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Libyans Asked For­mer South African Pres­i­dent Mbeki to Trace Gaddafi For­tune

For­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki has re­vealed that he was ap­proached by Libyans to help them trace mil­lions of dol­lars be­lieved to have been moved to SA by their late leader, Muam­mar Gaddafi.

In an in­ter­view this week, Mbeki said the re­quest was made by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Libyan gov­ern­ment two years ago. He said he im­me­di­ately put them in con­tact with the de­part­ment of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions & co­op­er­a­tion.

“Two years ago or so, there was a grouping representing one of the governments in Libya. They asked to meet, so I did. So they said the re­port they have is that there are millions here, that were sent by Col Gaddafi for hid­ing.

“Two years ago or so, there was a group­ing rep­re­sent­ing one of the gov­ern­ments in Libya. They asked to meet, so I did. So they said the re­port they have is that there are mil­lions here, that were sent by Col Gaddafi for hid­ing.

“They did not know who got those mil­lions but they were go­ing to start the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Mbeki said.

Ear­lier this month the Sun­day Times re­ported that Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa had been asked to help re­cover mil­lions of dol­lars that Gaddafi had en­trusted to for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Ear­lier this month the Sun­day Times re­ported that Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa had been asked to help re­cover mil­lions of dol­lars that Gaddafi had en­trusted to for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

High-level gov­ern­ment sources said the loot had been hid­den at Nkandla be­fore be­ing se­cretly moved to eSwa­tini ear­lier this year. The sources said the amount in­volved was thought to be $30m (about R430m at the cur­rent ex­change rate).

High-level gov­ern­ment sources said the loot had been hid­den at Nkandla be­fore be­ing se­cretly moved to eSwa­tini ear­lier this year. The sources said the amount in­volved was thought to be $30m (about R430m at the cur­rent ex­change rate).

The min­is­ter of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions & co-oper­a­tion, Lindiwe Sisulu, ini­tially de­scribed the Sun­day Times re­port as “ghost stories”. But she later said her de­part­ment would probe the mat­ter if the Libyan gov­ern­ment made a for­mal ap­proach.

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The min­is­ter of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions & co-oper­a­tion, Lindiwe Sisulu, ini­tially de­scribed the Sun­day Times re­port as “ghost stories”. But she later said her de­part­ment would probe the mat­ter if the Libyan gov­ern­ment made a for­mal ap­proach.

Mbeki, whose re­marks cor­rob­o­rate the Sun­day Times re­port, said that af­ter the Libyans spoke to him two years ago, he put them in touch with Sisulu’s pre­de­ces­sor, Maite Nkoana-Masha­bane, who was ap­pointed to the port­fo­lio by Zuma.

“And they met with for­eign af­fairs. Where that ended I don’t know,” Mbeki said.

“And they met with for­eign af­fairs. Where that ended I don’t know,” Mbeki said.

A source fa­mil­iar with the is­sue said that “un­der the old [Zuma] regime, gov­ern­ment was not go­ing to prop­erly in­ves­ti­gate this mat­ter”.

“Ev­ery time some­one asked about the Gaddafi money they were told there was noth­ing. But now we see a dif­fer­ent story,” the source said.

Mbeki said that be­fore the Libyans came to him, he had heard ru­mours about Gaddafi send­ing at least some of his riches to SA be­fore he was killed in 2011.

Mbeki said when he was in­ves­ti­gat­ing il­licit fi­nan­cial flows on the African con­ti­nent, el­e­ments of Libyan civil so­ci­ety also raised the is­sue.

Mbeki said when he was in­ves­ti­gat­ing il­licit fi­nan­cial flows on the African con­ti­nent, el­e­ments of Libyan civil so­ci­ety also raised the is­sue.

“They said, these were civil so­ci­ety from Libya, they said that some of that money was in SA. That’s what they all knew.”

Mbeki said he had sought more de­tails, but the Libyans had no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. “Later, this [gov­ern­ment] group­ing came.”

Mbeki said he had sought more de­tails, but the Libyans had no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. “Later, this [gov­ern­ment] group­ing came.”

The spokesperson for the de­part­ment of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, Ndi­vhuwo Mabaya, could not be reached for comment.

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