russian frigate

Russian frigate docks in Cape Town ahead of military drills. Image: afp

Russian frigate docks in Cape Town harbour ahead of military drills

A Russian military frigate docked in Cape Town harbour on Monday ahead of controversial military drills with South Africa and China.

russian frigate

Russian frigate docks in Cape Town ahead of military drills. Image: afp

The controversial Russian frigate, Admiral Gorshkov is en route to a joint maritime exercise with South Africa and China off the KZN coast. 

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Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis has strongly condemned the docking of a Russian battleship in the city’s harbour.

When replying to a tweet on the Russian government page, Hill-Lewis did hold back about South Africa hosting the ship. “We are not hosting this warship, nor is it welcome in the Mother City. Cape Town will not be complicit in Russia’s evil war,” he said.

As reported by News24 today, Hill-Lewis stated that the Russian warship was not welcome.

“We do not want to host it in the Mother City. Similarly, Russian soldiers who are taking part in Vladimir Putin’s illegal war against Ukraine are not welcomed, and we do not want to host them in the Mother City.”

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The Russian consulate in Cape Town tweeted a photo of the ship, the “Admiral Gorshkov”, in the harbour, saying it was on “its way to Durban where it will take part in joint… drills”

The tweet read: “The battleship arrived in the Mother City on its way to Durban where it will take part in joint [SA, Chinese and Russian] naval drills scheduled for February 17-27.”

They will coincide with the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

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More than 350 South African armed forces will take part in the exercises. The South African military said last month that the aim is “sharing operational skills and knowledge” with Russia and China.

“I am sure that such powerful weapons will make it possible to reliably protect Russia from potential external threats,” Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.

South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has condemned the joint drills.

“That can very easily make South Africa complicit in these war crimes,” he said. “We are drawn into the propaganda show of Russia,” said Kobus Marais, a DA member of parliament.