19 SA men stranded in Libya

2011-10-24 09:23
Johannesburg - The fate of 19 South Africans stranded in Libya is uncertain after some were apparently killed and injured in the chaos surrounding the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

Desperate attempts were made over the weekend to find a pilot prepared to fetch the men in Libya.

Some of the men were believed to have been involved in attempting to help Gaddafi and his confidantes escape when Nato planes attacked their convoy. Gaddafi died shortly afterwards.

Nothing illegal

A logistical co-ordinator, who is now trying to fly the men out of Libya, gave assurances that these men were not involved in anything illegal. He said they were contracted by Nato, and that Nato and the UN would pay for the flight.

On Sunday, some of the flight operators said they refused to get involved, partly because of the flight ban still in existence in Libya.

A local security company, which mainly finds work for former policemen overseas, apparently has links with the men.

According to the co-ordinator, the men had been contracted by Nato over the past few weeks for certain tasks in Libya.

He also said he was unaware of the allegations that the men were involved in Gaddafi’s escape attempt. According to him, some of the men in the group of 50, for whom he was seeking a flight, were injured in the “execution of their duties” but had been “stabilised”.

They just wanted to come back to South Africa. One man, referred to simply as “Jaco” was in charge of the group and the planned evacuation was being organised from Cape Town.

Gaddafi convoy

Rapport reported on Sunday that a group of 19 South Africans scattered when Gaddafi’s convoy came under fire.

Danie Odendaal, referred to as a “spy”, said from a hospital (presumably in Libya) that the men had arrived in the country last Tuesday to take Gaddafi to Niger. They also met Gaddafi.

Some of the rebel forces who attacked the convoy apparently helped the South Africans get away. Odendaal said during the attack Gaddafi “screamed like a pig”.

Albie Laubscher, acting head of consular services at the department of international relations and co-operation, said on Sunday that his department had no knowledge of any South Africans’ involvement in Libya. The department had also not been approached to help with a medical evacuation.

Nato spokesperson Damien Arnand had not responded to a written enquiry by late on Sunday.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    nato  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  espionage  |  north africa  |  uprisings

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.