Cabinet is calling for a negotiated diplomatic solution, while noting that the socio-economic cost of the conflict is devastating and will be felt across the globe.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele at a post-Cabinet meeting briefing on 10 March 2022. Picture: GCIS.
CAPE TOWN – While cabinet said it was deeply concerned by the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the government was holding to its position of not taking sides in the war in Europe.
Cabinet is calling for a negotiated diplomatic solution while noting that the socio-economic cost of the conflict is devastating and will be felt across the globe.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele on Thursday said South Africa was against the violence and loss of life but wouldn’t back one side over the other.
He was briefing the nation on the outcomes of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
Gungubele said the government’s stance had been consistent.
“We always are against conflicts that lead to loss of life. Even more disturbing, when it costs the life of children but the question that we must always ask, is what do we do?”
He said the factors underlying the conflict were complex.
“Russia will have had their reasons, the West will have their views, but at the end of the day, it actually results in people fighting and dying. How you enter that, you must answer the question, how am I improving the situation? That is why South Africa avoids taking any side on this matter.”
The government continues to help South Africans to leave Ukraine and has expressed concern at the treatment of Africans trying to cross international borders.