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Ramaphosa says Claims Levelled against South Africa by a US Diplomat Tarnished its Image 

President Cyril Ramaphosa said there’s no truth to the damaging allegations that South Africa illegally exported arms to Russia when the vessel Lady R docked in Simon’s Town. In May, United States (US) ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety claimed that weapons and ammunition were laden onto a Russian cargo ship that docked near a naval base in Cape Town in December 2022. This triggered a diplomatic row and sent the rand tumbling. In an address to the nation on Sunday, Ramaphosa shared limited details of the findings of a panel report that investigated the contentious allegations. The president said the panel, led by retired judge Phineas Mojapelo, visited the naval base in Western Cape, obtained evidence from nearly 50 people, and more than 100 documents were submitted for examination. “A number of entities and persons that have publicly claimed to have information on this matter were invited to make submissions to the panel. Many of those invited either failed to do so or said they had no independent knowledge of the relevant facts.” The president also clarified that the ship docked to deliver equipment for the South African National Defence Force.