Zuma camp mum on Hammerl’s remains after visit to Libya

2011-05-31 07:09

It was unclear this morning whether President Jacob Zuma managed to get information about the remains of photographer Anton Hammerl during his visit to Libya.

“We’ve heard nothing yet,” said photographer Shayne Robinson, who organised the Free Anton Hammerl Campaign when it was still hoped that he was alive.

Zuma arrived back in South Africa just before 5am.

His spokesman Zizi Kodwa was not available early this morning.

Another official said the presidency would issue a statement later in the day if there was any news about Hammerl.

International news agencies reported that Zuma’s meeting with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was productive, with the South African leader saying Gaddafi was ready for a truce.

So far, no mention had been made of Hammerl, who was shot dead in a Libyan desert on April 5.

Before the trip, Zuma said he would ask Gaddafi about Hammerl, whose remains have not been found.

“We are hoping we will be able to discover something for the family,” Zuma told SABC before his visit to Libya.

The Hammerl family had sent Zuma a letter, pleading with him to help locate Hammerl’s remains so that he could be buried in South Africa.

Hammerl was shot by militia loyal to Gaddafi near the town of Brega while he was covering the conflict in Libya.

News of his death arrived only 45 days later, when three journalists were released and told his wife they had witnessed him being shot.

South Africa accused the Libyan government of lying about Hammerl after it assured officials he was safe even though it knew he had been killed.

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