SA troops are prepared - Zuma

2013-08-29 22:00
SANDF (Picture: AFP)

SANDF (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - No South African soldiers were critically wounded during clashes with rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"Three of our soldiers have been injured in the conflict since the weekend, largely from shrapnel wounds. None have been seriously wounded," Zuma told reporters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"Our soldiers are well-trained and are ready for their responsibilities towards building a better and more peaceful Africa. South Africa has deployed troops in fulfilment of our international obligations towards the United Nations."

Zuma said the three members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) were wounded by "splinters" from firing aimed at the DRC army.

"The rebels were attacking the DRC army and it is the DRC army that is fighting. All the injuries I talked about are the splinters that come from the fire from the rebels," he said.

"Our soldiers have not yet engaged [the rebels], there has been no such command. The DRC forces have been engaging. The Tanzanian and South African part of the [intervention] force have not yet engaged, they are behind, supporting the DRC forces."

On Wednesday, SANDF spokesperson Xolani Mabanga said reports that South African troops were seriously wounded or killed should be dismissed as propaganda.

"This is just mere propaganda and psychological warfare from the rebel forces who want to portray their so-called success against the DRC government troops," he said in a statement.


Mabanga said there were clashes between the M23 rebels and the armed forces of the DRC on Saturday.

"During these clashes it happened that a mortar bomb fell close to the base where the SANDF members and Tanzanian People's Defence Force (TPDF) members, part of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), are located," said Mabanga.

"The FIB members suffered minor injuries from shrapnel or splinters from the bombs, causing minor injuries to one SANDF member and two TPDF members."

Mabanga said the SANDF intended holding a media briefing to update the public about its participation in the FIB.

Last week, Zuma informed Parliament that 1 345 soldiers had been deployed to the DRC.

The SA National Defence Union (SANDU) said it wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

"To those fighting M23 rebels, Godspeed and good luck, your bravery is an inspiration to us all," said national secretary Pikkie Greeff.

Soldiers had raised concerns that they were promised Gripens and Rooivalks when they left, but that the aircraft had not yet arrived in the DRC, he said.

Read more on:    sandu  |  m23  |  sandf  |  jacob zuma  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.