SOUTH Africans have denounced attempts by Western sponsored media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for orchestrating a smear campaign to influence South Africa to support Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the conflict with Russia.
Western sponsored media alongside the Centre for Information Resilience (CIR) have been pushing this agenda. This came about after some pro-Ukraine local media with their American counterparts criticised Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, daughter of ex-president Jacob Zuma when she expressed her support of Russia’s military operation in the Kyiv-Moscow conflict.
“The evidence is compelling. She (Zuma-Sambudla) was a clear driver of the campaign and the origin point for many of the tweets that were replicated around the South African information environment, and
eventually even further afield,” Nina Jankowicz, vice-president for CIR was quoted as saying by a US news agency.
Russia has strong ties with Africa, having stood by the continent during the war of liberation against Western colonialism. Recently, firebrand leader of South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom
Fighters (EFF) President Julius Malema gave Russian President Vladimir Putin green light to attend the BRICS Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit in the country, arguing the party would resist his arrest, ordered by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Malema also accused ICC as “the West of hypocrisy” ignoring atrocities perpetrated globally by the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and NATO among others.
“Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that they made a horrible mistake by killing Saddam Hussein, but they have not been charged to date. [Former US president] George W Bush is still there and
has not been charged till today. Barack Obama killed Muammar Gaddafi and nothing has happened,” Malema argued as he dismissed the ICC as a Western tool to silence voices of reason across the world.
South Africans reacted on social media. Linda Jones stated: “We all (South Africans) stand with Russia, it’s not a secret ballot paper.”
Basil Olifant said: “Some people are being targeted (by Western media) because they express their opinions. We stand with Russia as a people and a country.”
Andrew Sibiya replied: “I stand with Russia and so is the majority of this country.”
Zimkhitha Williams remarked: “What has NATO done for South Africa except supporting colonialism and racism all these years?”
On Monday, South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, reiterated South Africa’s stance of non-alignment despite pressure from Western forces.
“Guided by the lessons of our history, we will continue to resist calls, from whatever quarter, to abandon our independent and non-aligned foreign policy,” he said.