media statement 2008

STATEMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE: THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE ANNOUNCES THE PASSING ON OF TWO SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE SOLDIERS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Date of Release: 01 October 2008
Embargo : None

The Minister of Defence, Mr Charles Nqakula regrets to announce the passing on of two South African National Defence Force soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The two soldiers are presumed to have drowned following an incident on Tuesday 30 September 2008, when the Mamba vehicle in which they were travelling, fell into a river near Kitchanga. Preliminary reports indicate that the vehicle with seven passengers was crossing a bridge close to Kitchanga base, when the bridge suddenly collapsed.

Five of the seven soldiers managed to swim to safety, but unfortunately two others were trapped in the vehicle. The remains of the two soldiers have since been recovered.

The names of the deceased will be announced once their next of kin have been informed.

The Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Godfrey Ngwenya has ordered that a Board of Inquiry be convened to investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

The Minister of Defence, Mr Charles Nqakula on behalf of the Department of Defence and the Chief of the SANDF, General Godfrey Ngwenya have extended their sincerest sympathies and condolences to the families of the deceased.

Ends

Released by: The Ministry of Defence
Private Bag X 161
Pretoria
0001

Enquiries: Mr. Sam Mkhwanazi
083-628-0858