Another SA citizen dies in Iraq

A third South African has been killed in Iraq.

Roodepoort resident Hendrik "Vis" Visagie, 29, a former member of the Pretoria Task Force, died on Monday after being critically injured during an ambush last week.

Visagie, along with a number of other South Africans, had been in Iraq since January working on a contract with Erinys Iraq, a British security company.

Visagie is the second South African working for Erinys Iraq to be killed in Iraq since January.

Erinys Iraq provides security services to the occupation authority and to multinational corporations involved in reconstruction projects in Iraq.

At the end of January, former police officer Francois Strydom was blown up by a suicide bomber while guarding an Iraqi minister in Baghdad.

Visagie had been escorting a convoy of Iraqi diplomats and ministers from Amman, Jordan, to Baghdad when they were ambushed.

He was driving the lead escort vehicle when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle, critically injuring him.

He is believed to have been killed in the same fighting in which another South African, Gray Branfield, was killed.

Branfield was shot dead during a skirmish between Shi'a radicals and Ukrainian forces in Al-Kut, 185km south-east of Baghdad.

The chief of staff for Erinys Iraq, Michael Hutchings, confirmed that Visagie had died from wounds sustained during the attack.

The department of foreign affairs said arrangements were being made to have the bodies of Branfield and Visagie flown back to South Africa.



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