News24

Anton Hammerl 'was shot in Libyan desert'

2011-05-20 06:52

Pretoria - South African photographer Anton Hammerl was shot in the Libyan desert and is believed to have died from his injuries, the Hammerl family said on Friday.

A statement released by the Hammerl family on Facebook said that they had been informed on Thursday night that Hammerl had been shot on April 5.

"On 5 April 2011 Anton was shot by (Muammar) Gadaffi's forces in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert. According to eyewitnesses, his injuries were such that he could not have survived without medical attention.

"Words are simply not enough to describe the unbelievable trauma the Hammerl family is going through," the statement read.

"From the moment Anton disappeared in Libya we have lived in hope as the Libyan officials assured us that they had Anton. It is intolerably cruel that Gadaffi loyalists have known Anton's fate all along and chose to cover it up."

Hammerl, who used to work for the Star newspaper, was initially reported to have been captured by militia loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi near the town of Brega on April 5.

Shot in the stomach


Hammerl's wife Penny Sukraj was told by American journalists Clare Morgana Gillis and James Foley of the shooting.

The pair had been released from Libyan custody and spoke to her from Tunisia on Thursday night.

They were with Hammerl when they came under fire in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert near the town of Brega.

Hammerl was apparently shot in the stomach, according to family friend Bronwyn Friedlander.

Friedlander said it was believed his injuries were such that there was no hope of survival without immediate medical attention.

She said the assurances of Hammerl's capture in Libya apparently given to the South African and Austrian governments were "incredibly cruel".

GlobalPost.com reported that Hammerl had gone with Gillis, Foley and Spanish photographer Manu Brabo with the intention of spending a night with the rebels at a camp east of Brega.

Foley told GlobalPost.com the four had exited their car and that before they could get back into their car the rebels had done an about turn and fled approaching Gaddafi forces leaving them behind.

He said that Hammerl was closest to the fighting and that bullets were hitting the ground around the four. He said that when he asked Hammerl if he was okay, “No” was the only answer he received.

He said that after the third barrage of shots Hammerl's cries had ceased.

Limp body seen lying in the sand

The journalists surrendered to the rebels and the three were tied up and thrown into the back of a bakkie.

Foley saw Hammerl's limp body lying in the sand. He said Hammerl was shot in the abdomen and was bleeding severely.

While in captivity, Foley said the three journalists wrestled with how to communicate the news of Hammerl's death to his family.

"We knew collectively that if we spoke about Hammerl's death while we were detained, then we would be in greater danger ourselves. But now that we're free, it's our moral imperative to tell the story of this great journalist and father," he was quoted as saying.

National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the news of Hammerl's death was a shock.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with Anton's family, friends and colleagues. We are told he was shot on April 5. Why did it take so long to confirm his death?

"Anton will always be remembered as an outstanding photographer and a good human being. The news is devastating.

"To the Hammerl family, please accept the condolences of the entire media fraternity."

Govt statements

Last week the Star quoted International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane as saying that the South African government had proof that he was alive.

However, on Wednesday International Relations and Co-operation spokesperson Clayson Monyela denied the report saying; "That issue of the minister's quote was not captured correctly."

Monyela could not be immediately reached on Friday for comment following news of Hammerl's death.

Last month, well known photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed after coming under fire in the besieged Libyan town of Misrata.

Comments
  • Siener2 - 2011-05-20 07:04

    Deepest sympathy to his wife and family. As a society we cannot be informed and free, if it were not for these incredibly brave journalists like Anton.

      saabnut - 2011-05-20 07:47

      My heartfelt condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

  • Rob Gunning - 2011-05-20 07:11

    Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is about as bright as the dark side of the moon.

      PB - 2011-05-20 08:05

      Typical ANC Government - DENY, DENY, DENY and when caught in the lie, claim to be misquoted. Deepest sympathy to everyone who was touched by his life.

      DeepSouth - 2011-05-20 08:37

      Which is brighter then Matite Nkoana-Mashabane :)

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-05-20 09:43

      I think it is truly pathetic how our government keeps on handling things like this. This leaves me with new feelings of disgust for "our" SA government. Ministers that have absolutely no idea what they are doing. HUMAN LIVES ARE AT STAKE, IT'S NOT ALL A POLITICAL GET-RICH QUICK GAME!! My sympathies to the Hammer family...

  • Mikus - 2011-05-20 07:11

    Loss of productive life is sadness itself but then working in a war zone does come with deadly challenges. At least the family can take some small comfort in that Mr. Hammerl got to soar with the eagles rather than scratch around with the chickens for eternity. I salute your courage and focus, RIP

  • IandI - 2011-05-20 07:11

    So when Pres. Zuma went to meet his mad brother leader and ANC benefactor Gaddafi, he did not raise the Hammerl issue due to "diplomatic protocol"? And we were told he is still alive. Someone has blood on their hands!!

      truerealist - 2011-05-20 07:49

      I must agree. Poor family when something could have been done by Mr Zuma. If we allow dictatorships to take control of Africa this is what happens to those who want the truth to be know.

      PikeLee - 2011-05-20 09:06

      Yes landl. It is a sad day when the govt shows that it does not prioritize it's citizens over red tape and foreign policy. Like most civilized countries might I add. Condolences to his family, may he rest in peace.

      Charlie - 2011-05-20 10:02

      I could not agree with you more Landl, perhaps Anton knew a thing or two that JZ did not want everyone else to know.....? This ANC is more corrupt and evil than any of us can comprehend!

  • Suraya - 2011-05-20 07:19

    deepest condolences to the family, this is seriously a terrible thing to have to endure. God Speed

  • Bloodbane - 2011-05-20 07:23

    this is what happens when you let idiots run a country. They should have demanded proof of life and JZ should have made sure where Hammerl was when he met with Gaddafi. But typical of this stupid criminal goverment thye did nothing right! R.I.P Anton

      Sifiso - 2011-05-20 09:35

      The article says he was shot when the rebels they were with abandoned them. How do you get proof of life of someone who's already dead?

      Bloodbane - 2011-05-20 11:51

      @Sifiso - I said our goverment should have demanded proof of life when they where told he was still alive.... dont think I need to spell everything out to people as I beleive if you are on this site you have at least a basic grasp of logic and at least double figures IQ.... seems I was wrong and I'll try explain things in detail in future.

      Sizwe - 2011-05-20 23:08

      @Bloodbane. Seems like the pot is calling the kettle black hey? If you had the double digit IQ you cry about you would realise it would have changed nothing in the outcome. Diplomatic protocol is nothing like a neighbourly chat, but rather a structured form of communication based at state level and not a dinner table topic!

  • Marcell - 2011-05-20 07:25

    The SA government doeas not care. For them it is one less journo to worry about.

  • Ranger_Bob - 2011-05-20 07:28

    My deepest sympathy to the family. It just proves how useless politicians are when it comes to international relations. They have no force anymore to get accurate information, as well as the despicable lies of the Libyan officials. I hope this goes to the International Criminal Court.

      capetonian - 2011-05-20 09:03

      What do you expect with JZ and his crowd! Look at Zimbabwe - we still live in the "liberation" era when it comes to dealing with mad Bob. And we have thousands of his citizens here because of how he deals with the opposition there!

      JM - 2011-05-20 11:58

      @Capeto... make that millions!

  • george - 2011-05-20 07:32

    Jacob Zuma never sent any journalist to an extremely volatile war zone. It is time anyone of us take full responsibility for our actions. while we sympathise with his family, it is disingenous to try and blame Zuma for the journalist fate. Thousands of innocent people have died in libya at the Gaddaffi and the rebels. Any journalist that ventures deep into the war zone should never expect roses.

      Eish! - 2011-05-20 07:59

      georgie boy, while we can't blame zuma for Hammerl's shooting, we CAN DEFINITELY blame him for the way he handled the issue afterwards - specially once he was with Gaddafi anyway.

      HCrouse - 2011-05-20 08:01

      No one is blaming Zuma for the fate of Hammerl. The issue of why he would not address the issue of a missing SA journalist when in Libya is rightfully speculated upon.

      PB - 2011-05-20 08:16

      No roses expected - only honesty. The ANC government LIED. The fact that Zuma and that filthy Gaddaffi is such good chommies, one would have at least expected a little bit of information.

      AllHoliday - 2011-05-20 08:17

      My sympathy to the family. @ George, you can either not read or are just plain stupid. No one blames Zuma for what happenned to Anton. They sure blame him for not doing anything to find out what happened to Anton, as he used our tax money to go there, surely the least he could do was to enquire about Anton ( a sitizen of South Africa)and not hide behind 'diplomatic reasons'. You would sing a different song if it was one of your family members.

      KD - 2011-05-20 08:45

      While I think it is sad and tragic, I have to agree with George. Its a high-risk profession. You can't go sticking your nose into war zones, without accepting the very real possibility that you may not make it out. In terms of the government mismanaging the issue - surely the government has more than enough on its plate, and plenty citizens to look after right here. Is it really the government's responsibility to rescue someone who has very knowingly put themselves in danger in a foreign country?

      capetonian - 2011-05-20 08:57

      How could we not expect JZ to accept "Brother" Gaddafi's word on the matter! After all, wasn't Gaddafi a financial backer of the ANC? If it wasn't for people like Hammerl, we would never know the true extent of the callous indifference of psychopaths, like Gaddafi and the other totalitarian rulers in Africa and the Middle East, to the killing of their citizens. Now where are all the critics of the USA and its allies when they were fighting in Iraq and killing "thousands" of innocent bystanders there, according to them!! People like Robert Fisk who has a special dislike for the USA!

      Kristi10 - 2011-05-20 09:21

      George they lied when they said that they know where he is and that he is safe. JZ did not send you are correct but why lie about his safety and proof of life.

      Charlie - 2011-05-20 10:20

      @KD, if it wasn't for brave hero's like Anton we would not know what is going on in dangerous places like Libya. And yes, Government have loads on their plates at the moment, with DAMAGE CONTROL and trying to cover up all their lies, corruption, fraud, laziness etc.... the list goes on. I think it is extremely insulting to journalists and photographers all over the world who risk their lives to bring us news, the way you are downplaying their chosen profession. SHAME ON YOU!!

      george - 2011-05-20 11:15

      It is like knowingly sleeping with an HIV positive person then after that take a shower and when you develop full blown AIDS blame the government for not providing you with pills given your heroic and brave yet stupid deeds of knowingly venturing into dangerous places voluntarily. Anton was a soldier whom we all respect, yet his latest assignment was just suicidal and dangerous. I admire him compared to our local keyboard stationary journalist warriors who work from their IPADS in some fancy restaurants. At the same time we cannot blame anyone for his death because as adults we are fully responsible for our actions. Zuma voted for the bombardment of Libya at the UN, do you think that Gaddafi still trusts him fully.

      KD - 2011-05-20 11:21

      @ charlie. If you honestly believe journalists and photographers 'risk their lives' purely for the good of the public, you're extremely naive. They also do it for the awards, the fame and the glory. They know exactly what the risks are and take them willingly. Also I am entitled to my opinion, and never for one second didn't say I thought it was sad and tragic. So in a nutshell, I think you are exceptionally rude, and quite frankly - shame on YOU.

  • DaveD - 2011-05-20 07:41

    Very sad news indeed. I worked with Anton on a story in 2005. He was an awesome guy, a real gentleman. May he rest in peace. Sympathy to his family

  • RoyoF - 2011-05-20 07:44

    Farewell good talent ,goodnight wild man of art and things off the wall .Your life brought inspiring goodness to this world and we hope it will to the next .Death in the dry desert is not like drinking sweet tea . sympathys and respects to family and wife .

  • ShakaN - 2011-05-20 07:45

    We all know there is a civil war happening there, we all know there are human rights violations, that is why NATO and the UN are there. What was he doing there, when you get in between angry people firing rifles you are bound to get shot and killed. He should of stayed here and photographed people murdered on farms or victims of crime or pot holes and let the world know about SA and its violence. To bad.

      nws - 2011-05-20 07:56

      unfortunately when you are a reporter you don t say where your going you go with the story my condolences to the family and friends my he rest in peace

      PB - 2011-05-20 08:25

      ShakaN, you seem to have the typical blinkered attitude that corrupt governments rely on. These reporters and photographers venture into those war zones to report what realy is taking place, the Mad Idiots, like Gaddaffi, Moegoegabe, and all the other (mostly corrupt "leaders" in Africa) who kill and destroy their own countrymen to stay in power and wealth while the rest die of hunger. Do you think NATO etc. would really get up and intervene before the rest of the world make a scene about it?

      docadrian - 2011-05-21 02:36

      Screw you dude - where do you think the news comes from - cartoon network?

  • Crabapple1 - 2011-05-20 07:49

    Deepest condolences to the family on going through such a trauma.

  • PB - 2011-05-20 08:03

    "That issue of the minister's quote was not captured correctly." Why are we not surprised - WHEN CAUGHT IN A LIE, THE ANC ALWAYS HAVE THE SAME DEFENCE - DENY, DENY, DENY, DENY AND CLAIM TO HAVE BEEN MISQUOTED. A&&HOLES!!!!! Deepest sympathy to everyone who was ever touched by his life.

      zulufox - 2011-05-20 10:02

      you are an a55hole...

  • GT - 2011-05-20 08:08

    A sad end to top South African.

  • Village Belle - 2011-05-20 08:17

    In as much as we love the news...it has to stop somewhere, how much more of these 'journalists' do we have to sacrifice all in the name of NEWS???No man!

  • Nawe - 2011-05-20 08:25

    Whites pls stop blaming the ANC for Anton's Death. The Gov didn't sent him to Libya, fact is the man went there out of his own volition. The Country is very sadened by the news of his passing but i think it's very opportunistic to blame either the President or minister of relations. Anton RIP! & the country salutes you, both black & white! Soldier down!

      Allyhoo - 2011-05-20 08:38

      Possibly not reading the replies but just skim-reading, are you? NO-ONE is blaming the ANC, Zuma, the Government nor the Country or the little pink apples for Anton's death.. what we are saying is that Zuma had every opportunity to find out exactly what the situation was with Anton and as some one mentioned earlier, DEMAND "proof of life" from Gaddafi and inform the family accordingly... THAT is what we are blaiming him for... Failing to do his duties as our President, yet again.....

      KD - 2011-05-20 08:47

      Allyhoo, with all due respect, why is it the President's job to do so? He didn't send him to Libya? Is it the government's job to go chasing down every citizen who knowingly puts themselves in danger?

      chf - 2011-05-20 09:03

      @NAWE; WE DO NOT BLAME ZUMA FOR HIS DEATH, WE ARE AWARE THAT HE WAS IN A WAR ZONE! WE BLAME THEM FOR WITHHOLDING VITAL INFORMATION FROM THE FAMILY! No one as mentioned skin colour until you.

      Bloodbane - 2011-05-20 09:14

      @Nawe not blaming the ANC for his death, blaming ANC for incmpetant handling of the situation. any other country would have demanded proof of life.... they just assumed. Mister idoit of note JZ went and spoke to gadafi and didnt try get infomration out of him or demand Anton safe return... granted he was dead by them but at least they could have found out earlier and saved the family from this agonising wait and false hope.... it is a signed of crappy goverment where idiots are hired!

      Allyhoo - 2011-05-20 09:18

      Yes, KD, to a certain extent I do think it is his job to do so. Of course he did not send him to Libya and I do not expect it of anyone to "chase down every citizen who knowingly puts themselves in danger" (because then there would, sadly, be alot of chasing going on on our own streets), however, if we cannot rely on our own president to man-up and demand answers when he had the perfect opportunity to do so and very possibly put another family out of their misery, then who can we rely on? Instead he decided to go with "diplomatic protocol". This entire saga could have ended ages ago, but here we sit, mourning Anton's death nearly a month and a half too late..?

      Nawe - 2011-05-20 09:32

      Guys all you replies are stupid! Must the President invest time & energy looking for Anton Whilst Zille is winning wards? julle is mal! It's the country duty to help citizens in their time of need abroad or on the continent, but we all know Anton's disapperence came at a difficult time in the country. What did u guys expect the minister of int relations to do? Personally go & look for Anton? What proof do u guys have that JZ didn't enquire about Anton? Jz is not your personal slave! Afterall you guys voted D.A but want to exhaust Gov resources to help more D.A voters. TSEK! Why didn't u guys send Hellen to go?

      KD - 2011-05-20 10:07

      I do see your point Allyhoo. Either way, its just incredibly sad for his family.

      Catarina - 2011-05-20 10:33

      KD and Nawe, with all due respect guys, either you don't read, don't think about what you read or you are stupid as stupid can be... Quoting: "Must the President invest time & energy looking for Anton Whilst Zille is winning wards"... Well Anton was a fellow South African citizen, the President of a country is responsible for us all fellow citizens. He was in Lybia, working, playing a very important role in the world... Showing the truth about war... He is so much more than any of you will ever be. When you stop staring at the cotton is your belly button maybe you realise there's a world outside your stomach. The President was in Lybia spendin taxes money, he had the duty of looking after the truth. Go check the Constitution and you'll see what the President's Duties are... It's moronic how you guys always find excuses for the kak work and the corruption and the misdelivery... Come on is time to wake up....

      Allyhoo - 2011-05-20 10:58

      Nawe - it is taking all that I am NOT to stoop to your level right now... Every single thing that you just said points at complete and utter stupidity, ignorance and paranoia. Firstly, like I always say, please do not "ass"ume or generalise. You do not know me and you never will..Let me ask you just one thing, had it been a family member of yours, or a close friend or anyone remotely related/known to you, would you not have expected that SOMEONE, ANYONE, even Ms Zille herself if she was able, to find out exactly what was happening, whether that missing person was alive or not, irrespective of what else was happening in the country. I personally believe that had Ms Zille been in a position to garner this kind of information from Gaddafi or anyone else, she would have moved heaven and earth to get to the truth... and if she had lost a few "wards" along the way, so be it. I fail to understand how anyone could value "a few extra wards" over a human life. Ok, I am now done with you, because every time I read what you have written you remind me how far we are from where we should be post 1994. It's days like these and people like you that make me truly wish with all my heart that Mandela was still our president.

      KD - 2011-05-20 11:28

      @ Catarina, if the only way you know how to address people is by being infantile and insulting, you should redirect the epithet 'stupid' at yourself. Perhaps at the same time, learn to spell. I have never heard of a place called Lybia myself. Either way, journalists who enter war zones know exactly what the risks are, and take them willingly. Also, do not insult me by lumping my opinions with Nawe's. I am certainly not making excuses for our government, merely saying that Anton knew what the risks were, and I do not believe the government should be responsible for citizens who willingly put themselves in harms way chasing after a story. All in all, in terms of your illiterate and ill-considered comment, 'all due respect' is absolutely none.

      Bloodbane - 2011-05-20 11:53

      @Nawe - F off out of my country... you dont deserve to be here and idiots like you are a waste of time.

  • tut - 2011-05-20 08:26

    Deepest sympathies to the Hammerl family. Have to say however the ANC Government's handling of this has been anything but sensitive and begs the question as to deliverate lying? dishonesty? I hope its not ironic that confirmation of his death simultaneous with elections being over?? Mr. Zuma your old terrorist friend Gadaffi has murderd one of your own Citizens. You must be feeling guilty Mr. President...or not.

  • WhoopyDo - 2011-05-20 08:27

    Those who question Anton being in Libya. Well it was his job. That is what he did for a living and he was proud. Bringing news to the world. He did his job just as proudly as the ANC do theirs. Corruption, denial etc etc. The too do it proudly! And for those that voted them to power again, I have NO sympathy for you anylonger! You made your bed, sleep in it!!!!

      KD - 2011-05-20 08:49

      And its great that he decided to pursue that career and was so successful at it. However, I am also quite sure that he understood the risks.

  • Zee - 2011-05-20 08:30

    Terrible news - two young kids are now without a father :( Strength and condolences to the Hammerl family. Rest in peace Anton.

  • reubsa - 2011-05-20 08:31

    what was idiot going to do on war zone anyway tough sheet

      Kristi10 - 2011-05-20 09:22

      TROL

      docadrian - 2011-05-21 02:39

      Well if I have to explain it....you probably won't understand anyway...

  • enstin - 2011-05-20 08:33

    ...our government is messed up, take US for an example, they will fight for their people ans that ismaking them a great nation...

      jobiscuit - 2011-05-20 09:26

      USA is certainly not a great Nation!!! all they do is promote 'the lifestyle' which very few can achieve. We should start fighting here first to get OUR country back on track

  • mariette.adams - 2011-05-20 08:37

    Trust our government to say that they were misquoted, after being caught in their lies!!!!!!!!!!!!! My deepest condolences to Anton Hammerl wife and kids and extended family!!!

      Nawe - 2011-05-20 09:49

      @ Mariette Watlanya!jy is mal! Should the minister go there herself to proof that he's alive? The gov only relayed info as they got it! Stop blaming the ANC Gov to Eish they didn't do! WE're all sad about the passing of Anton. But nothing is the government's fault. Finish & klaar

  • Wayne - 2011-05-20 08:38

    And to think Zuma is a close friend to Gadaffi...just sickening

  • enstin - 2011-05-20 08:41

    ...our government is messed up, take US for an example, they will fight for their people and thats making them a strong nation, i just feel that our officials should have acted in this situation...

  • david vigilant - 2011-05-20 08:41

    "The journalists surrendered to the rebels and the three were tied up and thrown into the back of a bakkie." Did they surrender to the rebels or to government forces? As per the NY Times: Then, Qaddafi loyalists captured Ms. Gillis and Mr. Foley. Correct your article!!! That kind of error is inexcusable.

      Ranger_Bob - 2011-05-20 09:02

      Yeah, those numbers are the talking point. 3 surrendered and 2 are still alive...

      docadrian - 2011-05-21 02:40

      Yeah - also spotted that?? Didn't make sense.

  • MacDaKnife - 2011-05-20 08:42

    My heart goes out to his wife and family, all the wait and promise that Anton was safe. Did our SA authorities did enough investigation. Condolences to the family.

  • YES - 2011-05-20 08:44

    I dont understand the hysteria from some sections of the South African society. The man died on a course of duty and wherever he is, he understands that. It apperas from the report that he was hit by a stray bullet as there is no one to blame for his death. We have our own boys in blue who constantly come under heavy fire from thugs as no such outcry has ever been so recorded. The man's family, so are his colleagues and employers understook that the assignment was risky and that he might not emerge alive from it. It is not as if his family was not prepared for the calamity. If indeed it is as hysteria suggests, then the family is to blame for not dessuading the man from taking the assignment. We had Oosterhysen who worked for the Star and was also killed (most probably from a white bullet) during his line of duty but it did not raise any eyebrow from racist section of our society.

      Zara - 2011-05-20 09:03

      It is thanks to people like this that put there lives at risk that we get to hear the true story of what is going on in the world. The fact that they then covered up the truth and kept the family in hope was cruel and unnecessary. Zuma is at fault because he could have asked questions that could have made the matter a priority to his "friend" Gadaffi, and the family would have been informed of the situation much earlier. RIP Anton and thank you!

      Ranger_Bob - 2011-05-20 09:06

      There is a reason to read the articles and not think in terms of race. The racists in the society are those who blame race for things when they don't like the argument presented. Simply put (and read the reports), 3 people surrendered, but only 2 are still alive and our international relations department did nothing. The same has happened on how many other occasions where South Africans are in peril and other than picking up the phone to say hello, the govt officials do very little to get those people home safely to their loved ones. That is the point of all of this, not a black vs white argument. It also doesn't matter that is was a stray bullet as journalists in warzones are not permitted in a warzone without visual identifiers as per conventions. (usually a yellow observers jacket.)

      BLACKMAMBA - 2011-05-20 13:08

      @zara how the fhuck do u know zuma never enquired about anton.

      docadrian - 2011-05-21 02:41

      @BLACKMAMBA How do YOU know if he did or didn't?

  • thuthukag - 2011-05-20 08:55

    A man was reported dead after winning a ward in KZN yesterday, and all kinds of insensitive comments followed the article like he was some kind of wild animal, like he had no family in pain over his death. Funny how this shifts the moment its a white guy. What is wrong with my countrymen? RIP Anton. My sincere condolences to his family on the loss of a father, a son, and husband. I pray you find strength in this difficult time, whatever your faith. South Africans, please can everyone do a bit of introspection. I was disgusted at the comments I saw yesterday. On the issue of government intervention, read up again and you'll discover that the delegates who were returned to SA when things were fast deteriorating in Libya were sent back specifically to aid Anton's Family's cause. Not much can be done in a country where diplomatic relations have broken down entirely. I think that blaming government for this one is a bit far fetched. H Zille herself couldn't have done much else herself if she was at the helm. Please guys, stop it now.

      4_Land_Grabs - 2011-05-20 09:17

      I applaud your clear thinking!!!

  • myancmyfutur - 2011-05-20 09:07

    Deepest condolences to the family but we all need to remember that South Africa voted for the so called No fly zone" in the U N which led to the attack on Libya by the NATO forces. This surely did create hostility on our diplomatic ties with Libya secondly anyone who enters a zone should expect anything.

  • 4_Land_Grabs - 2011-05-20 09:12

    Sad for your loss. Anton could have chosen to stay home, but he was prepared to risk his life for his passion. But the SA governemnt had nothing to do with his killing.Get it right Idiots!!

  • Claire - 2011-05-20 09:13

    There is a mistake in your copy: surely the journos didn't surrender to the rebels, but rather gave themselves over to the Libyan forces. Which is correct?

  • Kristi10 - 2011-05-20 09:18

    Deepest condolences to his wife, parents, kids and friens. Why did the goverment lie to us? Why prolong the trauma for the family? This is at least one thing they should have been honest about!

  • Lindy - 2011-05-20 09:19

    I am deeply saddened by the news of Anton's passing. My sincerest condolences to Anton's wife, children, family and friends. I am at the same time angry and disappointed in our government for ignoring this issue to a large extend. I don't know how the SA government could keep on assuring this family knowing something must've happened to Anton. Rest in Peace Anton.

      Linda - 2011-05-20 11:42

      I think you should sit down. Zuma, his government and the minister did not send Anton to Libya. He made that choice. Secondly, Anton migrated to Australia a couple of years ago...his will. Why blame the government of SA? They were relying on information they received from the rebels/Libya. Fall back.

  • Austin Bene - 2011-05-20 09:21

    If one understands the nature of war, there's little Pres Zuma/Gaddafi could do to ascertain the whereabouts, let alone release of Hammerl ( MHSRIP).How long did it take the West to get Gaddafi to give up the Lockerbie bomber? Even Madiba couldn't get Gaddafi to do so! I believe, as the other journalists testify, events happened so fast, as they do in battle that there's no-one who would have been able to send word to the front about releasing Hammerl or not. I get from the story that the Libyan army didn't set out to kill Hammerl, but rather that he was sadly killed in cross-fire between the rebels & the army. & turns out that the other 3 were being held by the rebels. To Hammerl & his family & the journalistic fraternity, may his soul rest in peace.

  • reubsa - 2011-05-20 09:22

    why do we always jump into blaming other people when sometithng bad happens to someone. this guy went to the war zone by his choice no one did hold a gun to his head to force him to go to these dangerous areas, so please stop blaming the minister for this.

      Crabapple1 - 2011-05-20 09:27

      Oh just go and play on the train tracks or crawl back into the hole you were spawned in, you useless moron.

      Brett Scheepers - 2011-05-20 09:47

      No one is blaming the dumb farking Minister for his death,if she had done what tax payers pay her to do,then Antons family would have had closure weeks ago.She told the press last week that she had proof that he was still alive.From Zuma all the way down they are a bunch of liars :(

      Janine - 2011-05-20 10:34

      We're not blaming the minister for sending him into a war zone but rather for lying about what had happened to him.

  • vandermerwe.martin - 2011-05-20 09:28

    The entire Africa is the same,,,,,murderers and liers....

  • willieman - 2011-05-20 09:42

    Anton paid the ultimate prize,because our goverment voted for no fly zone in Libya. SA should stop ties with dictators in the continent,stuff diplomacy

  • Sho Fukamachi - 2011-05-20 09:42

    I think Zuma should personally apologize for this, and then take a gun to his own head and pull the trigger.

  • jennivh - 2011-05-20 10:07

    This is very sad news indeed. My deepest sympathies to his family - what a shock this has been for you all. A brave man, to go out on the frontlines to try to get the truth of what is happening back to us.

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-05-20 10:16

    My condolences to the family of this brave man. This is the sad reality of being a war correspondent. Its not clear who actually shot him though? Was it the rebels or the Gaddafi's thugs?

  • Nats - 2011-05-20 10:23

    Deepest condolences to this brave journalist's family.

  • Linda - 2011-05-20 11:32

    My deepest condolences to Anton's family. I knew him back at The Star...one of the most talented, dedicated photojournalists I know. May he be brough home to rest now.

      Perfume - 2011-05-20 19:01

      Hi Linda, which year did Anton work for The Star?

  • allen.muir - 2011-05-20 12:07

    Condolences to the family of anton hammerl,and to the anc goverment for handling the situation so poorly shame on you let down so many people its a disgrace that we have to put up with this! R.I.P ANTON

  • slindile.magubane - 2011-05-20 15:39

    Deepest condolonces to the family being following the story with hope that Anton will come back home safe and sound, may his work speak for him forever and the family may the find solace in God!!! deeply sad

  • Perfume - 2011-05-20 18:58

    Why was I under the impression he was alive, and would be released *sad face*, if this be true that he is dead, deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and friends.....tough road ahead :(

  • Mike - 2011-05-21 00:49

    It's so shockin 2 hear dis devastating news whereas we were told dat he is alive n with de impresion dat he is safe. Libyian government shud b held accountable 4 liasin in a deceptive manner with our officials. iromfantion.

  • James Weather - 2011-05-21 06:57

    R I P brother

  • adnaan.slamdien - 2011-05-23 08:09

    Condolences to his family and may Anton rest in peace

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