Govt explains turnaround on Libya

2011-09-21 14:06

Cape Town - The South African government had decided to give the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya "the benefit of the doubt", Deputy International Relations and Co-operation Minister Marius Fransman said on Wednesday.

He was briefing the media in Cape Town on the decision, taken on Tuesday, to recognise the NTC as representative of the Libyan people.

Tuesday's announcement was a reversal of South Africa's previous position on the Libyan rebel movement. Exactly a month ago, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the country would not recognise a rebel government.

"As far as we are concerned, if this government falls, there is no government," she said at the time.

Assurances in letter to AU

Fransman told journalists on Wednesday the decision to change this stance had been prompted by a letter, sent by the NTC to the AU, as well as a meeting with the organisation's chairperson.

The letter had included NTC assurances that it would, among other things, "give priority to national unity and to bring together all Libyan stakeholders, without any exception, to rebuild the country".

The AU had therefore taken a decision to recognise the NTC.

"Accordingly, the SA government recognises the NTC as representative of the Libyan people as they form an all-inclusive transitional government that will occupy the Libyan seat at the AU," Fransman said.

Inclusive governance

Asked to spell out what this meant, Fransman responded: "What we are saying now, is if the country [Libya] says yes, they will have an inclusive governance institution... if they are then saying that they will follow the roadmap, as agreed to by the heads of state at the AU, we are saying let's give them therefore the benefit of the doubt."

To a question on what constituted an all-inclusive government in Libya, Fransman made it clear South Africa saw Gaddafi loyalists as part of this process.

"There are different issues in Libya. There's tribal matters, there's different groupings, political groupings and formations.

"The NTC, with all these undercurrents... has to work towards an inclusive governance and interim authority, because in the end there must be democratic elections. That will include even those... who were with Gaddafi historically," he said.

  • Spookhuis - 2011-09-21 14:13

    Loosely translated.......they need to buy oil.

      Servaas - 2011-09-21 14:17

      Or perhaps want to get some credibility when they saw no one actually gives a toss about what zoooma and the rest of the circus has to say..

      LekkerinSA - 2011-09-21 14:17

      hehe, as an eternal optomist I hope you are not correct !

      Dougalan - 2011-09-21 14:34

      Or another translation: 'Damn, we though Gaddafi was going to win and give us more money. Now that he's history, we'd better cosy up with the other side.' A very principled party, The ANC...

      SuperCal - 2011-09-21 14:38

      Dont worry Mr Marius Franseman.....once i went the the Horse Races and I bet on this horse and it lost and i was gutted...

      Harvey - 2011-09-21 14:44

      Why should the people of Libya follow the AU's roadmap? The AU was supporting their oppressor yesterday. They were condemning the actions of Nato who helped to win the war. Well flip flopped.

      IC1 - 2011-09-21 14:57

      @Great White: 100% LOL

      willieman - 2011-09-21 15:00

      No the big boys told them to behave

      allie - 2011-09-21 15:14

      They asw the error of their ways

      DW - 2011-09-21 15:50

      Loosely translated - they are looking like the idiots now and had to do a quick about turn. Little SA thinks they have clout in the world and can stand up against them and demand to have their way. When the rest of the world simply ignores them, they come back with their tails between their legs with a pathetic excuse for their little temper tantrum.

      Met - 2011-09-21 15:54

      What a tragedy? Bi-lateral relations determined by " benefit of the doubt" Well, I wont give the ANC the benefit of the doubt

  • Willie_G - 2011-09-21 14:14

    So the fact that China recognised the NTC just barely a week before the whole AU bandwagon jumped on board is all coincidence... For a country rive with revolutionaries we seem to disregard fights for democratic rights in countries were oppression reigns supreme.

      grod - 2011-09-21 14:19

      Way too late..Effing sheep!!

      Wow! - 2011-09-21 14:58

      Yep - its the African sheep mentality all over again. China is the NEW boss

      Tolerant - 2011-09-21 15:16

      Yes, we are mostly doing what China is doing. We will probably defend China too if they veto the palistinians state.

      cliffarc - 2011-09-21 19:02

      - Yep , the Anc's Chinese masters have spoken. The Anc are a bunch of hypocrites .

  • LekkerinSA - 2011-09-21 14:16

    Took a while for reality to engage. Africa is better off without gaddaffi.

      T-1000 - 2011-09-21 14:28

      Even the ANC cant see that but they did smell the oil.

      IC1 - 2011-09-21 14:59

      Yep, zooma inserted his fing in the left nostril and engaged the single chromosone in the brain area

  • Mlu - 2011-09-21 14:18

    Our foreign policy is in tarters, the President is clueless, the Minister is in the dark. Actually she needs to be fired. Since the debacles over Libya we have lost the respect other African countries had given us during Mandela's and TM's tenures as Presidents.

      Anton - 2011-09-21 15:06

      Mlu, You make an excelent point here. Not only have we rediculed ourselves to the world outside Africa, but we have also done a lot of damage to ourselves by other African nations. It is difficult to imagine a scenario, where we would have handled the Libya issue in a more clumsy and distructive way!!!!!!

      DW - 2011-09-21 15:53

      She may need to be fired, but she is now angling for the AU chief job. Maybe we should just let her go. The AU is a toothless wonder in any case. Maybe she will do less damage there.

  • Bill - 2011-09-21 14:18

    Trying to be clever in the first instance just did not pan out for the clowns.... While I am at it…seen the latest Exchange rate, R7.91 / $1.00

      MeltdowN - 2011-09-21 15:14

      Holly Crap!

      50something - 2011-09-21 15:28


      Hectic - 2011-09-21 16:36

      Yip, that's the latest exchange rate - I want to vomit!

  • Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-21 14:18

    A very magnanimous decision by government - let's give them credit where credit is due please!

      T-1000 - 2011-09-21 14:33

      Just like giving credit to all those farmers.

      Dougalan - 2011-09-21 14:37

      'Magnanimous?' boet, I think 'expedient' and 'self-serving' would be better adjectives.

      Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-21 14:48

      Sigh @Dougalan - there just seems to be no pleasing some people... dammed if they do and dammed if they don't eh?

      grod - 2011-09-21 15:10

      @Ohmikehunt - your name says it all...

      DW - 2011-09-21 15:59

      If only it were magnanimous. More like tail-between-the-legs kind of stuff. Zuma can never make a decision and stick to it. In one week they have done an about turn on recognising the Libyan NTC and put the Information Act on hold. Both actions were in the best interest of SA, but that they could not see that the initial decisions would bring SA into disrepute before making them shows a total lack of understanding and leadership. I doubt that they could be magnanimous if they tried - except to maybe let Malema off the hook, which they will probably still do

      theprodigy - 2011-09-21 16:45

      sorry no credit is due, the ANC arrogantly belivedt that they were China for a while, but then realized that hey are actually a bunch of empty coconuts.......

  • jakovdm - 2011-09-21 14:27

    damn, black people are loyal!

  • Pekkie - 2011-09-21 14:29

    The African Continent has been in The US sites for some time now, If we dont go along with them they will take it we are against them, If the latter, that means we will see them based here within 5 years, thats the only way their vision of a one government globally can take place, soon it will come, the whole plannet will be controlled by one super power!

      CHIPPER_CHAP - 2011-09-21 14:48

      well it certainly would be better than be ruled by the present day (*O*holes :)

      Whiskeyjack - 2011-09-21 14:54

      You retard

      Pekkie - 2011-09-21 14:57

      Thanks for your kind words whiskeyjerk, maybe lay off the sauce and you might learn to love yourself! :) Have a awesome day buddy!

      Fred - 2011-09-21 15:31

      China has already beaten them to it, they have ploughed enough time and money into Africa to own it, they will not give it back without a fight, they need the space and jobs for their 2 billion people.

      slg - 2011-09-21 15:56

      This is an immature and wrong view of the world.

  • v3 - 2011-09-21 14:31

    "Exactly a month ago, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the country would not recognise a rebel government." Perhaps Gaddafi's cheque to the ANC bounced; hence the change. But Gaddafi took power in a coup and has never held elections. He has always been a rebel government yet the ANC recognised him. Must have been the "investments in the ANC" from Gaddafi. Nevertheless, it is good that Madam International Relations minister pulled something out of her handbag. ;)

  • Verdade - 2011-09-21 14:31

    Ja ja need to explain, you realized you were on your own...some the silver backs in government needs to smell the coffee and wake up, stay of the western booze silverbacks!

  • arthur.amgen - 2011-09-21 14:32

    Typical ANC always too late for the party and out of touch with reality. History move too fast for the ANC. Too slow. Too deaf. Too blind. They are after all nearly one hundred years old. Time to die.

  • proudly - 2011-09-21 14:39

    It is clear the ANC is not interested in listening to 'the people'. In Libya and other countries the 'people' forcibly removed the so called governments, is the ANC afraid of this?

  • Charles Kane - 2011-09-21 14:44

    African leaders were mostly bribed into supporting Gaddafi. It's one thing to do business with a country but no-one any with integrity could possibly be loyal to that maniac.

      T-1000 - 2011-09-21 14:54

      So African leaders who accept bribes have an abundance of integrity? Uh?

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-21 14:46

    Gaddafi's poisoned chalice......

  • Cliff - 2011-09-21 14:47

    All chameleons have big mouths!

      T-1000 - 2011-09-21 14:59

      Yeah but their tongues keep sticking to everything.

  • PRKER - 2011-09-21 14:52

    So now we know for sure that the Colonel is not coming to put up his tent in Cape Town's market square and its safe to recognize the New Libya....

  • simon - 2011-09-21 14:56

    They were hedging their bets so that they could get something out of Gaddafi if he managed to get back into power. Now its gone pasted that stage they have no other choice.

  • Mybra - 2011-09-21 15:04

    Now give the people of Libya their money. All of it.

  • BreakdownBoy - 2011-09-21 15:06

    Typical ANC, supporting dictators! "Birds of a feather flock together."

  • Christopher - 2011-09-21 15:19

    Our ANC government are two-faced hypocrites. Gaddafi bank rolled Jacob Zuma's rape trial and his vast legal expenses to evade prosecution for fraud. No wonder they refused to recognise the NTC until now. Was the SA foreign minister too busy refusing a hand bag search in Norway to know what was going on? R240 000 of OUR money later, she changes her mind. Just like her boss, Zuma, this woman is also an idiot with no credibility. An expensive one.

  • blessedabuntantly - 2011-09-21 15:19

    why would the SA govt support such a tyranny.

      khoi007 - 2011-09-21 15:22

      cheaper oil than SASOL

      theprodigy - 2011-09-21 16:42

      because their buddy Gadaffi bankrolled the ANC with millions of Dollars, thats why. The oil goes the Europe.

  • Fred - 2011-09-21 15:27

    The decision on how Libya will be run was taken a week ago when the French and British heads of state visited, the AU was shoved into the background where they belong and were left no choice but to support the UN's decision to except the NTC as the legitimate government. The AU and Zuma have been pushed aside and are going to have to grovel and beg for attention from now on.

  • Davearch - 2011-09-21 15:27

    Ha Ha, whats a bunch of clowns .. do they have ANY credibility anywhere ??

  • Joubs - 2011-09-21 15:28

    Typical of the ANC turn-around on any issue because actully they were not understood in context??? Ha Ha Ha I think the ANC is mainly a "benifit of the doubt" government in any case!!!

  • MIM128 - 2011-09-21 15:30

    Does anyone at DIRCO know what they are doing? Or just travelling around the world in business class and doing niks? Our foreign policy, as is other policies, are without direction. What has changed since they staged a show at the UN refusing to allow NTC to access funds?

  • vince muller - 2011-09-21 15:30

    Nothing to explain. TWO FACE PARTY

  • Woofix - 2011-09-21 15:34

    Yaps, while the ANC chance direction towards NTC they might aswell send general juju & his ancyl comrades to help fight them, coz they sukkel a little bit with the last Gadaffi strongholds. In that way they can get rid of their "Kill the Boer frustrations". They must just remember to trade their stones and burning tyres in for some real bazookas.

  • PROSA - 2011-09-21 15:59

    viva s.a

  • Mark Fysh - 2011-09-21 16:13

    SA Gvt tripped by it's racial dislike of Europe and it's love of dictators. Slipped on a patch of oil I would say...

  • PROSA - 2011-09-21 16:17

    iraq,afghanistan,libya mmm south africa mm aaa we will give that one a skip not worth it

      solethu matrose - 2011-09-21 19:35

      that true prossa wait south africa can produce its own weapons so will deal with it later

  • theprodigy - 2011-09-21 16:39

    hahaha, the ANC dictating to the TRC how to run a country, whhhhhhaaahahahahhaha, what a joke, bwaahhhahahahahahahaahahaha, Uho, i think i just wet my pants laughing so much.

  • phoantoinix - 2011-09-21 16:59

    South African government had decided to give the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya "the benefit of the doubt" Crazy arrogant twats! Big question who on this planet, excepting African Losers Club, Pariah states, will give the ANC gov the doubt? (With all the world's leaders' snickering, that goes on behind JZ, after he leaves the room.)

  • Lawrence - 2011-09-21 18:20

    SA africas international reputation is mind boggling when comes to Libya.We dont have a strong possition .Yesterday we were on the Gaddafi side cause of the Chinese,The rebels have won we are with them together with The NATO.It appears SA is now on the path of joining former colonial masters in a bid to get a pie in the Libyan oil.I believe the latest stance has left Gaddafi in a state of from where he is hidding.He feel betrayed.SA has no back bone when it comes to matters of international relations.

  • Vernon - 2011-09-21 19:59

    if records were kept we might get the real reason why the double-header went there all those times.

  • jen - 2011-09-21 20:41

    I doubt whether South Africa's opinion is of interest to even Gaddafi himself. Certainly holds no sway in the real world where SA and the AU lost even more credibility by trying unsuccessfully to "negotiate" with Gaddafi and urging Nato to back off. Never mind the thousands of atrocities that Gaddafi continued to perpetuate against his own citizens, South Africa held firm in its condemnation of the imperialist west and Nato. Now they graciously give thw NTC the benefit of the doubt! Wow, that must be a relief to the newly free Libyan people. I feel nostalgic for the days when South Africa's opinion actually mattered because Nelson Mandela was respected and powerful enough to not automatically take the opposite viewpoint of the "imperialist" west.

  • JohnPicarra - 2011-09-21 21:43

    The ANC Government still is a communist organization. It takes international positions to help its fellow communist terrorists like Gaddafi. Now that Gaddafi has lost, they are trying to pull the same trick as in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe lost but still rules. Just the forever communist terrorist trick.

  • KrayZee - 2011-09-22 09:11

    Now that the ANC can see the game is up for their ex-benefactor Gadaffi, they are willing to switch sides. What a lot of idiots. This is the result of cadre deployment. Idiots in very high profile, high paying ministerial positions who are completely out of touch with reality. Anyone with half a brain cell could see the writing on the wall after Zuma attempted what he thought would be recognised as an act of great statesmanship when he visited Gadaffi the first time and was sold a bunch of lies which made him look like an amateur sportsclub chairman trying to negotiate team fixtures for under-12s. This was also attempted by a minister who thinks that she is above international law by refusing to have her handbag scanned at an Oslo airport, then charters a jet at a cost of R235000 because she missed her flight as as result, and then her department misquotes international conventions in her defence. This is the height of arrogance displayed by someone who is clearly not accustomed to international conventions and solves the problem in a hugely extravagant manner using money that does not belong to her, but is at her disposal because she has been deployed by other corrupt idiots. These fools could not arrange a piss-up in a pub, let alone perform on the international political stage. (Maybe as clowns... no metaphor intended).

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