International media namely the Mail & Guardian has reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was angered last month at news that President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured China’s President Xi Jinping over his.

Jinping had asked to visit South Africa during the Brics summit in July, which Ramaphosa accepted. The only problem was that Jacob Zuma, while he was still president, had reportedly already agreed to a visit from Putin at the same time.

Deputy President David Mabuza was sent to Russia this week to reportedly apologise for the bungle, while also breaking the “bad news” to Putin that South Africa won’t be going ahead with a nuclear deal involving Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, due to affordability concerns.

Mabuza, who returns from Russia on Monday, will apparently be working to reschedule the Russian diplomatic visit.

The official reason given for Mabuza’s trip was that he was going to Russia strictly to congratulate Putin on winning re-election as his nation’s leader. International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Mabuza’s message would be limited to a letter he was carrying, which did not deal with nuclear energy and was about inviting the Russian president to the country.

However, the trip by Mabuza was apparently hastily planned once government discovered Zuma was also planning to visit Russia.

It is generally accepted that Putin and Zuma grew close over the years, and could almost be considered friends. Zuma was allegedly a strong proponent of nuclear power. Several NGOs accused him of abusing his power to force through a nuclear deal with Russia, which could have cost the country upwards of R1 trillion.

“Zuma left for Russia some time this week,” the M&G reported.

An unnamed official told the paper the “issue” of South Africa’s relationship with Russia once Ramaphosa became president “was not managed properly”. ')}

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International media namely the Mail & Guardian has reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was angered last month at news that President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured China’s President Xi Jinping over his. Jinping had asked to visit South Africa during the Brics summit in July, which Ramaphosa accepted. The only problem was that...