Modise and co’s Russian ‘cocktail party’ on day of invasion ‘grotesque’

The ANC government is on the “wrong side of history” after representatives recently reportedly attended Russia’s Motherland Defender’s Day celebrations hosted by the Russian ambassador to South Africa.

This according to a seething statement released by the Democratic Alliance (DA), which said Ilya Rogachev and Russian Defense Attaché Colonel Dmitriy Priimachuck hosted Defense Minister and Military Veterans Thandi Modise, special adviser to its Director General Tsepe Motumi, and the South African National Defense Forces Chief General Rudzani Maphwanya to sip champagne and celebrate “the might of an army that had just invaded its neighbor”.

DA compares the Russian 'cocktail party' of Modise and co with Hitler's invasion of Poland
Russian Motherland Defender’s Day Celebration Invitation. Image: DA

The event, which would have taken place on Rogachev’s residence in Pretoria was boycotted by all member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and took place hours after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 24.

“At a time when the world has chosen to be united in its condemnation of Russia’s declaration of war on a sovereign nation…our own ANC government could not clamber to the wrong side of history fast enough,” the DA said. .

The rise of Modise and co was labeled “grotesque”.

“Imagine raising a glass to the might of the German army at the German embassy the day Hitler invaded Poland.”

ALSO READ: South Africans tease government over Russia statement


The DA said the cocktail party was two hours after the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine, in accordance with the United Nations (UN) charter.

“Armed conflict will undoubtedly lead to human suffering and destruction, the effects of which will not only affect Ukraine but reverberate around the world.

“No country is immune from the consequences of this conflict. As the UN Secretary-General has indicated, the conflict will have a huge impact on the “global economy at a time when we are coming out of the Covid pandemic and so many developing countries need room for recovery,” Dirco said.

“Consistent with our strong commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, South Africa urges all parties to step up their efforts in diplomacy and find a solution that will help prevent further escalation.

“The door of diplomacy should never be closed, even when a conflict has broken out.”

Sunday Times reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa was “unhappy” over Dirco’s statement, a claim that was later rejected by presidency minister Mondli Gungubele – without going into detail.

A source told the publication that Ramaphosa had not seen the statement before it was issued and disagreed.

“There are people within Dirco with an agenda that we should be enemies of Russia,” the source said.

Gungubele said the cabinet “always favors peaceful resolution of conflicts” but did not comment on whether claims of conflicting views on the invasion were true.

ALSO READ: ‘Ramaphosa was very clear’: Gungubele on SA’s stance on Russia-Ukraine conflict

ANC ‘shameful’ SA

“So what’s up then? Where do the ANC government and President Ramaphosa stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? How can one hand not know what the other is doing during a major global crisis?” the DA wondered.

They said Russia was now a “global pariah state thanks to the ruthless warmongering of its despotic leader”.

“The ANC couldn’t embarrass us more on the world stage if it tried.”

The DA further called on Ramaphosa to clarify his position in a national speech on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in order to prevent “our country’s image from being dragged in the mud”.

SA-Russia relations

Monday marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa.

“Our interaction is marked by the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation established during the struggle against apartheid and which continue to develop today,” Russia tweeted.

Monday night was a function hosted by the Russian consulate in Cape Town, which included the leader of the opposition in the Western Cape legislature, Cameron Dugmore, and deputy head of the ANC Whip Khalid Sayed.

Dugmore said the event was “very special” and marked an “important history” between the ANC and the former Soviet Union.

The DA, Dugmore added, gathered during celebrations in solidarity with the people of Ukraine “without consulting anyone” and lit the building with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

“This just shows the bankruptcy of the DA in this province. Where they try to use this conference opportunistically, at the same time we have had a situation where they refused to debate, for example, the Palestinian issue.

“And here they are currently taking an opportunistic stance on the conflict in Ukraine. We will not be distracted by essentially political games. We have relationships to build.

“Our country is interested in peace. That is what our government is working towards.”

This was echoed by Sayed, who condemned the actions of the DA. He accused them of “crushing debates” when dealing with issues such as Palestine.

Said said relations between Russia and South Africa are an integral part of “building a better world, where not just one superpower, the United States, sets the global agenda”.

The throwdowntv contacted the spokesperson for Modise and the Department of Military Veterans, but no comment had been received by the time this article was published.

Curated by Nica Richards.

NOW READ: SA calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine

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