UN, South Africa locks horns on Gaddafi assets


JOHANNESBURG: (By Yasir Habib Khan)– The United Nations has turned to fired ANC security chief Tito Maleka for help in tracking down the missing Gaddafi billions – a move expected to spark a diplomatic row between South Africa and the world body.

According to reliable sources the move tacitly indicates that the UN has little confidence in the South African government’s assistance as the Department of International Relations played ignorant last week to the organisation’s request.

Some reports said that it has been reliably established that the panel of experts advising the UN Security Council Libya Sanctions Committee has contacted Maleka requesting his help to find the loot, worth an estimated $10bn (R98bn), hidden by Gaddafi in South Africa.

The panel was set up by the UN to monitor assets frozen by the UN Security Council to starve Gaddafi of resources in the wake of the rebellion against him in early 2011.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza  said the ANC would not comment on the issue as it was a “government” matter.

It is believed that the UN wrote to Maleka on 5 August expressing concern that they were having difficulty in ascertaining whether large quantities of Libyan funds were in and around South Africa.

The sanctions committee on Libya asked Maleka to help it “correctly” identity the illegally transferred assets so that the South African government can freeze them.

The report said that South Africa appears to be not fully co-operating with the UN panel of experts. The panel sent two letters to South Africa – between October and January – requesting information on the hidden loot.

On the level of responsiveness, the report stated that on both occasions South Africa failed to supply “full and partial information”. However, in late June, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan  said there was no evidence of Libyan funds and assets brought to South Africa under dubious circumstances.

Sources within the ANC however believe that Maleka was sacrificed for his knowledge of senior ANC and government officials who know the whereabouts of the sought-after assets.

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