No South African rescue for Libya


Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,Maite Nkoana-Mashabane ,addressed the press regarding South Africa`s stance on Libya at the Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg earlier today.

Muammar Gaddafi will not be exiting Libya on a South African plane to an undisclosed destination, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said on Monday.

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told the media at a briefing in Johannesburg, that South Africa is confident that Gaddafi will not seek asylum in the country and have denied any plans to aid the colonel’s exit after rebels swept through Tripoli late Sunday evening

She said widespread speculation that South Africa had sent aircraft to Libya was untrue.

“The South African government would like to refute and dispel the rumours that it has sent planes to Libya to fly individuals to some undisclosed locations or South Africa”.

Despite denial from the government, Al Jazeera has reported that their sources claim talks between South Africa and Gaddafi continue.

South Africa has led the mediation efforts by the African Union, and said they will continue talks with both parties in Libya.  The minister said “as peace brokers we have got no reason to create a state within the state.”

Nkoana-Mashabana stressed, “The Libyans themselves must be given the chance to decide the future of their country and the future of Gaddafi.”

“With the imminent fall of the government of colonel Gaddafi, we wish to urge the interim authorities in Tripoli to immediately institute an all-inclusive inter-Libyan political dialogue aimed at building a truly representative and people-centred dispensation,” said the  minister.

She added that South Africa will not recognise a rebel government when Gaddafi falls. “As far as we are concerned, if this government falls, there is no government”.

Heavy fighting and gun battles raged on in Tripoli, on Monday, the morning after rebels gained control of most of the Libyan capital overnight.

Reports of Gaddafi’s two eldest sons – Muhammad and Saif-al Islam Gaddafi -being captured by anti-government forces filled social networks and the International Criminal Courts has confirmed them.


Deputy President discusses Libya

DEPUTY President Kgalema Motlanthe will address this year’s annual Ruth First memorial lecture on Wednesday, August 17.

The theme of this year’s lecture is In Search of an African Foreign Policy. The focus of the lecture will be on Libya. 2011’s Ruth First fellow, Eusebius McKaiser, will be presenting his research findings into foreign policy on Libya. 

An exhibition of photographer Anton Hammerl’s work from Libya will also be on show. Hammerl was shot and killed while covering the Libyan conflict.

Last year’s lecture – themed How policy is affecting the marginalised and its impact on poverty – was addressed by Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Vavi reflected on First’s contribution to social injustices and highlighted the struggles the country is still facing.

“Her disdain for capitalism and her striving for social justice are amongst the lessons that we as workers continue to draw from her legacy, 28 years after her brutal killing by the apartheid state.

“The overriding lesson we continue to learn from her is that capitalism and imperialism have inflicted immense misery on humanity.

“She would be shocked…that 48% of South Africans live below R322 a month and 25% of the population now survives on state grants.

“As we celebrate women’s month, she would have to face the reality that income inequality is still racialised and gendered: an average African man earns in the region of R2 400 p/m, whilst an average white man earns around R19 000. Most white women earn in the region of R9 600 p/m, whereas most African women earn R1 200 p/m.”

[Do we need to go this far back if we have space problems?]McKaiser is an associate lecturer at the Wits Philosophy Department and the Wits Centre for Ethics. He is also a political commentator who writes for local and international media on SA politics and ethical debates.