eSwatini, SA slam Sunday Times report on ‘Gaddafi’s cash’

The government of eSwatini demands that 'the Sunday Times publishes evidence of its claim before we can take it seriously'.

The eSwatini and South African governments have denied allegations made in a Sunday Times report that millions in cash belonging to the Libyan government ended up in their countries.

The money had apparently reached South African shores at the behest of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu addressed the matter during an ANC briefing yesterday.

She denied the paper’s claim that eSwatini monarch King Mswati III confirmed to President Cyril Ramaphosa that R422 million of Libyan money had been moved from former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home to the landlocked country.

“There is no money that we are aware of and I spoke honestly and as the minister of international relations, I have not found any money that belongs to Libyans. If the Libyans make a request for us to investigate this matter, we will. The story on the front page [of the Sunday Times] doesn’t reflect the realities on the ground.”

She said when the South African government visited eSwatini shortly after Ramaphosa became president, the two states discussed “everything and anything but not Libyan money”.

This was echoed by eSwatini government spokesperson Percy Simelane, who demanded the Sunday Times provide evidence of the rumoured cash.

“The South African government, through Minister Lindiwe, has put it in no uncertain terms that they are not looking for any Gaddafi money in eSwatini and that there is no such money they know of in this country,” Simelane said.

“As government of eSwatini, we demand that the Sunday Times publishes evidence of its claim before we can take it seriously. We have not seen the responses of the key persons mentioned in the story: His majesty the king, former South African president Jacob Zuma, the governor of the central bank of eSwatini Majozi Sithole and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Instead, ghost sources with no names have been quoted. A good, credible story should have responses from the people it is about. Let’s have evidence published.”

Rumours that the slain statesman’s billions have been hidden in South Africa date back to 2013, and were denied by then finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

Eswatini (Swaziland) Sunday Times

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits