Russian Foreign Ministry comment regarding an item from South Africa’s Sunday Times titled ‘From Russia with love: How Putin had a hand in Cabinet reshuffle’
The item titled “From Russia with love: How Putin had a hand in Cabinet reshuffle,” published by South Africa’s Sunday Times dated October 22, is very instructive reading. It shows that anti-Russian hysteria has reached South Africa.
Like a typical Western mainstream media cliché, the Sunday Times reports, citing unnamed sources, that the new Energy Minister, David Mahlobo, was appointed on direct orders from President Vladimir Putin. The authors allege that Putin’s instructions were delivered to SA by a “top-level team” comprising “members of the military, the police and the intelligence” who reached Cape Town via Mozambique. The authors point out that these people “do not normally leave Russia.”
According to insiders, “their unequivocal message to Zuma was to speed up and conclude a multibillion-dollar nuclear deal with the Russians.” The authors then provide a pile of speculation – which they admit to being speculation – about the recent cabinet reshuffles.
This item creates mixed feelings. On the one hand, it definitely makes interesting reading and could even be good as a rough idea for a James Bond movie. On the other hand, we are sincerely embarrassed by the Sunday Times journalists’ plummeting professional standards and their paranoid attempts to convince the public that the Kremlin’s long arm has reached the Cape of Good Hope.