ANC Secretary General, Fikile Mbalula, has lashed out at nations insisting that South Africa arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visits the country later this year.
In an exclusive interview with BBC Hard Talk’S Stephen John Sackur, Mbalula admitted that there are constraints facing the country regarding the Putin matter.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in March issued a warrant of arrest for the Russian President for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
South Africa as a signatory of the Rome statute is obliged to arrest Putin should he attend the BRICS summit taking place in Cape Town in August.
Mbalula says while the governing ANC would welcome the Russian President, the country is in a difficult position due to the ICC constrains.
“Putin is a head of state, do you think that a head of state can be arrested anywhere?
“How many crimes have everyone else who is so vocal today committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, have you arrested them?
“You are making a lot of noise about Putin instead of working for peace between Ukraine and Russia, and you failed to resolve the war. Where are the weapons of mass destruction?,” Mbalula questioned the BBC’s Stephen Sackur.
Mbalula says peace between Russia and Ukraine is what’s important right now.
— ANC SECRETARY GENERAL | Cde Mbalula (@MbalulaFikile) May 23, 2023
In the same interview, the secretary general of the governing party also conceded that load shedding will cost the ANC votes in the upcoming 2024 general elections.
“It (Load shedding) will affect the fortunes of the ANC to register outright majority if ever it is not dealt with decisively, but it will not take ANC totally out of power,” said Mbalula.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to bring an end to the rolling power cuts.
Mbalula said load shedding is one of the biggest challenges the country is faced with after COVID-19.
The country is bracing itself for cold and darker days ahead, with load shedding expected to go up to stage 8 in winter.
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza