SA helps Tanzania after ferry capsizes

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has agreed to South Africa's National Defence Force assisting Tanzania following a ferry accident in Zanzibar.

"President Jacob Zuma has approved an urgent request from the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, to assist with the rescue operation following the ferry accident in Zanzibar," spokesperson for the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, Ndivhuwo Mabaya, said on Sunday.

The accident happened on Saturday.

"President Zuma has ordered that SANDF, through SA Navy, must do everything possible to assist the people of Tanzania," said Mabaya.

According to media reports today, the island has begun its three days of mourning after 200 people lost their lives after the ferry capsized. Rescuers saved 579 people. 

The ill-fated ferry, Spice Islander, is said to have been designed with a seating capacity of 610. However, witnesses said there could have been many more on board when the overloaded ferry was heading for Pemba, the sister island of Zanzibar. - BuaNews-Xinhua

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