200 SA soldiers took on 3 000 rebels - SANDF

Pretoria - About 200 South African soldiers fought 3 000 rebels in the Central African Republic, resulting in the deaths of at least 13 SA National Defence Force troops, the SANDF’s General Solly Shoke said on Monday.

The battle, at Bangui Base, lasted between 13 and 18 hours, Shoke said.

Thirteen SA soldiers have been confirmed dead but there is a 14th body which has not yet been identified. The body might be that of a missing SANDF soldier.

Shoke says the rebels eventually came with a white flag and negotiated surrender.

Twenty-seven South African soldiers were wounded in clashes with rebels who captured the capital Bangui over the weekend, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

"During the battle 13 of our soldiers fell, one is unaccounted for," said Zuma.

South Africa deployed 200 soldiers to Central Africa in January to support the poorly trained, ill-equipped government troops following an offensive launched by the Seleka rebel coalition in early December.

"Our soldiers paid the ultimate price in the service of their country.... we honour them," said Zuma.

"Just over 200 of our soldiers fought bandits who wanted to cause harm... but the actions of these bandits would not deter us from from our mission of peace and security," said Zuma.

The rebels renewed their offensive last week and seized the capital Bangui on Sunday, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee the country.

"As a member of the African Union, South Africa rejects any efforts to seize power by force," Zuma told reporters.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1898 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
49% - 8728 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 6472 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 633 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.45
-1.6%
Rand - Pound
19.83
-1.0%
Rand - Euro
16.72
-0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.56
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.7%
Gold
1,778.99
-1.3%
Silver
20.26
-2.7%
Palladium
2,159.00
-3.1%
Platinum
937.50
-3.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
64,022
+0.0%
All Share
70,741
+0.0%
Resource 10
63,315
-1.2%
Industrial 25
86,967
+0.5%
Financial 15
16,154
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE