In February 2023, South Africa will hold naval exercises off its eastern coast. In addition to the ships of the South African Navy, warships of the Russian Navy and the Chinese Navy will be involved in them. The exercises called "Mosi" will be held from 17 to 26 February 2023.
According to the Western press, conducting maneuvers with the participation of Russian and Chinese forces, and even against the backdrop of a special military operation in Ukraine, could aggravate the already difficult relations between South Africa and the West. The Western press likes to accuse the existing political regime in South Africa of authoritarianism, to look for various negative trends in its activities.
The South African authorities are unwilling to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine, and have also allowed sanctioned Russian ships to moor in South African ports. These actions of South Africa have already caused a negative assessment from the United States, Great Britain and the European Union. As usual, the West is also trying to act through the “fifth column”: the South African opposition has already expressed doubts about the expediency of holding the exercises.
A representative of the Democratic Alliance, which is in opposition to the current government, expressed concern that military exercises would alienate important trading partners from South Africa. After all, Western countries are among the five most important trading partners of South Africa up to the present time.
However, as far as Russia and China are concerned, these countries have been supporting the people of South Africa in the fight against apartheid for decades. The authorities of the country remember this very well and understand that if we talk about a partnership based on equality, then it is by no means possible with Western states. In addition, South Africa is interested in developing the potential of its naval forces, and cooperation with Russia and China is an excellent way to diversify both the supply of weapons and the process of training the crews of naval ships.