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South African Government Denies Sending Planes for Gadhafi

South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (File Photo)
South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (File Photo)

South Africa says it has not sent planes to Libya to help embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi flee the country.

In a statement Monday, the South African government said it wished to dispel rumors that South African aircraft will fly Colonel Gadhafi and his family to an undisclosed location.

Speaking to reporters, Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Gadhafi has not asked for asylum in South Africa, adding that she is sure he will not do so.

She said the Libyan leader's whereabouts are not known.

South African President Jacob Zuma led a failed African Union effort to mediate the conflict in Libya between Gadhafi's government and Western-backed rebels.

With Gadhafi appearing set to fall, South Africa said Monday it backs an AU roadmap that calls for a transitional Libyan government, the drafting of a new constitution, and Libya's first-ever democratic elections.

Heads of state who are part of the AU Contact Group on Libya plan to meet Thursday in Ethiopia's capital. The AU Peace and Security Council will meet there the following day.