|South Africa cautions on releasing Libyan assets|
|Africans in Government|
|Thursday, 25 August 2011 07:23|
South Africa has indicated its reluctance is based purely on the question of who the legitimate authority in Libya is at this time.
Pretoria says it does not object to the humanitarian aid but to the intention to give some of the funds to the National Transitional Council (NTC), as the body has not been universally recognised as the legitimate authority in Libya.
International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, told a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday that the NTC has not yet been recognised as the sole, legal representative of the Libyan people.
"The issue we have raised caution on is the releasing or the unfreezing of the asserts to the rebels or the TNC for two reasons.
"[Firstly], the UN itself has not recognised the NTC as the new government of Libya and therefore, you cannot ask a UN committee to release funds to a structure that is not recognised. Secondly, the African Union has not yet pronounced on this ... so there is no recognition from the UN and there is no recognition from the AU," explained Monyela.
He said there are a lot of questions to be asked, such as where the money is going to and whether the recipients of the money are accountable, especially to the Libyan people, and whether they have been mandated by the Libyan people to be able to act on their behalf.
Monyela said South Africa will await for the pronouncement of the AU, which will be holding an emergency summit on Libya in Ethiopia on Friday that will decide who is the is the current legitimate government of Libya.
"The South African government will always approach this matter in concert with the AU and in the spirit of multilateralism," he said.
Asked who South Africa supports, between the embattled Muammar Gaddafi and the NTC, Monyela reiterated that the Libyan people must determine their own future through an inclusive process that will ensure a full democratisation of all political institutions.
"Everything that happens there must be in line with the will of the people. They should decide who governs them and how," he said, adding that South Africa will not be opposing their choice.
A vote on the resolution by the UNSC is expected before the end of the week.
Given the latest developments, Pretoria still sees the roadmap, crafted by the AU, as the only logical solution to the woes facing the Libyan people.
As spelt out in the AU roadmap, the way forward should include the drafting of a new constitution under the supervision of the transitional government, and a referendum on the new constitution leading to democratic elections.
"Then you start the process of stabilising the country, then the nation's reconciliation, reconstructing the infrastructure and reviving the economy ...Our hope, as the South African government, is that this will be an inclusive process, which will have the elements of the NTC and that of the Gaddafi regime," said Monyela, adding that they can then begin the process of nation building.
AU leaders, including President Jacob Zuma - who is the leader of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Libya - will be locked in the summit with several challenges such as, how they will ensure ownership of a transitional process to decide on the contentious question of whether they should recognise the NTC as the government of Libya or not. - BuaNews