SA man killed in Mali hotel siege, dept confirms

Thomas Hartleb, News24

Johannesburg – A Pretoria man was killed during the siege of a hotel in Mali, an international relations spokesperson said on Saturday.

“The SA embassy in Mali has confirmed that three citizens were affected by the attack. Two are safe; 38-year-old from Pretoria lost his life,” spokesperson Nelson Kgwete tweeted.

“The deceased SA national was attached to an aviation company rendering services to the UN contingent in Mali.”

He said he could not reveal his identity as the family was still coming to terms with the loss.

Eyewitness News named him as father-of-four, Roelof Janse van Rensburg.

It quoted his brother-in-law Cobus Smal as saying that Van Rensburg had been in touch with his wife, but that his phone battery went flat.

Two other South Africans were rescued by the UN, from the Hotel Byblos in Sevare, Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said earlier on Saturday.

AFP reported that military forces had told them that at least seven people were killed as the army ended the siege on Friday.

Kgwete tweeted that the South African government condemned the attack and sent its condolences to the deceased’s family.

News24 Source: