South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has denied an allegation by a local newspaper that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gave him $30m (£22m). According to the Sunday Times the money was to secure Col Gaddafi legal representation if he was captured and taken to court or to pass on to his family if he was killed.
The Libyan leader was caught and killed in 2011.
Mr Zuma tweeted that he knows nothing about the allegation and implied that it was another story about him that the paper had got wrong.
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? https://t.co/HputtXav1f
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) April 9, 2019
The allegation is that the money had been stored in a vault since 2011 in Mr Zuma’s private home before it was moved to eSwatini early this year.
It said that the country’s monarch King Mswati III was aware.
The paper also alleged that Mr Zuma’s successor Cyril Ramaphosa had knowledge of the cash movement.
Both South Africa and eSwatini have denied the allegations, the Citizen news site reports.
South Africa’s International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu also denied the allegations saying the story did not reflect “realities on the ground”.
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.”