🔒 Boardroom Talk – Decision time for SA as outrage grows over arms-to-Russia scandal

By Alec Hogg

There’s been a lot of commentary around the arms-to-Russia story. The best, to my mind, was from RW Johnson in his superb piece we published here yesterday (it’s on the BizNews Premium site, in case you missed it). Yesterday Sean Peche weighed in with a view that the ‘share price’ of countries, like companies, is affected by the competence of their executives – and SA’s are being found wanting (click here).

I also loved John Steenhuisen’s latest STRAIGHT TALK, his weekly newsletter that may have begun as a counter to Ramaphosa’s. I’m not sure of the timing. But we do know it has grown in stature and, on its own account, become a must-read. The past weekend’s edition focuses on the issue of the moment. 


Also notable is the response of the FW de Klerk Foundation: “If there were any truth to Ambassador Brigety’s original allegations, it would create an unprecedented crisis in SA’s foreign relations. SA would run the risk of sacrificing its enormous trade and investment relations with the US and the West on the altar of its ideological and comradely ties with Russia – which accounts for only 0.3% of its international trade.”

More relevant still is the part which follows, which reads: “South Africa must decide – and decide quickly – where its national interests lie: with its old friends in non-democratic and renegade Russia, or with its traditional partners in the West, with whom it shares democratic constitutional values and overwhelming trade and investment ties.” Quite.  



PS In another Pretoria own goal, while the Lady R scandal rages the commander of SA’s ground forces, Lt Gen Lawrence Mbatha, has jetted off to Russia on an unannounced visit to discuss “issues relating to military cooperation and interaction.” You can’t make this stuff up.

Read more: