South Africa: the question of the war in Ukraine at the heart of Olaf Scholz's visit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (G) was received in Pretoria by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on May 24, 2022. AFP - PHILL MAGAKOE

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The German Chancellor concluded his tour of the continent in South Africa.

After Senegal and Niger, Olaf Scholz spent the day in Pretoria on Tuesday May 24 in the presence of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg,

Romain Chanson

Germany is South Africa's second largest trading partner.

The two countries have launched an environmentally friendly fuel project for aviation: green kerosene.

But it was above all a question of the war in Ukraine and South African neutrality.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz came to confront his vision of the conflict with the South African position.

 It is a brutal war, imposed on Ukraine by Russia. 

These are the words of the German Chancellor which contrast with the caution of the vocabulary used by Pretoria to describe this conflict.

With this trip, Olaf Scholz wanted to try to understand the South African position and explain his own.


Mr. President, I think it is necessary that we continue this dialogue.

The consequences of this war are not limited to Europe and that is why I told the President that we are aware of the consequences for Africa. 


South Africa had abstained from voting to condemn the Russian invasion before the United Nations.

Unlike Germany, which delivers arms to Ukraine, Pretoria swears by negotiations, ceasefires and opposes sanctions.

We believe that our position is the only one that allows a solution to the conflict to be found,

" said President Cyril Ramaphosa


I see no other means than negotiations and dialogue.


Chancellor Scholz and I discussed a whole range of issues including Russia and the Ukraine.

I indicated that as South Africa we would like the conflict between to come to an end and that we call for a cessation of hostilities, which must be done through negotiations and dialogue.

— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) May 24, 2022

South Africa and Germany have displayed the extent of their disagreement on the Ukrainian question.

But all is not lost: “

 the thing we have in common 

”, declared Olaf Scholz, “

 is the idea that we have of democracy


Both South Africa and Senegal have been invited to the G7 summit to be held in Germany from June 26 to 28.


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  • Germany

  • Ukraine

  • South Africa