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South Africa Denies Sending Plane to Libya; Pledges Help

p>South Africa has denied sending a plane to allow embattled Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to leave Libya, as it pledges to make a contribution to the rebuilding of that country.

“The South African government would like to refute and dispel the rumours and claims that it has sent planes to Libya to fly Colonel Gaddafi and his family to an undisclosed location,” International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters.

She did confirm, however, that a plane was on stand-by in Tunisia to rescue South Africans and embassy staff trapped in the conflict-riddled Libya, BUA News reports.

South Africa has put forward its position on the troubling issue as news broke of rebels taking control of Tripoli.

The South African information service has quoted media reports indicating that an insurgent spokesperson had said the anti-Gaddafi forces now control over 95 percent of Tripoli, including the Libyan state radio building.

But Gaddafi, who had remained defiant, BUA News says, earlier had made two audio addresses over state television calling on Libyans to fight off the rebels.

The South African Government has said it will support the will of the people of Libya.

A Foreign Ministry statements reads that “with the imminent fall of the government of Colonel Gaddafi, we wish to urge the interim authority in Tripoli to immediately institute an all-inclusive inter-Libyan political dialogue aimed at building a truly representative and people-centred dispensation.”

President Jacob Zuma is part of the African Union special mission to end the conflict in Libya and has visited that country twice.

(Prensa Latina)