Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma will use the inauguration of Nigerian President-elect Goodluck Jonathan this weekend to further strengthen relations between South Africa and Nigeria, his office said.
Zuma, who arrived in Nigeria on Sunday, will also travel to Tripoli in his capacity as a member of the African Union High Level Panel for the resolution of the conflict in Libya for high-level talks with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
In his meeting with Gaddafi on Monday, Zuma is also expected to assist in facilitating the return of photographer Anton Hammerl’s body for burial in South Africa.
In a letter to the Presidency last week, Hammerl’s family appealed for Zuma’s help, describing the situation as a “nightmare” that cannot end until he was brought home.
In response, the Presidency said Zuma understood the Hammerl family’s pain and the “difficulty that the family is going through as every family wishes to know where their next of kin are buried.”
“While not wishing to raise undue expectations, the President will do whatever is possible to assist while in Tripoli,” said the Presidency in a statement.
Hammerl’s death was confirmed on May 19 by journalists who said the 41-year-old photographer had allegedly been shot and then left to die in the desert as Gaddafi’s forces took his colleagues away. – BuaNews