SA mercenaries 'were misled'

2011-10-30 12:15

Tripoli - Colonel Muammar Gaddafi probably really thought he was going to “live in a tent in the Karoo”, but South African mercenaries actually helped him from the frying pan into the fire.

Speaking to one of the South African operators who was at Gaddafi’s side and a senior source in the intelligence world, City Press discovered the mercenaries were probably also misled into thinking they were helping Gaddafi.

Their involvement was really only part of a larger plan to capture Gaddafi, it now appears.

A few of them are still in Libya after they were approached by a security company in August to assist in moving Gaddafi out of his hometown of Sirte and “bring him to South Africa”.

The recruiting was done by Sarah Penfold, a well-known name in the industry based in Kenya, who apparently acted on behalf of a company in London.

South Africa’s State Security Agency is aware of her visit to Johannesburg on August 17, and she is being investigated.


Gaddafi himself apparently requested assistance from the private security industry.

Subsequently, negotiations were held in which he allegedly made demands concerning his planned stay in South Africa.

One of the operators, Danie Odendaal, told City Press that in his correspondence Gaddafi insisted he be accommodated in a tent in a hot region – preferably desert-like.

He said they still speculated that the only suitable place in South Africa would be the Karoo.

After being issued with false passports, three groups of South Africans flew to Dubai and Cairo, from where they hurriedly flew to Libya to assist Gaddafi.

But things turned into a “disgusting, disgusting orgy” when Nato forces fired on Gaddafi’s convoy before transitional government soldiers captured and executed him.

Abortive project

Afterwards, the details and the incredible “coincidence” of the abortive project started unfolding.

City Press has discovered there was no request to the South African authorities to bring Gaddafi, a fugitive from the International Criminal Court, here.

It would never have been allowed, a reliable government source said.

Intelligence sources believe there were agents among the mercenaries, or in some of the security companies, who were spying for the transitional government and reporting on the mercenaries’ movements.

Nato launched its attack on Gaddafi with deadly precision, and Odendaal believes someone “sold them out”.

There is another group of South Africans in Libya, but City Press has learned they are not under arrest. They come and go as they like, and some live in hotels.

No one wants to comment

Former police commissioner George Fivaz said he received a call from a man in London last week who wanted to hire a 50-seat air ambulance to fetch people in Libya. Fivaz told him he couldn’t help him.

City Press telephoned a security company in London for comment about allegations they had contracted the South Africans through Penfold.

Initially, an employee immediately ended the call. Another employee, who only identified himself as “Harry”, at first said they didn’t have any operations in Libya.

Later he said “no one will comment about this”.

Despite many telephone calls, Penfold couldn’t be reached for comment.

The South African government doesn’t want to become involved, and it’s not clear how the mercenaries will be taken out of Libya.

State Security Agency spokesperson Brian Dube said they didn’t wish to comment at this stage.\

On 30 October City Press published a report entitled “SA Mercenaries were misled”.  The report referred to allegations that the London based Hart Security had contracted South African mercenaries through an intermediary to render certain services in Libya. The reference to Hart Security in the report was published in error. City Press regrets the error and retracts the allegation.

  • Googles - 2011-10-30 12:28


      Squeegee - 2011-10-30 15:22

      No government involement. Mmmm, where did the passports come from?

      allan.clean - 2011-10-30 17:19

      @Vukani - Thanks for being the Judge here on behalf of the black folks on what should happen to whites. You also need a History Lesson like Malass AKA Fat Boy. You and your kind wont have a happy ending. That I can see the Sangoma said.

      Mike - 2011-10-30 19:02


      Mike - 2011-10-30 19:05

      Vukani, you fool, you are on the wrong site. You must log onto this one. What are you on about, have you even read the heading of this story?

      Ronald - 2011-10-31 01:48

      Ag shame Vukani. The weekend must have been really lonely for you to have to try so hard to get attention. Someone give him a hug, please.

      Peter - 2011-10-31 08:42


  • Spyker - 2011-10-30 12:40

    Absolute amateurs - I have said it before. One of the first things a professional mercenary/soldier would have done, was to evaluate the possibility-, consequences- and contingencies for exactly the scenario that happened here... There is an old saying - STUPID HURTS...

      ronald.stilianou - 2011-10-30 14:53

      Are you a professional Spyker?

      Marcel - 2011-10-30 15:49

      No, they are anything but amatures, they did evaluate the situation but had just a tad bad luck. Good thing Gaddafi was captured but you gotta admit, none of us would have had the b@lls to do that job!!!

      Spyker - 2011-10-30 17:56

      @ronald - NO, I am not, but that is what is so scary... So go figure..? @Marcel.., I respect what you are saying, but I stand firmly, by what I have said. Agreed, all said and done Gaddafi.., or is it Qaddafi.., or Kadafi, is no more and Libya can move on.., well, so we hope, at least. Gaddafi (I will stick to this one for now) thought he was going to live out his pension in a tent in the Karoo... ...and these guys believed it to... Now I ask you - who was living in cloud-cuckoo-land.., Gaddafi, the 19 SAcans under discussion here.., or perhaps all of them..? How did these guys think it would work..? Eg - there is an international warrant for arrest for Gaddafi (and members of his family). If SA was found to be harbouring an international terrorist/fugitive, Nato will attack SA, period. Apart from the fact that our entire Air-force will be wiped off the face of the earth, before morning-tea of day one and our entire Army will be gone by lunch time (bar those that will not stop running till they reach Libya on foot), there will be sanctions against SA and the entire country will not see Christmas. What did they think - China and Russia will protect SA..? What..? And cause WW3.., against their own customers..? China- and Russia's economies exist solely because of Western consumption. Of course this was set-up, it takes half a brain-cell to figure that out - the only question that remains: how come these characters walked into a 'trap' with 'eyes wide open'..?

      marco.tomaso - 2011-10-30 20:49

      "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus and to succeed in life,you need two things:ignorance and confidence",Mark Twain.If only these Mercenaries knew all that. If Saif had been able to escape into a neighbouring country like say Niger then he would've been handed over to the ICC anyway.Pressure from America in particular would've made these SAFE HAVEN countries do that. Any airplane flown by mercenaries flying Gaddafi or Saif to a safe haven country or area like the Karoo would have been shot down by NATO.NATO's objective was "get Gaddafi and his Regime members by any means necessary" which meant termination of Gaddafi as we know. The ICC Mandate stipulated that no specific undertaking of Saif Islam were to be taken.Meaning that should he not be procecuted or that his trail outcome should rather be either this,that or the other were never going to be on the cards.No bail for example while a trail of his magnitude was pending.His trail was to be as transparent as possible and not subject to any behind the scenes deals between politicians too. Trouble is that Saif is a Libyan national and because Libya has not signed up or ratified the Rome statue of the ICC,meant that the NTC could question the legality of the ICC.A highly controvertial issue for African countries as a whole because the UN Security Council has reserved the power to REFER the treaty based ICC places like Libya that have not ratified the statute and hence not party to it.

  • vanetia.mentor - 2011-10-30 12:43

    wow...Jack Bauer where are you? *things that movies are made of!*

  • Kyle - 2011-10-30 13:02

    Why is it only on South African news sites that they mention the SA mercenaries? I tried BBC and CNN but couldn't find anything about it.

      karin.mccallum - 2011-10-30 13:17

      There is today on the Skynews website under Libya: ICC has evedince against Saif... or rather just a short mention

      Dirk - 2011-10-30 14:08

      Because we have the best mercenaries?

  • braamc - 2011-10-30 13:21

    Was it a luxurious tent at least? Some of these tented retreats really lovely...

  • Chris - 2011-10-30 13:23

    Is this pre-able for a book?

      braamc - 2011-10-30 13:35

      Outstanding rates available for small group. Apply within T&C's apply

  • Jeffrey - 2011-10-30 13:27

    "It would never have been allowed, a reliable government source said." A reliable SA govt. source? You've got to be joking!

  • Gail - 2011-10-30 13:33

    Interesting er and interesting er........ I still do not believe we have got to the bottom of this.

  • davidrobertlewis - 2011-10-30 13:37

    Reminds one of the failed Bophuthatswana expedition by the AWB. This kind of thing is giving South African's a bad name. Are there not laws making mercenary activity illegal? Isn't executive outcomes banned?

      Angela - 2011-10-30 15:04

      Yes there are but it seems to double standards = as usual. Take the crowd that were jailed in Zim. Let's see if this lot get prosecuted?

  • Andrew - 2011-10-30 13:50

    S.N.A.F.U. springs to mind...

  • gerhard.nel - 2011-10-30 13:56

    Ahhh, the life of a henchman.

  • max.maxwell - 2011-10-30 14:09

    What a bunch of wallies! No "official" involvement by S.A? Pfffttt! Only they would be capable of such a monumental cock-up!

      En - 2011-10-30 14:24

      And you would have done a better job? Go back to sleep...

  • Helmut - 2011-10-30 14:28

    There a bunch of of old grey bearded has been, what a joke

  • Goodman - 2011-10-30 14:35

    Jeff, What do you mean joking South Africa has banned mercenaries,those who involve themselfs in mercenary activities don that at their own risk, thanks to the government of South Africa for being concistant, let the dogs of war finish in libya, that is the lesson for those who are in South Africa

  • Epher - 2011-10-30 14:41

    Definitely not the A Team

      Helmut - 2011-10-30 15:38

      Hi Epher I like you + your AAAAAA Team

  • - 2011-10-30 14:53

    The Government should help them get back and then arrest them on arrival in SA and audit their earnings as far back as possible, ANIL them for breaking the law all these years.

  • Angela - 2011-10-30 15:00

    I want someone to please enlighten me. Am I the only "genius" on the planet or are there more of me out there? Zuma goes to Lybia. Gadaffi wants a tent in the Karoo. A government souce said it would never have been allowed. Erens is daar n drol in die water.

      Ian - 2011-10-30 15:32

      100% Angela, even they dont have a clue

  • Bokfan - 2011-10-30 15:28

    Hire a bunch of carguards to help you with an escape and you'll end up in a drain.

      Bokfan - 2011-10-30 15:33

      My question now is: Are these carguards not superstars of the Yob League seeing as they heroically attempted to rescue the Main Brotha Economic Freedom Fighta

  • Ian - 2011-10-30 15:30

    a tent in the karoo ha ha ha. good one, more likely in the fat jelli tots house, terrorist looks after terrorist, would love to see a team kick his door down though, wouldnt it be a beautiful sight to see both of them being taken away by a seal team to the hague

  • Ian - 2011-10-30 15:34

    so what mercs were these, the sandf striking toi toi kind i guess

      En - 2011-10-30 15:40

      "Danie Odendaal"....sounds very "toi toi"

  • Alva - 2011-10-30 16:05

    Anybody who tried to help Gaddafi escape got their just the desert! Who cares really. I'm just pleased Gaddafi is gone. Let's move on to the demise of the next dictator. Which one is next I wonder? There as lots to choose from.

  • Andre - 2011-10-30 16:50

    So must we feel sorry for them or what? Fools don't cry!

  • Gaben - 2011-10-30 18:35

    Vukani, you look like someone with a bad attitude. People like you are not needed around here, why don’t YOU leave?? You will fit in nicely in Zimbabwe (I personally think that is where you came from).

      Mike - 2011-10-30 18:58

      Don't you guys know Vukani is our local troll, he posts the white privilege shyt in virtually every post particularly when it has nothing to do with the article so don't feed him.

  • MikeBrassellSA - 2011-10-30 20:47

    Vukani. It's not white supremacy. It's white superiority.

  • Cracker - 2011-10-30 21:15

    Why should anybody really care? If you make your services as a killer available to the highest bidder - or any bidder - and things go wrong, so what? Face and accept your stupid self-chosen fates. Unfortunately the military mind at all levels has always been on the silly and stupid side.

  • Gail - 2011-10-31 10:55

    In any killing they advocate following the money? Who paid theese white mercenaries and what did the employers stand to gain? If Dewani could set up a hit on his new bride for so little why has nobody over the years done the same for a dictator who shares a border with our country done the same? Perhaps these mercenaries thought they were working for SA but the bottom line is they were soldiers for hire and when you earn your money that way you have to save yourself because you become an embarrassment to whoever hired you when you fail to do what you were paid for. Of course perhaps if they'd succeeded in getting him to the Karoo they could have parked him in the area where others want to frack thus killing two birds with one stone.

  • Ciaran Goggins - 2013-11-24 14:26

    Hart Security in London, R2R in the Mid East and some dodgy characters in the US, Africa and elsewhere.

  • pages:
  • 1