Pretoria ‘not offering Gbagbo asylum’

2011-04-07 12:41

A report that South Africa has offered the Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo asylum was “absolutely false”, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said today.

“It is absolutely not true. South Africa has not made any offer for asylum and that report is false,” said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

The Reuters news agency reported yesterday that an African Union (AU) source and two diplomats had said South Africa had offered the besieged Gbabgo asylum several times.

It reported that Togo and Angola were also possible safe havens for Gbabgo.

A standoff has been playing itself out in the Ivory Coast where Gbagbo has refused to hand over power to Alassane Ouattara since losing elections to him in November.

Last month, South Africa said it backed all regional moves to resolve the crisis in the Ivory Coast, including the AU’s recognition of Ouattara as the winner of last year’s presidential elections.

This marked a departure from the neutral stance adopted by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s in February when she termed the November 28 presidential elections in the west African nation “inconclusive”. 

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