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2023 Brics summit to go ahead in South Africa as planned, claims to the contrary are false

IN SHORT: A claim is circulating in the country that South Africa will no longer host the Brics Summit. But official sources, including the 2023 Brics summit website and South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation, have confirmed that the event will go on in South Africa.

In a parliamentary question and answer session in March 2023, South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that "South Africa will host the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China at the 15th BRICS Summit from 22 to 24 August 2023".

Brics is a grouping of five of the “world’s leading emerging economies” – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Brics summit is a meeting of the heads of state of the Brics countries. 

In March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian president Vladimir Putin, accusing him of illegally transferring children from Ukraine to Russia during the war between the two countries.

In what it called a “special military operation”, Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

After the ICC arrest warrant was issued, there was widespread speculation about whether South Africa would still host the Brics summit. As a signatory to the ICC, South Africa is obliged to enforce the warrant by arresting and surrendering Putin.

But in May 2023, South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) announced that participants in the Brics summit would be granted diplomatic immunity for the duration of the event –  protecting them from arrest in the country. 

Another popular claim as to why South Africa would no longer host the Brics summit is in this tweet, dated 27 June, which says: “BREAKING NEWS: South Africa will be removed by BRICS partners. The BRICS summit will no longer take place in South Africa.”

The same claim was made here, here and here.


Brics summit will be held in South Africa: official sources 

But will South Africa not host the summit?

On 29 June, the official website of the 2023 Brics summit published information on media accreditation for the event, confirming that it will be held in South Africa from 22 to 24 August.

This was also confirmed in a 6 July tweet from Dirco’s official account and from South Africa’s lead organiser of the Brics summit, Prof Anil Sooklal, who spoke to public broadcaster SABC News in July and shared the venue. 

Contrary to the tweet, there are no “breaking news” reports suggesting that the Brics summit will no longer be held in South Africa. Instead, an internet search of the claim returns confirmation from several news articles that the summit will go ahead as planned.

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