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South African killed in Mali hotel siege: foreign ministry

Published on 08/08/2015

A South African was among the 12 people killed in a hostage siege at a hotel in central Mali that ended early Saturday when government troops stormed the building, the foreign ministry said.

The South African embassy in Mali “has confirmed that three citizens were affected by the attack. Two are safe; (a) 38-year-old from Pretoria lost his life,” foreign ministry spokesman Nelson Kgwete tweeted on Saturday.

Kgwete did not identify the victim saying his family was still coming to terms with the loss.

But local Eye Witness radio identified him as Roelof Janse van Rensburg.

He was working for an aviation company hired by the United Nations contingent in Mali, said the ministry spokesman.

Imtiaz Sooliman, director of a South African humanitarian relief organisation, Gift of the Givers, earlier told AFP that two of the three nationals caught in the siege, had been rescued, but one was missing.

Kgwete said the South African government “joins the UN in strongly condemning the attack in Mali.”