The South African diplomatic mission in Kuwait has confirmed the death of a South African who was killed in Basra in Iraq this week, the foreign affairs department said on Friday.

Morne Pieterse of Gauteng worked for Hart Security Company in Iraq and was killed on Monday, said spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.

He was a convoy leader.

"They were escorting an engineer to Basra when their convoy detonated an explosive," said Mamoepa.

He said the mission was currently in liaison with Pieterse's employers with a view to assist in returning him to South Africa.

His family had been informed about his death, said Mamoepa.

Pieterse's death brings to 17 the number of South Africans confirmed killed in Iraq, with another eight reported missing and presumed dead. - Sapa