Cape Town mayor calls for Russian superyacht to be denied permission to dock
Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis on Monday called on the government not to allow a superyacht reportedly owned by a Russian oligarch to enter the city’s port.
International and local media reports have indicated that the Nord, worth about R9bn, had ended a controversial stopover in Hong Kong and set sail for Cape Town.
Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov is reported to own the 141-metre yacht, which has two helipads and was sanctioned by the EU, the UK and US after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reported Bloomberg.
“I have written to the minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor requesting her intervention to block the entry of a vessel — owned and sailed by Alexey Mordashov and bound for Cape Town — into the republic. I have also requested that Mordashov not be allowed to enter the country,” said Hill-Lewis.
Mordashov has significant business interests in Russia, including in the steel, banking and media industries. A spokesperson was earlier quoted as saying he had been in Moscow since the yacht arrived in Hong Kong.
Hill-Lewis said the international community recognised the invasion of Ukraine as illegal and there was evidence of war crimes committed against its people.
“The founding provisions of our constitution state our nation’s commitment to human dignity and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. To welcome an accomplice to state terrorism against innocent people to our shores as a guest would be a violation of these values. If Mordashov is allowed to dock and enter, I believe this is something which we will come not only to feel ashamed of as a matter of our own morality but it will also lower our reputation and standing among the peace-loving nations of the world.”
Government had a duty to nurture the country’s standing in the international community and uphold its obligations to other nations. So far the country’s foreign policy towards the invasion of Ukraine was “shameful”.
“I call on minister Pandor, therefore, to bar Mordashov’s docking in Cape Town and his entry into the republic.”
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