Bodies of Mechem dead back in South Africa


The bodies of two Mechem employees killed in an attack on a UN compound in Mogadishu have been flown back to South Africa.

Morne Lotter (41) will be cremated in George on Tuesday while funeral arrangements for 53-year-old Alan Simpson of Port Elizabeth had not been finalised at the time of publication Denel Group’s Vuyelwa Qinga said.

They were killed, along with another Mechem employee Isak Mohammed Osman, a Somalian, when Al Shabaab insurgents attacked the UN Development Programme compound in the city earlier this week. Another six UN affiliated people were also killed in the attack.

The three dead were part of a Mechem team providing camp management services to UN operations in the region. This included catering, cleaning, logistic support as well demining operations.

The remaining Mechem employees in Somalia have been moved to facilities under the protection of the UN Office for project Services where they are reported to be safe.

Denel chief executive Riaz Salojee termed the incident “unfortunate” adding it would not deter the company from continuing to support UN peacekeeping efforts.

The nine were killed when Al Shabaab insurgents attacked the compound using an explosive laden pick-up truck as transport. Once inside the compound a 90 minute firefight ensued between the insurgents and AU and Somali troops. Seven of the attackers were killed in the gun battle.