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.

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-10-24 09:39

    If it was so above board - why are they not going through the Consul? But come what may - they are human beings and need to be brought home to their families - we can fight about the right and wrong later on - just for now bring them home safely.

      Moss - 2011-10-24 11:15

      Who shld bring them home? They put cash over human life so let them train Libyan terrorists!

      tinus.kotze - 2011-10-24 11:27

      Personal opinion, if you as a foreigner go to a country to help destabilise it or perform actions that prevent stability from returning quicker your actions should be judged by the courts and laws of that country. If your actions negatively affected the lives of the nationals you should pay for it by the rules of the country you invaded, not your homeland's laws.

      Spyker - 2011-10-24 11:56

      Okay.., is it just me, or are there a few things that make as little sense as pretty much everything else, over the past week..? Can someone explain to me, if they "were contracted by Nato", then how come their convoy was the target of an airstrike by Nato..? Was this a 'suicide mission' or was it (respectfully) a bunch of 'cowboys' in it for a quick buck..? My absolute subjective opinion is - you need a brain-transplant if you plan on going into the very centre of an unconventional war of hate/retribution. That said, I understand that the mercenary-type do not 'operate' by conventional reasoning, but nonetheless 'survival' requires a certain measure of commonsense... Would I be entirely off the mark if I say that from the info I have seen/heard - commonsense was not all that common here..? The Libyan Civil War was absolute chaos on the ground. The coordination between the NTC and Nato must have been precarious, if at times, at all - let alone, if this was indeed a clandestine Nato operation. It looks to me as if the planning (incl scenario planning) was done over boerewors and brandewyn. Why 19 men..? Why move during the day..? Why did Gadaffi look exactly like Gadaffi..? I am sorry - this smacks of shear amateurism... Rather a small extraction unit of max 8; move at night only, straight to the coast, on a path 'pre-prepared' by Nato bombing, with the rest of the 'team' as forward recces and Gadaffi disguised in every way possible (eg shaved face, head, etc, etc).

      Pieter - 2011-10-24 12:36

      If gaddafi was such a great Colonel for 42 years. How come he never made General. People all over the continent have started panick buying fried chicken after hearing the news of the Colonel's death.

      Right - 2011-10-24 13:54

      They should go look amongst the people executed. I am sure they will find alot of the SA Mercenaries there.

      MoAfrika - 2011-10-24 16:21

      Whatever took them there should bring them back. It should not be the responsibility of the government.

      Barry - 2011-10-24 19:56

      They went there for blood money. Who was asking them to go ? Probably the USA or NATO, indirectly ofcourse

  • Bokfan - 2011-10-24 09:39

    Hey boys if you go into a hot zone you must expect to get burnt. Why is it that people like these come across so tough and hard but end up bleating when things go wrong. Because they are bullies maybe? Mercenaries are not nice people and Safrican ones seem to be as bad of the worst of them.

      Ellen-Mari - 2011-10-24 10:13

      And how would you know?

      Bob - 2011-10-24 10:35

      Houtskool, stop the hard man attitude, Bokfan has a fair point, if they are guilty of that and were happy to get a big cash handout no doubt, well thats why they are paid so much because of the huge risk to their lives, if guilty they must take the heat.

      Houtskool - 2011-10-24 11:23

      So they make their money at the business end of a rifle and not in a office. Does that make them "not nice people or the worst of human kind" ? No, it doesnt. Mercenaries date as far back as the 13th century BC, and is a dangerous and profitable line of work. I dont see any one yelling and insulting the french foreign legion, why do so to these few men daring to go out and risk their lives to earn a living?

      Johan - 2011-10-24 12:54

      Good point Houtskool, professional hunters also make a living at the end of a rifle. No one complains about professional hunters.

      Lionel - 2011-10-24 12:56

      Houtskool, they're hired killers: finish n' klaar.

      Leon - 2011-10-24 13:09

      NATO hehehe and bokfan i will buy you a beer we are not so bad

  • ShottaZee - 2011-10-24 09:40

    Bring them home. They did what they had to do, some of them not out of loyalty to Gadhafi but because they needed the money since SAPS in no home for the former state moles!

      ngoako.mathekga - 2011-10-24 10:53

      Who sent them there? and why must SA government be the one to get them home?

      Wouter - 2011-10-24 11:29

      SapReport 60242 indicate the SA Gov ask them to help

  • stephen.cole1 - 2011-10-24 09:44

    Bad choice to pick the wrong side !

      Kevin - 2011-10-24 10:14

      Gadaffi supporters are terrorists and must go down .

  • Rvn - 2011-10-24 09:44

    If they were involved in trying to help gaddafi they should be treated like gaddafi was. If they werent then i hope they get back safely..

  • Martin - 2011-10-24 09:44

    Nato!! Rubbish cover story! Mercenaries, no other word describe them better... Guys that trained with me as a parachute soldiers, but who could not adapt back into Civvi life... Selling your soul to safe a Muslim terrorist despite him oppressing millions of his own African souls is nothing more that an act of treason to the human race! I feel sorry for the families, but let them walk back to South Africa!

      Houtskool - 2011-10-24 11:36

      Way to treat a fellow brother in a bat? insult the coe and the uniform

      Martin - 2011-10-24 12:53

      Houtskool, I am proud to have been a bat in a different era with decent folks with honour and integrity. These guys (ex Bats, SAP, Rekkies) are killing for money for TOTAL different reasons we trained for. Honour (right or wrong) versus Greed for money! I am ashamed to be associated with guys that tried to save a Muslim terrorist that caused thousands of innocent people in Africa and throughout the world to die. Did you forgot about Lockerbie where innocent woman and children died directly due to him?

      Lionel - 2011-10-24 13:00

      Houtskool, ou boet, your attitude is an insult to the uniform - go join the Rambo school.

      Houtskool - 2011-10-24 14:33

      Martin, so when you served you basically agreed with everything the government and it's elected official did? Dont be too narrow minded. These soldiers did not commit these crimes, the were paid to do a job. The principal in this matter was a lowlife POS who deserved everything that came his way. Dont condemn the people who tried to get him to safety, they in all probability did not agree with him, but for the money i bet they got paid, it was worth it.

      Houtskool - 2011-10-24 14:44

      lionel - se jou wat kleinmannetjie, ek en jy kry mekaar iewers dan wys hiedie ouman jou hoe jy jou tande met gebreekte vingers kan optel. Jy was seker 'n tampontiffie of 'n seiner.

      Martin - 2011-10-24 17:41

      Houtskool, ek het eerlik gedien vir Volk en Vaderland. Ek het myself en my eie belange opsy geskuif saam met baie van my makkers. Ons kon ook diensplig geboikot het, maar ons het gedoen in wat ons geglo het reg was vir die tyd. Reg of verkeerd ons het 100% geglo ons doen die regte ding. My punt is dat hierdie huursoldate dit SLEGS vir die GELD doen en dit maak nie saak of hulle mense daardeur benadeel nie! Ek weet hierdie huursoldate is intelligent en diep binne weet hulle, hulle is verkeerd. Om te se hulle het die geld nodig is net so goed om te se ek kan n bank beroof omdat my kinders honger is!

  • Greg - 2011-10-24 09:50

    Wonder how much of my tax money is involved here, as I was not aware, informed, neither have I approved a Gaddafi bailout. I read with surprise that these men "performed their dudies". However, it sounds to me like a government plot without the consent of any taxpaying citizens. Zuma to the rescue - making name for himself in Africa.

  • Dan - 2011-10-24 09:53

    If they were really there to help Gadaffi, then shoot them too.

  • pmogala - 2011-10-24 10:01


  • dare.myburgh - 2011-10-24 10:05

    What dose South Africa want in Libya,they have lost nothing there,just waisting tax money,they already killed 70 South Africans

      John - 2011-10-24 11:01

      They are securing money for the next ANC election.Why SA has to choose friends that committed atrocities upon their own citizens, I do not know. Our leaders have become power hungry individuals and seem to have sold their values (souls) to the devil, in order to achieve material gain. Gaddafi had millions and was killed like a dog, deservedly so !!

      Device - 2011-10-24 13:32

      @ dare.myburgh im really not sure which article some people are reading! what on earth does this failed operation have to do with tax-money please explain the link. The only people who are paying for this are EU citizens whose countries are part of NATO, South Africa said on a number of occasions that we do not support military involvement of any kind. The gentlemen involved in this daring failed escape plan were not contracted by SA government and none of the expenses incurred have anything to do with tax-money so stop flattering yourself.

  • Julie - 2011-10-24 10:17

    I cannot understand why NATO would contract the 19 MEN to Extricate Kadaffi to Niger, Then when they Departed Sirte they were Fired Upon. What a Bunch of balony, IT does not ADD-UP, Please come CLEAN CONSPIRITORS.

  • Murray - 2011-10-24 10:47

    Sounds like a story for the ANGAZI chronicles.

  • Gary - 2011-10-24 10:59

    What the hell for ??? Leave them there. They want to help a person who has helped terrorists , funded terrorist organisations.... Let them rot.

  • badballie - 2011-10-24 11:03

    Bring them home, we can charge them with being mercenaries later. Why because that is what they are, soldiers of fortune fighting in a war on foreign soil. If they were legitimate combatants the SA military would have flown them back.

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2011-10-24 11:56

    I think we need to wait for more info....if we will ever get any. Gadaffi was so deep into sh@t already that I am not sure if the recruitment company would have trust his word and money anymore. Maybe some-one else or an organization/government was the one's offering to pay. No one in his right mind would have wanted to get his name connected to a possible scandal at that later stage and would have rather hired "soldiers" through a 3rd party. lets say if more concrete evidence will ever surface.

  • Hendrik - 2011-10-24 12:42

    This is how it went down, Nato know SA will help Gdfi, After all we have loads of his gold and property from our previous visit and trip to broker a deal;-). Now get some bandits together and promise them loads of cash to get the man out. But hey what better way to pull the man in the open and the sort him out...Who cares about the bandits....Not Nato, they got their man!!!

  • primalaction - 2011-10-24 12:47


  • Cy - 2011-10-24 14:35

    Well, if they were contracted by NATO, NATO will extract them, but as that ain't happening you can say they are mercenaries who helped gadaffi.

  • Jackie - 2011-10-24 18:20

    these are dogs of war. they know the rules, we are not even supposed to know about their little jaunt to libya to help a despot. go to hell.... or better yet, stay in that hell that you created for yourselves by trying to rescue a tyrant.

  • mani.bodenstein - 2011-10-27 10:11

    clever: Nato/UN get our boys to go and get him ,make him a target and get rid of him ......rebel forces who attacked the convoy apparently helped the South Africans get away,why ? or they knew what was happening?just a thought.

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