Libyan military authorities have requested president Cyril Ramaphosa to assist them in tracing an estimated R442m that is believed to be in Eswatini, according to a report by the Sunday Times. The money belonged to the late Lybian dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
The newspaper reports that earlier this year, the cash was secretly moved from Nkandla (former president Zuma’s residence) where it had been hidden, to the kingdom of Eswatini. The paper reports that the money was moved in five batches.
In a meeting at OR Tambo International Airport last week, King Mswati III confirmed the existence of the money to president Ramaphosa.
In 2011, Jacob Zuma travelled to Libya accompanied by then intelligence minister Siyabonga Cwele, where they reportedly assured the Libyan leader safe storage of his money in South Africa as rebel forces closed in, the paper goes on to write.
Gaddafi gave Zuma the cash, saying that if he was captured Zuma must find him a good lawyer to represent him at the International Criminal Court, but as fate would have it, he was killed before he could have his time in court.
Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Khusela Diko confirmed that the president had indeed travelled to Eswatini, but he could not confirm what the two leaders discussed about in that meeting or at the subsequent meeting at the airport.
In 2013, officials from the Libyan government approached Zuma concerning the billions of money that Gaddafi and his family were believed to have hidden in South Africa and neighbouring countries.
The new Libyan government has now embarked on recovering legal and illegal assets in South Africa, Europe, the US and the rest of Africa that belong to the Libyan people.
In 2014, it was discovered that as much as R2 trillion in US dollars, as well as hundreds of tons of gold and at least six million carats of diamonds in assets belonging to the people of Libya, was been kept secretly in various warehouses across the country.
According to IOL, it was believed that an extra R260 billion was held legally in four banks in the country. In the meantime, the DA has requested the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate the reports.
In a statement, DA national spokesman Solly Malatsi said: “It is completely unacceptable that Zuma remains free after aiding the late North African dictator and the NPA must act swiftly on these reports to ascertain their accuracy.”