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GADDAFI MILLIONS: GOVT INSISTS ON EVIDENCE

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MBABANE – “For now, we demand evidence.” These were the words of Government Press Secretary, Percy Simelane, after this publication sought to know whether the country would look into the allegations published by the Sunday Times, a South African weekend publication.


The Sunday Times reported that there were millions allegedly stashed in the country by former South African President, Jacob Zuma and in its article, it insinuated that the Central Bank of Eswatini was somehow involved in the whole rigmarole. These millions were said to have belonged to deceased Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and they made their way from Nkandla’s bunker to Eswatini. Gaddafi’s missing money was reported to be E422million (US$30m) and was moved to the country since the beginning of the year.


Allegations


To the question that sought to establish whether government would defend itself and look into the allegations or whether it would wait for evidence from the Sunday Times, Simelane said: “South African Minister for International Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu has put it in no uncertain terms that her government is not looking for any Gaddafi money in Eswatini and is not aware there is any.”


Simelane, who is a former journalist and Director of the Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS), said the ethics of journalism demanded that persons reported about in a story should be given a chance to state their side of the story. 
He said in this instance, there were five key players in the story wherein the allegations were carried but none of them were given a chance to respond to them.


“They are His Majesty the King, President Cyril Ramaphosa,  Central Bank Governor Majozi Sithole, his Deputy Mhlabuhlangene Dlamini and former South African President Jacob Zuma. Instead, the Sunday Times quoted ghost sources with no names. For now, we demand evidence. We will cross the other bridge when we come to it and when we do, the world won’t miss it.”


On the other hand, Sisulu in a question-and-answer session with the media, which was captured in a video footage, said there was no money brought into the kingdom. The South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation described the article in the Sunday Times as a ‘ghost story’.


Circulating


She said the story that the Libyans had brought money into the country and that it was kept somewhere had been circulating for many years.
“When we went to Swaziland there were rumours that the money was in Swaziland. There is no money in Swaziland (sic).”
Sisulu said this while responding to questions asked at a media briefing of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) subcommittee on international relations and co-operation.

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