Gaddafi asylum resolution welcome: DA
22 August 2011 | Sapa
JOHANNESBURG - The resolution by the international relations and cooperation department not to offer Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi refuge was welcomed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday.
"We have hosted deposed dictators in South Africa before, a decision which has cost us economically, morally and politically," said spokesman Stevens Mokgalapa in a statement.
He was responding to the International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane's earlier assurance that Gaddafi would not seek asylum in South Africa.
Mokgalapa said that if Gaddafi had come to South Africa, the country would be legally bound to hand him over to the International Criminal Court.
He said South Africa's culture of 'ubuntu' meant it had a valuable role to play in Libya's reconstruction.
Mokgalapa said South Africa's prior support for a power-sharing deal between Gaddafi and rebel forces was comparable to "the failed deal in Zimbabwe".
"We now have a chance to wipe the slate clean by making a meaningful contribution to Libya's post-war liberation by providing real economic, material and administrative support."
Earlier, Nkoana-Mashabane said Gaddafi had not asked for asylum in South Africa and had indicated some time ago that he did not intend doing so.
At a briefing following a meeting with business leaders in Parktown, Johannesburg, she said South Africa had not sent aircraft to evacuate Gaddafi and his family from Libya.
She said the aircraft had been used only to evacuate embassy staff.
Nkoana-Mashabane said the African Union believed that only the Libyan people could secure a lasting solution to the problems their country faced.
South Africa would protect all human life in Libya, she said when asked by journalists whether the country was protecting Gaddafi.
"We must make sure we preserve lives... we will not single out the safety of one leader."
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