Shares in the Michelangelo Towers in Johannesburg are among the assets being discovered in South Africa that were acquired on a “commercial basis” by the Libyan government, according to a report in Bloomberg Business Week.
South Africa agreed to repatriate Libyan assets thought to include diamonds and gold worth more than $1 billion that slain former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stashed in the country, according to earlier reports.
Gadhafi ruled Libya for 40 years and was ousted in 2011 after eight months of fighting to overthrow him.
South Africa opposed Nato’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 during the rebel uprising against the Gadhafi regime.
The Michelangelo Towers website describes it as an African icon towering 469 feet above the Sandton skyline. Sandton is considered Africa’s richest square mile, home to business giants like the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, according to a report in Economic Times.
South Africa’s government will work with Libyan authorities to locate other assets, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in the Bloomberg Business Week report.
Libya wants overseas assets returned to help replenish its sovereign wealth fund. The Libyan Investment Authority’s value dropped from $61 billion in 2008 to about $57 billion, according to Mohsen Derregia, outgoing head of the fund, the report said.
South Africa is asking anyone with allegations of dubious investments made during Gadhafi’s reign to contact the United Nations and the Libyan government.