Fri Apr 18 02:27:44 SAST 2014
Fri Apr 18 02:27:44 SAST 2014

President didn't discuss journo's release in Libya

Apr 12, 2011 | Amukelani Chauke and Retha Grobbelaar |   18 comments

WHILE the family and friends of South African photographer Anton Hammerl are urgently waiting for news on his release by the Libyan military, President Jacob Zuma has not even asked about his whereabouts at a meeting with Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

Zuma met Gaddafi in Tripoli at the weekend as part of an African Union delegation to attempt to mediate a political solution to the Libyan crisis. He, however, did not discuss the release of the journalist at all.

Presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said yesterday that Hammerl's arrest "could not have been discussed" as Zuma, who lead the AU's Ad-hoc High Level Committee, was in Libya to present AU's "road map", and to facilitate a dialogue between Gaddafi and his opposition.

Global Post reported on Sunday that three American and one Spanish journalists, who were with Hammerl when they were caught near Brega last week, were spotted at a detention centre in Tripoli. Hammerl was not with the group, and his whereabouts are unknown.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyai declined to comment yesterday, saying the situation was "sensitive".

Hammerl's wife, Penny Sukhraj, said: "We haven't heard anything, nothing. I guess we just have to hang in there."

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