Libya to use ‘Gaddafi millions’ to lure SA

2013-06-11 00:00

DIRECT access to the “Gaddafi millions” and even gold bars that are allegedly stored at the O.R. Tambo airport may see South Africa sign a deal to sell weaponry worth billions to Libya.

Libyan arms dealers are — owing to constraints imposed by the United Nations (UN) — busy negotiating to buy South African armaments for the Libyan army.

Libyans Mohamad Tag and Erik Goaied are, according to documentation that Beeld has seen, leading the negotiations, but neither is an accredited weapons dealer in South Africa.

They reportedly have direct access to the “Gaddafi millions” which are reportedly being held in South African banks.

The value of the first part of the arms deal reportedly amounts to R8 billion.

The “shopping list” included orders for 14 Rooivalk attack helicopters, 150 Rooikat reconnaissance tanks and 18 G6 canons, as well as 15 drones and missiles.

The dealers also require ammunition for MiG 21, MiG 29, Mirage F1 and Mirage 2000 jets.

Their list states the weapons are destined for the Libyan army, special forces and other divisions in that country’s army.

The documentation lists Tag as acting on behalf of the Libyan army’s chief of staff.

The documentation was generated after Tag had sent out feelers to buy weapons from Denel in February.

Tag and a delegation had also met with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on March 5, after which she gave them a letter of approval.

Their meeting was the forerunner for a visit by a much larger military delegation from Libya to Denel this year.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said her letter was purely to show that she was in favour of ongoing relations with Libya and that she was glad these relations were on track.

In the letter, the minister stated the South African government was committed to stabilising and rebuilding Libya. In the letter, she also acknowledged the Libyan delegation’s request to negotiate with Denel.

Mbananga said the minister had no say in approving or influencing the approval of any of the weapons transactions.

The negotiations follow recent reports that the so-called Gaddafi millions were being kept in South Africa after the loot was brought to local banks shortly before Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s death in the 2011 revolution.

Denel had not responded to a request for comment by yesterday afternoon.

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