The South African government’s perceived kid-glove response to the unfolding events in Libya was criticised by the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town on Thursday.
“The South African government looks as if it is paralysed, numb with fear of offending the ‘Brother Leader’ [Libya leader Moammar Gadaffi],” Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said in a statement.
“For the sake of humanity, in line with the principles of ubuntu, I call on them to speak out more strongly against his violations of international humanitarian law.
“Even the African Union has condemned Libya for using ‘indiscriminate and excessive use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protesters’. Will the South African government not at least follow suit?”
Makgoba, who is currently at a conference in Bethlehem, said it appeared that long-time leader Gadaffi was “intent on murdering his own people”.
“Many Libyans report that he is using mercenaries from other parts of Africa to gun down civilians indiscriminately in the streets.
“People of faith who uphold the belief that humanity reflects the spark of the divine cannot watch helplessly as Libyans are killed like flies by those who are supposed to be looking after them.”
A massive revolt has erupted in the North African country against long-time leader Gadaffi. Government forces and regime opponents have reportedly been in violent clashes, with witnesses reportedly describing events as a “civil war”.
The South African government earlier this month urged all Libyans to find a speedy and peaceful resolution to the crisis in their country.
Government continued to monitor the situation with interest and called on all parties involved to exercise restraint to prevent further loss of life. — Sapa