According to Presidential Spokesman Vincent Magwenya, after the President studies the report, “he will decide on the actions to be taken and the aspects to be made public.”
The panel concluded its investigations on July 18, 2023, in accordance with the deadline, he explained. And although there was a minor delay, the panel’s chairman did not request an extension of the period.
So far there are no indications as to what conclusions the ad hoc commission reached on the matter.
In May this year, Ramaphosa appointed a three-member independent panel headed by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo to investigate the circumstances of the docking of the Russian ship Lady R in Simonstown, Western Cape province, in December 2022.
Through that inquiry, Magwenya recalled, the government sought to establish the circumstances leading to docking of the ship and the alleged loading of war material from December 6 to 9, 2022.
The spokesman explained that the president had decided to open the investigation due to the seriousness of the allegations, the extent of public interest, and the impact of the matter on South Africa’s international relations, especially with the United States, which accused Pretoria of sending arms to Russia.
The panel was instructed to identify the persons who were aware of the cargo ship’s arrival and, where applicable, the contents to be unloaded or loaded cargo, departure and destination.