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Ramaphosa Appoints Panel To Probe Docking Of ‘Lady R’

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an independent panel to investigate the docking of a Russian vessel in Simon’s Town, Western Cape last year.

The office of the Presidency said the panel would comprise retired judge Phineas Mojapelo together with Advocate Leah Gcabashe, and Enver Surty as other members of the panel.

The probe will look into what, if anything, was loaded onto the Lady R ship, following accusations from the United States (US) embassy that South Africa supplied arms to Russia.

Furthermore, the panel will evaluate whether constitutional, legal, or other obligations were complied with in relation to the cargo ship’s arrival, its stay, the loading or off-loading of its contents, and its departure.

The Presidency said the panel has six weeks to finalise the investigation and will be expected to submit its report two weeks later.

“The panel’s report will include recommendations on any steps that will need to be taken in light of their findings or as a result of any breaches that may have occurred,” said spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.