The Limpopo duo who have been held hostage in Libya for the past three weeks have been released. Rufus Matsena [Main Picture] and Amos Dhlomo who belong to the local PSL club Marumo Gallants had been detained due to a financial dispute. 


The club owed a Libyan businessman Dr Ali Elzargha over R 37 000 [670 000] in hotel and flight bills. This is after the club visited the North African country recently for their CAF Confederation Cup commitments. 

The club had failed to make prior arrangements on time and were left stranded which resulted in Dr Elzargha coming to the rescue. But Gallants owner Abram Sello questioned the amount charged. He also declined to pay which resulted in Matsena and Dhlomo staying for 19 days in Libya. 


After interventions by the International Relations and Cooperation Department and SAFA, the pair are now expected to depart Benghazi on Sunday. The club has also paid 50% and are expected to pay the remaining amount in a week from now. 

Limpopo duo held hostage for three weeks in Libya released 
Libyan hotel where Limpopo Duo were hold hostage

“We are immensely relieved that our staff will be returning home safely,” said club boss Abram Sello. 

“They are anxious to get back to their families and their lives here in  South Africa. We would like to thank all parties that assisted in us getting to this point.” The club is set to hold a press conference to clarify on the matter next week. 

Meanwhile, the department of International relations have also welcomed the latest developments. 

“We think it was a case of the owner of the hotel trying to extort money from Marumo Gallants. They had paid what they thought was due to him,” head of diplomacy Clayson Monyela.

“The rest of the money, as agreed, will be paid within one week. We don’t think it is the end of the story but we only need to get the two gentlemen to SA. See what can be done about the other 50% which in our and the chairman’s view is extortion. It was not an easy settlement to come to.”