There is no Gaddafi money in Swaziland - Minister Sisulu

Sunday Times reported that former President Jacob Zuma hid millions belonging to the former Libyan leader Gaddafi at his house in Nkandla and later moved the money to Swaziland.
Sunday Times reported that former President Jacob Zuma hid millions belonging to the former Libyan leader Gaddafi at his house in Nkandla and later moved the money to Swaziland.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Former president Jacob Zuma has broken his silence about weekend reports alleging that he secretly moved over R400m belonging to late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi from his Nkandla compound to Eswatini (Swaziland).

The Sunday Times reported that SA agents tipped off President Cyril Ramaphosa about the stash being moved to Swaziland earlier this year.

Reports said that Zuma held on to the millions for years after Gaddafi was killed in 2011, before sending them secretly to the neighbouring country.

Despite failing to respond to questions sent by the paper, Zuma went on Twitter yesterday morning and denied the claims.

"Sigh! I owe millions in legal fees... I've asked you to assist with that one title deed in order for me to sell that house. I now hear that I have been keeping money belonging to my late brother Gaddafi. Where's this money because His Majesty knows nothing about it?" he tweeted.

However, Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko told Sowetan yesterday that he stood by his paper's story.

"We stand by our story. We have worked on this story for weeks and had spoken to a number of senior people at the department of international relations, presidency, state security and the Swazi government.

"We will wait for the Swazi government and the former president to approach the press ombudsman where we will defend our story. We sent questions to the former president and the king in Eswatini before publication."

Siqoko said the paper had given each affected party adequate time to respond to questions but received none at the time of going to print.

According to the Sunday Times, when then public protector Thuli Madonsela was investigating Zuma's Nkandla home in 2013 for her investigation of its improper security upgrades, she was not allowed access to the bunker.

On Sunday, international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu dismissed those claims, saying that SA was never in the possession of R422m belonging to the late Libyan leader.

Sisulu said she was aware of the reports and had dismissed them as nothing but rumours.

King Mswati III reportedly confirmed the existence of the money to Ramaphosa last week during a meeting at OR Tambo International Airport.

Sisulu said: "This is very much like a ghost story. If you believe in a ghost you will see a ghost, but you will never be able to touch it. This is a story that has been circulating for many, many years.

"There is no money in Swaziland. There is no money that we're aware of. And I speak honestly as a minister of international relations.

"If the Libyans make a request for us to investigate this matter, we will be open to do so," Sisulu said.

Attempts to get hold of the Libyan embassy drew a blank.

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