Herman Scholtz (Rapport)
October 23, 2011.
Johannesburg – SA and Libyan diplomats are investigating the possibility that South Africans tried to help Colonel Muammar Gaddafi escape and died in the process.
Rapport on Saturday spoke to one of the South Africans who was apparently working for a security company, hired on contract to extract Gaddafi from Libya.
Deon Odendaal, a spy, on Saturday spoke from a hospital in North Africa, saying that their paid extraction operation was a “huge failure”.
He said about 19 South Africans had been contracted by different companies for the operation.
Odendaal gave the name of one of two South Africans who were apparently killed, but this could not be independently confirmed.
An official from the South African department of international relations official could not provide clarity on the situation and said the SA government definitely did not officially support any such operation.
Odendaal said he met Gaddafi on Monday when the mercenaries arrived in Libya. Vehicles were sent out of the city on Tuesday to begin transporting Gaddafi to neighbouring Niger.
Odendaal and four other South Africans were apparently in a Jeep when they were chased out of Sirte in their convoy.
“We all believed they wanted him (out of Libya),” he said, but Nato forces started firing at the convoy from the air.
Libyan soldiers attacked the convoy and Gaddafi and a few of his guards fled to the stormwater drain where he was found.
Mercenaries fled in all direction. (sic)
“It was a gruesome, gruesome orgy,” said Odendaal.
Soldiers shouted to one another not to shoot foreigners in the process and they helped Odendaal escape.
He said he was still trying to find other South African colleagues but their Libyan cellphone numbers had apparently been switched off.
Cellphone video material that has been spread worldwide, indicated that Gaddafi was tortured severely before he died.
“The poor thing screamed like a pig,” said Odendaal.
Comment: White South African mercenaries have been a consistent export since the end of apartheid. You will find them in just about any conflict on the continent and working in Iraq and Afghanistan too.
South African law prohibits mercenaries. Just after the end of apartheid I remember there was a mercenary outfit based in South Africa called "Executive Outcomes".
In recent years mercenaries from South Africa have plied their trade below the radar but they have not disappeared.
The heading to the report above is misleading since the South Africans involved are mercenaries and not soldiers in the South African military.
That aside, this is another dimension of the capitalization of war. In fact, it would be hard to argue that the entire war on Libya is characterized by capital and greed.