mandela Foundation has joined several other organisations in urging the South African government to take a stand in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

In a statement released on Saturday, the foundation said it has been closely monitoring the ongoing conflict that has now entered its 10th day with hundreds of people killed, thousands displaced, and Russia allegedly failing to observe the temporary ceasefire in some cities.

The foundation said it’s important that channels for peace making, negotiation and dialogue be pursued urgently and relentlessly.

It has urged South Africa to clarify its stance on the war in Ukraine and for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration to take a harder line against Russia’s aggression, if it takes international law obligations seriously.

The foundation’s Sello Hatang said: “We have urged the South African government to show leadership at this critical moment. Whether we are talking of Ukraine or any other crisis around the world. When the rule of law are cast aside and strategies of violence are adopted, the result in misery is far more devastating among weak and vulnerable countries.”

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Hatang said the conflict in Ukraine has exposed another global crisis in the form of racial discrimination.

This comes after disturbing reports of black people, being denied access to bomb shelters while others were refused access at border crossings.

South Africa was among 16 of Africa’s 54 nations that abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution condemning the invasion earlier this week.