US Pays South Africans $1000/Day in Iraq
- $1000 per day continues to draw South African Mercenaries to Iraq
[This is interesting given that US citizen contractors only get
about a $100,000 yearly salary to kill Iraqis and US soldiers can't
even feed their families.]
Bodyguard died in Iraq 'as he lived, living life to the fullest'
By Graeme Hosken
October 14, 2004
Pretoria: A South African is killed every month in Iraq, yet US
dollar payments continue to lure thousands of locals who flock to
the country to help restore "peace and order".
The drawcard is the $1 000 that more than 4 000 South Africans are
paid every day while working on security contracts throughout the
This week two more South Africans were killed outside Baghdad while
escorting a convoy of US construction engineers to a building site.
Johan Botha, 37, who lived in Pretoria North, and Louis Campher, 43,
of Port Elizabeth, were shot dead on Tuesday, bringing the number of
South Africans killed in Iraq this year to 11.
On Tuesday last week, Johan Hattingh, 29, a former freefall
instructor from 44 Battalion in Bloemfontein, was killed by a
suicide bomber in Baghdad.
Both Botha, a former South African infantry soldier at 121 Battalion
in Piet Retief, and Campher, an ex-Johannesburg policeman, worked
for Pretoria security company, Omega Risk Solutions (ORS).
Botha had been in Iraq for less than a month while Campher, who was
working alongside his nephew Terrance Oelofse, a manager at ORS, had
been in the country since August 1.
Both men were on six-month contracts and were due to return home in
Yesterday, Botha's distraught sister, Petro Rademan, said she was
beside herself with grief.
"I cannot understand people going to a place like Iraq for money,
especially if you are not going to live to spend it," she said.
Rademan said she hoped that her brother's death would make those who
were going think about the horrifying ordeal they were about to put
their families through.
"To grow up without a father is not worth it. Money can't buy you a
goodnight kiss, a comforting hug, wisdom or love," she sobbed.
Botha's one-year-old son, Johan, is now without a father.
His widow said the worst was constantly worrying about the
whereabouts of a relative while they were in the battle-scarred
"Every day we would pray that he would be alright, waiting for his
phone calls and e-mails," she said.
The last time Rademan spoke to her brother was on Friday night when
he called to tell her that he loved her and that she should look
"I knew then that, deep down, Johan knew he would not be coming home
"Johan died as he lived, living his life to the fullest and doing
everything to the end.
"If he had to choose how to die, he would have chosen this ..." she
said, referring to his "death-in-action".
ORS West African and Middle East managing director, Cobus de Kock,
declined to say how many South Africans the company had in Iraq.
"All I can say is that we have plenty on the ground - in fact, more
than enough," he said.
He also declined to say how much their employees in Iraq were paid,
but confirmed that they were paid in US dollars.
De Kock said because of the number of attacks on construction
workers by rebels, it was ORS's job to ensure their safety.
The bodies of both men are due back in South Africa this week for
their funerals in Port Elizabeth.