The Central Bank of eSwatini denied holding money from a former president of South Africa following reports that Jacob Zuma had stashed the late Muammar Gaddafi’s money in that country.
“The Central Bank of eSwatini wishes to inform the nation and the international community that it is not holding and has never held money from a former president of the Republic of South Africa as it has been alleged in recent media reports locally and abroad.
“By law, and indeed in practice, the bank only holds money for the eSwatini Government and locally licensed commercial banks.
“The Central Bank of eSwatini would like to apologise to His Majesty the King Mswati III, Her Majesty Indlovukazi, the entire Swazi nation at large and anyone adversely affected by these false allegations.”
The statement was signed by Majozi Sithole, governor of the Central Bank of eSwatini.
The Sunday Times reported last week that Gaddafi, the late Libyan leader, gave Zuma an estimated $30m for safekeeping before Gaddafi was killed in 2011.
The money was reportedly secretly moved to eSwatini earlier this year from Zuma’s Nkandla residence, where it had been ostensibly hidden.
King Mswati III reportedly confirmed the existence of the money to President Cyril Ramaphosa during a meeting at OR Tambo International Airport.
According to the Sunday Times’ sources, Zuma travelled to Libya in 2011 with then intelligence minister Siyabonga Cwele, where the delegation offered the Libyan leader safe passage to SA as rebel forces closed in.
Libyan military authorities had reportedly asked Ramaphosa to help recover the estimated R442m which belonged to Gaddafi and which was believed to be in eSwatini.
Zuma took to Twitter and posted that he knew nothing about the money.
“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?
On Friday Cwele was attending a bilateral meeting at the Oshoek border post with eSwatini with his counterpart, Princess Lindiwe Dlamini, according to Government Communication and Information Services.
They were scheduled to discuss managing migration and strengthening diplomatic co-operation.
Ramaphosa visited eSwatini for bilateral talks on March 3.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu called the claims “ghost stories” and the DA has called on the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate the reports.