Originally published in Eyewitness News
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on the South African government to “loudly and clearly” condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its bombing of health centres and places of refuge.
Thursday marked exactly a month since Russia waged an attack on the country, killing thousands of civilians and forcing nearly four million others to flee.
Speaking at the launch of Truth to Power – an exhibition dedicated to the work of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu Makgoba said that like many citizens in the country he was distressed at our government’s “silence on the horrific bombing of health facilities and civilians in Ukraine.”
He asked, “Where is our ubuntu, or our humanity?”
He said: “We Africans complain of the appalling indifference of many Europeans to the suffering of Africans when there is conflict on our continent.
Are we seeking to mimic the Europeans in their lack of compassion, their lack of outrage at the suffering which women and children are subjected to? Do we want to reduce ourselves to their level?”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has repeatedly maintained South Africa’s neutral stance to the conflict amid criticism that the country was reluctant to take a strong stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Opposition parties have repeatedly accused the ANC-led government of hiding behind the veneer of neutrality to give tacit support to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this month South Africa was one of the 35 countries that abstained from voting during a United Nations general assembly sitting to approve a resolution denouncing Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
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