MEDIA RELEASE BY DEPARTMENT  OF DEFENCE

SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE MEMBERS INVOLVED IN A VEHICLE ACCIDENT

Date of release 02 December 2010

The Department of Defence (DOD) confirms that in the afternoon on Wednesday, 01 December 2010, twelve (12) members of the South African Air Force`s 506 Protection Squadron based at Air Force Base Bloemspruit in Bloemfontein, were involved in a vehicle accident ten (10) kilometres outside of Estcourt, KwaZulu Natal. These members were on official duty from Bloemfontein to Durban when the accident occurred. The cause of the accident has not yet been established and will form part of the investigation that will look into the sequence of events that led to the accident.

Of the twelve members who were involved in the accident, there were three fatalities, four members are still in a critical condition, two are stable and three have been discharged. The other five (05) members have been hospitalised. Nedcare 911 Emergency Services provided support at the scene of the accident and transported patients to various hospitals depending on the seriousness of the injuries. Names of the deceased members will be released after their next of kin have been informed.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, the honourable Lindiwe Sisulu, the acting Chief of the South African National Defence Force, Lieutenant General Themba Matanzima and Chief of the South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano have expressed their heartfelt condolences to families and friends of the deceased as well as to families and friends of those injured in the accident. The DOD wishes them a full and speedy recovery.


                                                                                                                                                                                                         Ends.
Issued by:     Defence Corporate Communication
                        (Defence Media Liaison Pretoria
Enquiries:     Mr Siphiwe Dlamini
                        Head of Communication      
                        083 645 4294