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11 Mar 2011 12:55
President Jacob Zuma has ordered the Treasury to freeze assets linked to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his associates, a government official said on Friday.
“The process is under way and we are writing letters informing them that no money will be allowed to leave South Africa,” foreign ministry spokesperson Clayson Monyela said without offering further details.
Billions of dollars in assets
Business Day said the money is invested through the $5-billion Libya Arab Africa Investment Company (Laaico), through Libya Oil Holdings, Libya African Investment Portfolio and Libyan Foreign Investment Company (Lafico).
In South Africa, it owns Ensemble Hotel Holdings, including the luxury Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg.
Libya holds billions of dollars in assets in Africa through subsidiaries of its $70-billion sovereign wealth fund.
The Presidency said on Wednesday that Gaddafi called Zuma “to explain his side of the story”.
The statement said: “South Africa has openly condemned the loss of life and attacks on civilians and reported violations of human rights in Libya.”—Reuters
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