SANDF member killed in DRC

Pretoria - A South African soldier has died during an attack on troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed on Monday.

According to the SANDF, a coalition of the Mayi Mayi and Allied Democratic Forces rebel groups operating in the Eastern DRC attacked the South African army base near Butembu in the Beni region.

SANDF spokesperson, Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga, said after a lengthy stand-off, the attackers fled and during consolidation of the scene it was established that four Mayi Mayi rebels were killed and two captured. 

“The SANDF suffered casualties, one with minor injuries, one critical and one fatality whilst waiting for medical evacuation. All injured SANDF members were evacuated to the level three hospital in Goma.

“Evacuation to a level 4 hospital will take place once the wounded soldiers are stable for transportation,” Mabanga said.

The particulars of the deceased SANDF member will be released once all the necessary administration has been concluded and the next-of-kin are informed.

The process to repatriate the body of the soldier has begun.

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Secretary for Defence Sam Gulube and the Chief of the SANDF General Solly Shoke have expressed their heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and comrades of the deceased and have wished the injured a speedy recovery. 

The SANDF members are in the DRC as part of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO).

The attack comes amid rising tensions across the DRC over an apparent attempt by President Joseph Kabila to extend his term of office. -