SA Defence Force mourns the death of five soldiers who were killed when their vehicle crashed into a tree

‘The loss of one brother or sister in uniform is a great loss to the military as a whole.’

Picture: Lieutenant Mandisa Mahlangu/SANDF

‘The loss of one brother or sister in uniform is a great loss to the military as a whole.’

Durban – Five soldiers were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in suffered a burst tyre and crashed into a tree in Mpumalanga at the weekend.

South African Defence Force spokesperson, Brigadier General Andries Mokoena Mahapa, said the five were travelling from Zonstral to the Macademia Operational Base along Coopersdal Road when their vehicle veered out of control.

“All five occupants of the vehicle were declared dead on the scene. The deceased’s next of kin have been informed and further investigations are being conducted,” Mahapa said. The members were part of the 9 South African Infantry Battalion (9 SAI BN) deployed under Operation Corona in Mpumalanga.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise along with Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thabang Makwetla, Secretary for Defence Sonto Kudjoe and Chief of the South African National Defence Force General Rudzani Maphwanya and members of the Military Command Council and the SANDF have expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased.

Tributes have poured in on social media following the announcement.

“This is so painful to all members in uniform. The loss of one brother or sister in uniform is a great loss to the military as a whole. These members passed on whilst on duty. May their souls rest in peace. To the Members of 9 SAI Bn and the bereaved family: may God be with you in this time,” commented Sanet Pieterse Scholtz.

“Rest in peace soldiers. You served the country with distinction and honour. God be with your families,” said Mlungisi Ngubeni.

“I’m heartbroken for my colleagues that I’ve worked with in 9SAI BN during my service in SADF as well as SANDF. I’ve got no words. Condolences to the bereaved families and all the current serving soldiers in 9SAI BN, May their souls rest in peace,” said Winston Wabanie.


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