Search for Hammerl's remains continues

2011-06-09 17:32

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma obtained assurance from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during his visit to that country last week that Libyan authorities would co-operate in trying to locate the remains of photojournalist Anton Hammerl, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said on Thursday.

Speaking via video-link from Pretoria during a post-Cabinet meeting media briefing at Parliament, departmental spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the matter had been raised by Zuma during his visit.

He told journalists that while he did not want to "unpack details" of what was being done, "we do have the assurance of Colonel Gaddafi... that they will work with South Africa to find Anton Hammerl's remains".

Hammerl, who was covering the conflict in Libya, was shot by pro-Gaddafi forces on April 5 this year and left to die in the desert. The Libyan government afterwards told South African officials he was alive and well.

News of his death emerged only in mid-May when the Libyan authorities released journalists who were with Hammerl at the time he was shot.

Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi told journalists at Thursday's briefing that Libyan authorities were "not as forthcoming as we want them to be" on the matter.

He said the international relations department was "working very hard behind the scenes" with Hammerl's family to resolve the matter.

"But the matter has not been finally concluded because the people... we are working with on the Libya side are not as forthcoming as we want them to be.

"But from the [SA] government's side, no effort is spared to make sure all of this is concluded properly," he said.

  • Anton - 2011-06-09 17:52

    Hopefully the ,Rebels, will be able to help with the search for Hammerl's remains. The South African govrernment should have made contact with them, from the start. To believe that Gaddafi and his thugs would do anything , is a crazy idea. They don't have any respect for their own citizens, let alone a foreign photographer, who was so brave to tell the world what really is going on in Libya.

      Rude - 2011-06-10 12:49

      Actually. We should have mobilized the South African Secret Service and Military Intelligence Wing and maybe a few friendly countries like Britain to track down his position and then send in a platoon or two of our Parabats and a SF Brigade unit to extract Mr Hammerl before he got killed. But SA can't do that because it lacks the military capabilities and\or political backbone to protect it's own citizens.

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