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20 June 2002
NEPAD Again... 

...Gaddafi is the masterplan.

Thabo Mbeki went to visit his old pal Muammar. Very important visit this as Thabo needs some more African support for NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) and Gaddafi is by far the richest in the region. So it is logical that this man can provide the bulk of the finance required to get this show on the road.  

Gaddafi had his own viewpoints which he could not keep in anymore and blasted away at Thabo's welcoming reception. He warned that the Western world should watch out and think again if they were planning on taking African countries for a ride with NEPAD. He said that this plan falls right into the lap of "former colonisers and racists", and that Africa will not be "tricked easily" by Western powers. Not very nice considering Mbeki will try and drum up support from the Western world to the tune of $64-billion later this month with the G8 summit in Canada. 

Gaddafi has been good to Africa though, helping Mugabe and donating large sums of money to Chad, Sudan and Madagascar. Gadaffi however does not have a very good record as far as terrorism and human rights are concerned. His 33 year military rule does not comply with the basics of NEPAD which is good governance, sound economics and adherence to democratic systems. As a matter of fact, the whole NEPAD idea was his! 

And to make things a bit sweet for Mbeki (and a push to be the first chairman), a luxury armoured German vehicle will be shipped back to South Africa as a present to Mbeki. Who says all African countries don't operate the same? 

To get things started Libya is already in talks with the South African arms industry. This in spite of a United Nations embargo on arms supply to Gaddafi. As Gaddafi said "Africa is a giant which has woken up and broken it's shackles...If they they want to try their luck with the giant, let it be so.." Watch the world sit up and take notice! 

Back to the arms - Libya needs to upgrade it's old Mirage fighters, acquire new fighters and replace it's military helicopters. Then there is still radar, communication and electronic warfare equipment. I say this with pride; we all know how good the South African systems are. Proven in battle and pure South African! All this will have to be handled very carefully though considering the UN embargo. And while all this will take some time to materialise, the Transport Minister signed an agreement for flights to begin operating between the two countries.  

Now there's a frightening prospect. Before we know it the rumors of Bin Laden hiding in Durban somewhere might just come true! 

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