SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces grilling in Parliament as political parties slam him for attending the inauguration of the leader of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in Harare.
Ramaphosa is one of only three Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) leaders who attended the ceremony. He was joined by the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, and President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The SADC and African Union observer missions criticised the elections in Zimbabwe saying they fell short of meeting democratic standards.
Political parties have questioned Ramaphosa’s attendance at Mnangagwa’s inauguration, saying he was legitimising an election that has been criticised by the region’s own body, SADC.
Parties are expected to raise more questions on Tuesday when Ramaphosa appears before parliament to answer oral questions.
Ramaphosa has been asked questions ranging from the BRICS summit to local government, the recent taxi strike in Cape Town, and the attacks on the judiciary.
But parties have already fired a warning shot with their criticism of his trip to Zimbabwe.
Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday on the BRICS summit, which was held in Sandton last month.
In his address, he described the summit as a success and said the expansion of BRICS will add more value to the bloc.
Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, and Ethiopia were formally accepted as new members.
The BRICS bloc is said to rival the G7 group, but leaders of BRICS have downplayed this.
Ramaphosa has also said the investigation by a three-member panel, led by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo, found that there were no weapons loaded on the Russian ship that docked in Cape Town last December.
Recently, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula called for the expulsion of US Ambassador Reuben Brigety who accused South Africa of supplying arms to Russia.
Pretoria has for months been involved in frantic discussions with the US, leading to senior Cabinet members, including Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, and Minister of State Security Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, travelling to Washington to get the extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.
The preferential trade agreement is set to expire in 2025, but South Africa wants it to be renewed before that.