Bodies of SANDF soldiers who died in the DRC return home


By Staff Reporter

WATERKLOOF -South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will on Wednesday repatriate and officially hand over the mortal remains of Captain Simon Mkhulu Bobe and Lance Corporal Irven Thabang Semono to their families.

Bobe and Semono were killed and three of their colleagues injured in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday last week after a mortar bomb landed inside one of the South African contingent military bases.

The soldiers were part of the Southern African Development Community Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) deployed to support and assist government of the second-largest country in Africa to restore peace, security and stability.

According to the SANDF, the remains will be officially handed over during a military procession ceremony at Waterkloof Air Force Base today.

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, is expected to form part of the officials attending the handing over ceremony.

Modise, along with the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thabang Makwetla, the Acting Secretary for Defence, Dr Thobekile Gamede, and the Chief of the SANDF, General Rudzani Maphwanya, have since expressed their heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased soldiers.

The Deputy Minister of Defence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, also sent condolences to Modise, the families of the deceased, and the entire SANDF as well as the Government of the Republic of South Africa.

The Deputy Minister said, “I assure you that the Government of the Republic of Congo will spare no effort for the security of all SADC forces deployed in the east of our country”.

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