U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety on May 11 accused the South African government, in a televised press conference, of having shipped munitions to Russia, contrary to its official neutrality stance.
Simultaneously within the hour, the rand fell sharply to R19.30 relative to the dollar, losing more than 30 cents (before going back up a bit to 19.20), so it will appear that the “markets” wished to add a punctuation mark to Brigety’s charge. Only once has the rand fallen so low in 2020.
Brigety’s press conference was also scheduled so that President Ramaphosa was answering questions in Parliament at the same time noon to 3PM. This enabled Opposition Leader John Steenhuisen to spring Brigety’s accusation on Ramaphosa by way of a question.