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South Africa: All 5 BRICS leaders to attend August summit

by Martin Fornusek July 14, 2023 11:46 AM 2 min read
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attend the first plenary session of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit at the Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi, Russia, on Oct. 24, 2019. (Photo by Sergei Chirikov/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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All the five leaders of the BRICS countries, that is Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, will participate in the upcoming summit in South Africa, the Eyewitness News wrote on July 14, citing Stavros Nicolaou from the BRICS Business Council.

"Expect a number of heads of state. But importantly, the five BRICS heads of state will attend the forum," Nicolaou said at a BRICS Business Council meeting in Sandton on July 13.

The potential presence of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin at the August summit has been hotly debated.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin on March 17 over mass deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia. This mandates all signatories to the Rome Statute, including South Africa, to detain Russia's dictator if possible.

This presented South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been building close ties with Moscow, with a dilemma on how to tackle Putin's visit. Pretoria has touted diplomatic immunity for all the guests of the summit and reportedly tried to dissuade the Russian leader from coming in person.

During the Business Council meeting in Sandton, Ramaphosa confirmed that the summit will take place in person, the Eyewitness News reported.

"There were rumors that this too could become an online summit – no. It is going to be face to face, eyeball to eyeball," the president commented.

Ramaphosa said already on July 9 that the summit will be physical but has not directly commented on Putin's participation.

Out of the invited 60 heads of state, 22 have already confirmed their attendance, the Eyewitness News wrote on July 13.

Nobel Laureate Matviichuk asks South Africa for clear position on Putin’s arrest warrant
Oleksandra Matviichuk, a human rights lawyer and a Nobel Prize laureate, asked South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for a clear position on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s arrest warrant on July 10.
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