Inquiry to investigate deaths of two SANDF soldiers in the DRC

An inquiry has been launched into the incident that led to the deaths of two South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday.

The SANDF confirmed this in a statement recently, saying it has convened a board of inquiry with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) to investigate an incident that led to the deaths.

“The incident occurred when one of them [an SANDF member] shot and killed the other with their service weapon before turning the weapon on themselves with fatal consequences,” said the SANDF.

An inquiry is under way

The defence force said it has convened a board of inquiry to work with the Monusco command to investigate the incident and the circumstances that led to it.

Meanwhile, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise has expressed shock at the incident that involved the two officials deployed to the central African country.

The remains of the officials will be repatriated to South Africa in due course, and the families of the deceased have been informed of the unfortunate incident.

Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla, the acting secretary for defence, Dr Thobekile Gamede, and the chief of the SANDF, General Rudzani Maphwanya, have sent their condolences to the families of the deceased.

Mortar bomb attack

In a separate event also in February, the SANDF repatriated and officially handed over the mortal remains of Captain Simon Mkhulu Bobe and Lance Corporal Irven Thabang Semono to their families.

Bobe and Semono were killed in the DRC after a mortar bomb landed inside one of the South African contingency military bases. Three other members of the SANDF were injured in the attack. 

The soldiers were part of the Southern African Development Community mission in the DRC and were deployed to support and assist the government of the second-largest country in Africa in restoring peace, security, and stability.

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