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Mbalula denies trip to Ukraine

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In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Dean Macpherson of the DA, Mbalula confirmed he never set foot in Ukraine.

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula had posted on social media after the conflict started that he had just landed in Ukraine. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has denied travelling to Ukraine after the conflict began a few weeks ago.

Mbalula said he had never visited the country.

This came after Mbalula had posted on social media after the conflict started that he had just landed in Ukraine.

That left opposition parties raising questions, and he did not explain his tweet.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Dean Macpherson of the DA, Mbalula confirmed he never set foot in Ukraine.

“The Ministry has never travelled to Ukraine and is therefore not in a position to respond to this question,” said Mbalula.

Macpherson had wanted to know who had sanctioned Mbalula’s trip to that country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his Cabinet had been calling for dialogue between Ukraine and Russia.

Since the conflict began in February, thousands of people have lost their lives.

An interior view shows a sports centre destroyed by shelling during the Ukraine-Russia conflict, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Picture: Oleksandr Lapshyn/Reuters

Ramaphosa has also said if there was a cessation of hostilities, it could mark the start of negotiations that would end the war.

His deputy, David Mabuza, also denied recently in an oral session in Parliament that his trips to Russia in the past had involved any deals.

He said he had travelled there for medical purposes.

Mabuza also called for the end of the conflict, saying both Russia and Ukraine had to find a solution.

The war has been raging for over a month, and South Africa has also called for the UN to intervene in the region.

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