Eight defence members die in car accident

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Defence and Military Veterans has expressed condolences to the family and friends of the eight South African Defence Force (SANDF) members who died in a car accident on Friday.

Eight members died and seven others were injured in a crash involving three trucks and a mini-bus taxi on the N3 highway between Harrismith and Van Reenen's Pass in the Free State.

Of the survivors, one member is in a stable condition in a Ladysmith hospital while the six others were evacuated to Bethlehem.

According to the department, the members were travelling from Pretoria back to their home unit in Durban when the accident occurred.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, the Acting Secretary for Defence Tsepe Motumi, the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Ngwenya, Surgeon General of the South African Military Health Service, Lieutenant General Vejaynand Ramlakan and Chief Defence Reserves, Major General Roy Andersen, expressed their shock at the incident and have extended their sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.

Sisulu further wished the injured members a speedy recovery.

"The South African Police are investigating the accident. Funeral arrangements of the deceased will be announced once confirmed by their next of kin," said the department.