SANDF Bids Farewell to its Fallen Soldiers in a Tearful Memorial Service
Sgt Itumeleng Makhubela
The South African National Defence Force mourns 13 of its soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The names of these members will forever go down in history as heroes who served their country with pride, discipline and bravery.
Corporal Mokgadi Darius Seakamela, Corporal Ntebaleng Andrew Mogorosi, Lance Corporal Daniel Sello Molara, Lance Corporal Lukas Mohapi Tsheke, Rifleman Lesego Maxwell Hertzog, Rifleman Zamani Jim Mxhosana, Rifleman Xolani Dlamini, Rifleman Vusumzi Joseph Ngaleka, Rifleman Karabo Edwin Matsheka, Rifleman Khomotso Paul Msenga, Rifleman Maleisane Samuel Thulo, Rifleman Motsamai William Bojane, Rifleman Thabiso Anthon Phirimana are the ones that stood the test of time until the bitter end.
Family members of the deceased soldiers were invited to a memorial service on 03 April 2013 at Swartkop Air Force Base organised by the SANDF to observe testimony from those their loved ones worked with before their burial in their respective home towns.
The Commander-in Chief, President Jacob Zuma and his parliamentary entourage saw it fit avail themselves to attend the service and mourn with the nation. He indicated that the members were deployed mandated by of the African Union and obliged by the country’s foreign policy to promote peace and stability in the continent.
He added that the two countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007 wherein the SANDF will assist in the training of Central African Republic’s armed forces including fighting forces and provision of equipment.
“Let the fond memories of the fallen compatriots remain with us forever. May their souls rest in peace.” President Zuma said. He further stated that we should proud of the soldier who perished defending the integrity of the country.
The Company Commander who led his troops in a fierce gun blazing battle described the valour his men demonstrated. Maj Stephen Jiyana said their departure will not be replaced by any form of compensation because they were priceless. “They fought ferociously like lions.” Maj Jiyana said.