/ 6 July 2011

SA should have seen Nato blitz coming, says Malema

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has blasted South Africa’s initial decision to support a UN resolution that has been used to justify Nato airstrikes on Libya, saying the country should have realised Nato would overstep its mandate.

He was speaking at a rally outside the US embassy in Pretoria on Wednesday, where more than 1 000 South Africans demonstrated, calling for an end to Nato’s bombing campaign in Libya.

President Jacob Zuma has faced criticism at home for supporting the United Nations resolution, intended to protect civilians in Libya, that has driven Nato’s interventions in that country.

Zuma has accused Nato of overstepping the resolution’s mandate, and is now leading the African Union’s mediation efforts to secure a peaceful, negotiated and political settlement to the conflict.

Wednesday’s union-organised rally ended with the handing over of a memorandum to US officials, saying the air strikes were undermining the AU’s efforts to negotiate a solution to the conflict. — Sapa-AP