Gaddafi: A lesser evil?
South Africa is like that kid in high school. You know the one who lurks around the same spots as the “big boys”. Laughs at their corny jokes and jibes. Strokes their overtly inflated egos. Berates their enemies. All with the express wish of being “cool by association”.
Our country is severing ties faster than Elizabeth Taylor’s divorce lawyer, forsaking a myriad of exceptional individuals simply because it would hurt our purse strings. The most recent dumping being that of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Prior to the systematic dismantling of Gaddafi’s reign; word in the compound was that the South African government were sympathetic to his yearning to retain control of Libya. Reportedly the reasons for this are the same rational they use for their continual support of Robert Mugabe and why we still loan King Mswati money (Scratch that last; I don’t know why we still fund his fetishes). That being : rejection of external involvement in African affairs especially by Western powers; regaining its ‘radical credentials’ that were lost for South Africa’s support of resolution 1973; our policy on the Israel-Palestine issue; a perceived shift of global power by the our government that emerging powers will “have our back”; the policy of applying equal regional and international pressure to solve regional problems; and the ANC’s reliance on Gaddafi money and investments in here.
South Africa toed the same path as Libya in its claims for the unison of African states, the pushing for export and import rights to be confined to the continent thereby allowing the people of Africa the benefits the West continually enjoys. For instance, the continents oil is exported to foreign refineries (Exxon, Shell, Bp etc) for purification , returns to its origin at double the cost. The two were inseparable in ideals. The problem with their arrangement occurred when Gaddafi’s pioneering a revert to the gold standard, causing an upset for the continents long relliance with the US-dollar.
South Africa also cannot ignore the many human rights violations the colonel is responsible for. The Libyan people have seen it all. the ICC (International Criminal Court) is investigating six separate incidents of violence against civilians and is attempting to identify the participants and those who ordered them. The prosecution team is being assisted by a number of national police forces and Interpol in the collection of evidence to determine the identities of these individuals, including videos, photos and witness testimony. The incidents involved “massive shooting of civilians” by security forces in several Libyan cities, including Tripoli and Benghazi. The charges brought against Gaddafi range from using rape as a weapon during conflict, to terrorise the woman of their enemies territory.
In keeping with Gaddafi’s many crimes, his Libya ran like a well oiled machine. According to statistics, the country had zero debt, the people were receiving a stipend from oil profits (albeit not in equal parts), and by the same token enjoyed many socialist reforms that South Africa hasn’t even been able to provide (i.e Free education, healthcare).
Now the International Monetary fund (IMF ) and NATO swooped in to divide the country’s spoils and asses Libya’s funding needs. A country without debt to be plunged into paying a loan for the rest of the lives, grandchildren’s lives and well into the future.
So, has Libya truly been liberated? Or have they just exchanged one dictator for a group of dictators?