Connect with us


Revealed: How S’African mercenary was killed in Borno



A South African mercenary fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in north east Nigeria was killed in Bama, Borno State.

The man identified as Leon Lotz was reportedly killed in a friendly fire incident when a convoy he was travelling with was mistaken for that of Boko Haram insurgents, which prompted a military tank to open fire.

Lotz, a former South African Defence Force Koevoet operator turned private security contractor, reportedly from KwaZulu-Natal, and was involved in the support and maintenance of vehicles used by the Nigerian army in their ongoing offensive against Boko Haram.

There is a significant, albeit controversial, South African presence in north-eastern Nigeria. The Nigerian army is working with private security companies who employ South Africans, ostensibly to train troops in counter-terrorist activities.

Communication between these private security contractors and the Nigerian army is thought to be very poor, which perhaps explains the confusion leading to Lotz’s death.

In another, as-yet unverified report of a friendly fire incident in the Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State, Nigerian forces mistakenly opened fire on a convoy transporting foreign security contractors.

Two foreigners, one black and one Caucasian, were killed in the incident. It seems likely that this incident and the Lotz incident are the same.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now