The Presidential Years

Madiba gets out of an elevator [must be Cape Town judging by some of the journalists in vision later and asking questions and his reference to the Cape Argus

Greets various people (not in vision)

MANDELA: Well unfortunately I’m in such a hurry because I’m rushing for an appointment in Johannesburg. As far as the question of the judgment in The Hague, I hope you’ll understand that this is a very sensitive issue. I held discussions with Prime Minister Major of Britain and President, firstly President George Bush Senior, negotiating about the delivery of the suspects – a problem which took eight years before we could resolve it and after we had got certain guarantees, one of the most important, that if Libya delivered the suspects the sanctions would be lifted, not suspended, lifted. And we eventually persuaded, succeeded in persuading President Gadaffi to deliver the suspects and we expected, therefore that the west would honour its undertaking. Unfortunately that was not done because they merely suspended. Now we also agreed that if the suspects are convicted they will be put in a jail which is controlled not just only by Scotland, by the United Nations as well and that they will not be visited by anybody without the express consent of the Libyan government. And I hope that the west is going to honour that undertaking. Now I see in some of the media that already there is a feeling that the west is shifting its goal posts because those sanctions, they made it clear, that they [were] intended to get Libya to deliver those suspects. They delivered the suspects but nevertheless some countries are saying we are not going to suspend sanctions. That is moving the goal posts. When the head state of a country makes a statement on international affairs we expect their successors to honour those agreements. Because once those agreements are not honoured, are dishonored you are introducing chaos in international affairs. I trust President Gadaffi without reservations. I have been dealing with him when I came out of jail, from the time I came out of jail in 1990. Our organisations have been dealing with him whilst I was in jail. He has trained many people where he was condemned by the west as training terrorists. Those so-called terrorists are now heads of state and the west is now dealing with them. They have forgotten that they regarded these people as terrorists. But they still conduct this vicious campaign against President Gadaffi that is complete, totally unacceptable. We do expect, especially the west, to lead in moral responsibility and not to shift goal posts. They must remember that Gadaffi is a head of state and he cannot be charged by anybody, criminally. And so that is the position and I wouldn’t like to go into details because I want to have discussions with President George Bush and with Premier Tony Blair. And Prime Minister Tony Blair has been very good in helping me to get a settlement as well as President Clinton. I sincerely hope that George Bush, whose father I admire a great deal, I hope that he will act like his father because his father was a man of integrity and if he made a statement to me I knew that he would uphold it.

Q: How soon could one expect such a meeting to take place?

MANDELA: Well I have to study the judgment of the court first and we have asked for it because it is not proper to start discussions with heads of state and heads of government without me seeing the judgement of the court. So I’m going to, we have ordered that what-you-call, that record of court. And I’m meeting today the Libyan Ambassador Al Zubeidi

Q: Have you spoken with President Gadaffi since this judgment?

MANDELA: I spoke to him, yesterday, I spoke to him yesterday

Q: What is his feeling on the judgement?

MANDELA: No no no, let’s not go into the matter. I think that it would not be wise for us to go into details. I want to express my own views. But I can only express my views when I see the judgment.

Q: Just to make it absolutely clear, you want all sanctions lifted [Ben McClelland]

MANDELA: Oh yes

Q: Not just suspended, which they are at the moment, you want them lifted

MANDELA: Absolutely they must be lifted

Q: Can you comment on the fact that families are asking for compensation from the Libyan government? [Alvin Andrews]

MANDELA: Let me see the judgment first. I read today in the Cape Argus that President Gadaffi has indicated that he will pay compensation to the relatives of the victims. I do not know how far accurate that is but I’ll be briefed tonight by Mr Al Zubeidi, the Libyan Ambassador in Pretoria. [SMILES] Good. Thank you

clip #01 - 55158MT 01/02/2001 - ncf about Libya; Cape Town, 01/02/2001 - Duration: 1:19:58

Original Source

SABC Information Library, Johannesburg.