Although speculation grows over the potential of moving the BRICS meeting, the South African government insists that it will still host in August.
In a media briefing on Monday, presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya confirmed this.
According to Magwenya, while some media outlets have reported that the meeting may be moved to China, this is not the case.
“We have seen similar reports, we have not been behind those media reports as the presidency, should there be any change with respect to the hosting of the summit, the president will communicate that, as things stand South Africa will be hosting and chairing the BRICS summit,” says Magwenya.
Last Thursday, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni reiterated that South Africa will continue to host the BRICS summit.
This will be the situation until the inter-ministerial committee’s work is completed.
From August 22 to 24, South Africa will host the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China for the 15th BRICS Summit.
The summit’s preparations have been overshadowed by speculation regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attendance.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest order for Putin, accusing him of human rights violations throughout the Ukraine war.
He is expected to attend the summit as a BRICS member.
Being a signatory to the Rome Statute and a member of the ICC, South Africa would have to comply and arrest Putin if he arrived in the nation.
So far, speculations has suggested that South Africa may abandon hosting this year and hand over the rights to China, or that Putin may attend the summit remotely.
The briefing on Monday comes just one day after President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke by phone regarding the impending African leaders’ peace mission to Russia and Ukraine.
Magwenya confirmed that the two also spoke about the summit but couldn’t confirm the context of the conversation.