UN re­port points to ‘Gaddafi mil­lions’ in SA

CityPress - - News - ERIKA GIBSON news@city­press.co.za

The South African govern­ment, the ANC and Denel ig­nored the UN’s panel of ex­perts on Libya when they in­quired about the so-called Gaddafi mil­lions and a strange weapons trans­ac­tion.

This is con­tained in the UN panel’s re­port to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, re­lat­ing to the flow of weapons and cap­i­tal in con­flict-rid­den Libya and South Africa.

Ac­cord­ing to the panel, a Libyan del­e­ga­tion de­scrib­ing them­selves as the “Libyan Air Force” and “Air Ter­ri­tory De­fence Forces” had or­dered a sub­stan­tial num­ber of weapons from Denel, in­clud­ing, among other things, 84 Rooivalk at­tack he­li­copters, 40 At­las Oryx he­li­copters, 500 mis­sile launch­ers and thou­sands of mor­tars.

“The vol­umes and types of ma­te­ri­als that were re­quested by the Libyan party sug­gest that a large amount of money was avail­able and that the ne­go­ti­a­tions were clearly at an ad­vanced stage. Two peo­ple, who were di­rectly in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions, were in­de­pen­dently ques­tioned. Both con­firmed that the ma­te­rial would be pur­chased with the Gaddafi regime’s ‘hid­den’ as­sets that were still in South Africa,” the doc­u­ment ar­gues.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, De­fence Min­is­ter No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula sup­ported the Denel ne­go­ti­a­tions in a let­ter that refers to a meet­ing held in Jo­han­nes­burg on March 5 2013. This was de­spite the fact that arms sanc­tions against Libya were in place. How­ever, the planned trans­ac­tion with Denel was never re­alised.

The panel also sought to ver­ify doc­u­ments re­lated to the ap­par­ent trans­fer of $800 mil­lion, which was al­legedly moved from a Stan­dard Bank branch in South Africa to a Stan­bic bank ac­count in Kenya.

“The panel ob­tained doc­u­men­ta­tion that shows that two large trans­fers were pos­si­bly made on be­half of Libya Africa Investment Port­fo­lio [LAIP] in the sec­ond half of 2011,” the panel’s re­port states.

“The pay­ment was made by Bashir Saleh al-Shrkawi from a Stan­dard Bank branch in South Africa.

“The man­age­ment of LAIP ex­plained to the panel that they had no knowl­edge of the ben­e­fi­ciary ac­count ... the trans­fer would show that con­cealed Libyan funds were made avail­able to mem­bers of the for­mer regime who are in South Africa,” the re­port states.

Ac­cord­ing to the UN re­port, al-Shrkawi ad­mit­ted he was in­volved with LAIP in 2009, but claimed he had had noth­ing to do with the fund since 2011.

Nei­ther the depart­ment of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion, the depart­ment of de­fence nor the Na­tional Con­ven­tional Arms Con­trol Com­mit­tee re­sponded to in­quiries from Rap­port, City Press’ sis­ter news­pa­per.

By the time of go­ing to print, Stan­dard Bank had not re­sponded to Rap­port’s in­quiries about the trans­ac­tion.

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