Report shows plans for SA ‘intervention force’ in Libya

Documents showing plans for a 136-strong South African-led “rapid intervention force” being deployed in Libya have been leaked to the media.

According to a Media24 report, the documents include an invoice from what appears to be a South African security company for “specialist training” in the country.

It also says that arms shipments from Chinese companies, via South Africa, were being considered.

The documents were discovered by Graeme Smith, a foreign correspondent for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, on a street corner in Tripoli.

“The documents were sitting on the side of the curb where someone had abandoned them. It would seem they were dumped in a hurry,” he told Media24.

He released some of the documents to the media group, which published copies of the “rapid intervention force” plan on on Wednesday.

One of the documents is an invoice from a company calling itself Alfa Security Services and bearing a Pretoria postal address. But there is no record of the company being registered in South Africa.

Dated June 29, it sets out details of a 12-month contract by “six training team specialists” and two “support team specialists” at a cost of $5.4-million.

The company’s postal address is that of an South African National Parks (Sanparks) office in Pretoria.

Sanparks has denied having any knowledge of the security company.

Another document, in both Arabic and English, shows plans for a “rapid intervention force” staffed by 73 South Africans and 63 Libyans under the group command of a South African.

It lists equipment for the teams, including 127 AK-47 assault rifles, 12 PKM machine guns, a dozen RPG-7 rocket launchers, 12 sniper rifles, 60mm mortars, pistols and medical bags.

Smith also found a six-page document in Arabic on the letterhead of the Libyan armed forces “Technical Affairs” division.

Dated July 31 this year, the memo provides details of secret talks conducted in China by Libyan military officials who visited weapons manufacturing companies in a bid to procure at least $200m in weapons, ammunition, rocket launchers, antitank missiles and portable surface-to-air missiles, said the report. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday