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Russia relay — Presidency’s intelligence minister jets off to Moscow a week after the army chief’s visit

Russia relay — Presidency’s intelligence minister jets off to Moscow a week after the army chief’s visit
Minister in Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. (Photo by Gallo Images / Luba Lesolle)

A spokesperson for Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says South Africa has attended the high-level security meeting since 2013.

Army chief Lawrence Mbatha had barely touched down at Waterkloof from a Moscow military meeting when the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Intelligence will put wheels up. 

On May 22, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will leave for an annual meeting of intelligence officials and ministers in Moscow, the Presidency announced  – on the day she was due to leave.  

“This annual meeting will discuss general trends in the international security situation, including food security,” said her spokesperson Sipho Mbele. Ntshavheni will be accompanied by a high-level intelligence team likely to include the head of intelligence. When asked for detail on the gathering, Mbele said the key item on the agenda is “food security” in the Black Sea region.  

The war on Ukraine has imperilled grain imports to the rest of Africa.  

Mbele said Ntshaveni would also discuss the African Leaders Peace Mission to Russia and Ukraine. A different intelligence team is already in Ukraine, the Presidency said. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed last week that South Africa is part of a six-country attempt to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine.  (Read Peter Fabricius and Queenin Masuabi here on the chances of such a mission). 

Mbele said an advanced team of intelligence leaders was already in Moscow before the meeting.  

Russia announced the meeting in February and said high-level Chinese participation was expected. “I am counting on the personal participation of member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo Chen Wenqing, Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, in the 11th international meeting of high representatives overseeing security issues in the Moscow Region on May 23 to 25,” Russia’s Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev told Russian state news agency Tass

Russia and China are trying to ensure South Africa falls squarely into their sphere of influence ahead of the BRICS Summit in Durban in August.  The BRICS grouping includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.  

Peter Fabricius reported here on countries who want to join BRICS — a grouping increasingly used as a bulwark to sharpen global divisions and position China and Russia as leading superpowers.  

Ntshaveni’s visit to Moscow is the third major South African political delegation by the governing ANC to Moscow this year.  DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Isis Limor says:

    Seeing as though we’re discussing BRICS. SA is by far the smallest contributor. What is it other than a group whose only commonality is the challenging of ‘western hegemony’? What have they done other than form a bank? Each of one those economies, other than India, is in severe shit – all failing economies, including China now. Everyone else who wants to join – Argentina, Iran etc – are also all failed economies. Woo hoo for BRICS. They’ve also been advocating for their own reserve currency since 2009… the renminbi is the only plausible one… but the Chinese government manipulates it… who wants that as a reserve? The recent push for a different reserve to the $ is because nobody wants their foreign reserves frozen when they invade a Neighbour. Ahem. China.

    • virginia crawford says:

      Brazil and China’s biggest trading partner is the USA – go figure.

    • Johann Olivier says:

      The renminbi is not a viable alternative. Just look at its current standing. The US is unchallenged at 60%. The euro is also preferred (20%). As is the British pound (5%). Even the yen (6%). The renminbi? 2%. As stated, no confidence in the Chinese currency, therefore no chance. First and foremost, a currency must be trusted. (Let’s see what happens after the crazy Republicans tank their own currency. Maybe the euro will fill the void?)

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Going to verify by Russia if we have a risk factor with loadshedding ?In SA its April fools day every day

  • Confucious Says says:

    You had me at intelligence minister!

  • Johan Buys says:

    how much gold can the government jet carry and do they tell the pilots about the take-off weight? Could see a repeat of the “empty” plane that fetched vaccines but had an emergency because the plane was not as empty as they were told it was…

  • Paul T says:

    Something tells me cash and favours are coopting the ANC into being the PR +1 on the arm of Russia. There is no other rational explanation for this dangerous and immoral behaviour from our Government.

    I would love to hear via a poll what % of SA are for Russia in this war. My guess would be most people are too busy trying to survive to care and possibly don’t understand the impact of our govt’s decisions, and those who have an opinion are 90% for the Ukraine. You will always get those idiots who live in the 1950s and call each other comrade that might feel the need to defend this invasion by a discredited power, but my guess is those a small minority.

    • Pieter Joubert says:

      Some time ago I read somewhere (probable DM) that 73% of South Africans do NOT support Russia on the war.

    • Marc Ve says:

      I have well educated friends who firmly buy into the propaganda that the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine. They seem to have no problem reconciling invasion of another country to a nations right to territorial sovereignty. Mind you those same people probably applauded the invasions of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. They were all not justified and all failed.

  • ROY CLARKE says:

    These presumably are the same intelligence leaders who utterly failed iro the kzn riots a few years ago?

  • Richard Bryant says:

    Now that David Mabuza is gone, the shuttle service between Pretoria and moscow seems to be non stop.

    But we are non-aligned! I hope Zelensky treats the African delegation with the contempt it deserves. I mean, the Ugandan president has a lot in common with putin, particularly in the area of jailing people whose gender identity is not ‘normal’.

    And how do you mediate when one party had broken almost every accepted international law imaginable and the other spends its time defending its sovereign territory and burying civilians every day as a result of the 1st party’s illegal acts of aggression? Good luck to them.

  • J C says:

    Putin will be holding forth about what to do when he arrives for the convention at which he should, but wont, be arrested.
    One of the problems with the ANC, is that they think we are ALL stupid – what a bunch of clowns.

  • Quentin Moore says:

    I suspect there’s much discussion going on about how to swing next year’s election result i.f.o. the ANC

  • Jaqueline Perkes says:

    No words

  • virginia crawford says:

    Please don’t come back.

  • Georg Scharf Scharf says:

    That is not very intelligent to go on intelligence meeting in Moscow. But she will enjoy the company, and the presentations conjured up by schizophrenic, hallucinating and paranoid Putin minions.
    Jeez, but the ANC are real “gatkruipers”. Disgusting!

  • Matsobane Monama says:

    “BRICS- a grouping increasingly used as a bulwark to sharpen global division and position China and Russia as leading super powers”. Nobody expect this come from Ferial Haffajee. It’s disappointing to say the least.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    our government only opens their mouth to change feet!

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