All soldiers killed in CAR were Parabats

2013-03-26 17:40

Johannesburg - The 13 South African soldiers killed in a clash with rebels in Central African Republic (CAR) were named by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on Tuesday.

It said Corporals Mokgadi Darius Seakamela and Ntebaleng Andrew Mogorosi, and Lance Corporals Daniel Sello Molara and Lukas Mohapi Tsheke were among those killed on Sunday.

The Riflemen killed were:

- Lesego Maxwell Hertzog,

- Zamani Jim Mxhosana,

- Xolani Dlamini,

- Vusumzi Joseph Ngaleka,

- Karabo Edwin Matsheka,

- Khomotso Paul Msenga,

- Maleisane Samuel Thulo,

- Motsamai William Bojane,

- Thabiso Anthon Phirimana.

All of those killed were members of One Parachute Battalion (Parabats) from Bloemfontein.

"In addition, the SANDF would like to report that the member who was reported missing in action has been found alive and is in good spirit[s]," the SANDF said in a statement.

"The minister of defence and military veterans, chief of the [SANDF], chief of joint operations and chief of the SA Army wish to extend their sincerest condolences to friends and families of the deceased."

Earlier, SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said the CAR rebels regretted the action that led to the deaths of the 13 soldiers.

"On Sunday morning the leaders of the rebels came to the base, and discussed what happened on the ground, and they regretted exchanging fire with SANDF soldiers," he said.

"Since then there hasn't been any threatening situation against the SANDF. We are not taking anything lightly and are taking all precautionary measures to ensure SANDF members are safe on the ground."

Mabanga said they had not received any instructions regarding troop movements and the current death toll from Saturday had not changed.

"The current figures as mentioned yesterday [Monday], to the best of our knowledge, are accurate," said Mabanga.

On standby

In addition to the 13 killed, 27 soldiers were wounded.

Mabanga could not comment on media reports alleging what happened on the ground.

"We cannot comment on reports by the media based on allegations," he said.

Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday that beyond the official toll of those injured, killed and missing, six special forces operators were also killed in the fighting.

The newspaper reported that the SANDF had become a target for reportedly helping CAR President Francois Bozize flee the country into the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to the report, top structures were warned by senior SANDF officers last week that the CAR mission amounted to "suicide".

SA Air Force aircraft were also put on standby on Monday night, though due to financial constraints the Gripens were not armed with weapons with an attack capacity.

SANDF soldiers reportedly struggled on the ground due to lack of logistics and air support.

Soldiers had to ask French parachutists for essential equipment, with only one doctor present, with a backpack for medical support.

The report also stated that renewed fighting broke out on Monday between SANDF soldiers and rebels.

The Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday that new reports on the "disaster" in CAR showed the need for a parliamentary inquiry.

"The SANDF soldiers evidently acquitted themselves well under fire, in circumstances where they were vastly outnumbered by rebel forces," said DA defence spokesperson David Maynier in a statement.

"But in the end they appear to have been left dangling, without the necessary military support.

"We need to get to the bottom of why the SANDF was deployed in the CAR, effectively to support President Francois Bozize."

He said it also needed to be known how the 13 soldiers died in the CAR.

The DA had written to the speaker of the National Assembly Max Sisulu, requesting the establishment of a multi-party ad hoc committee to conduct an inquiry in the SANDF's deployment in CAR.

"In the end, President Jacob Zuma’s decision to deploy the SANDF in the CAR - effectively to support President Francois Bozize - has been a complete disaster," said Maynier.

  • Ubonile Seyani Chombo - 2013-03-26 17:47

    R.I.P comrades

      Philip Buys - 2013-03-26 18:19

      This is a time of sadness for all South Africans, no matter who you are. Condolences to all those families!

      Adrien McGuire - 2013-03-26 19:19

      I feel a deep sense of disgust that people on this blog can give a 'thumbs down' for messages of condolence and support. No matter your views, the cause etc. They were South Africans who fought bravely and were casualties of a war in distant lands.

      Frans Van Der Merwe - 2013-03-26 20:17

      My brothers in arms, you paid the ultimate sacrifice. You will remain hero's to all South Africans. condolences to their families, sorry for your pain. To all the corrupt politicians and businessmen that enriched themselves with the weapon procurement program... Their blood is on your useless hands. Hope you all rot in hell

      Hannelie van Heerden - 2013-03-27 06:15

      At times like these it is hard to find words that will mean anything. A very sad time for South Africa. Condolences to the families and friends. President Zuma you have blood on your hands. If you want to get involved in war games, you owe it to your army to make sure they go into battle with the best support. Go and paint Nkandla and the planes that were bought in the shameless arms deal red. You clearly have your priorities confused.

  • Teboho Sebogodi - 2013-03-26 17:50

    May their souls rest in peace

  • Maria Roth - 2013-03-26 17:50

    My sympathy to the parents and families of these men. This is a sad day for all South Africans.

  • Paul Gibson - 2013-03-26 17:50

    Rip, only the dead know the end of war.

  • Rinae Khotsia Audrey Khorommbi - 2013-03-26 17:51

    may ther soul R.I.P. may GOD b with there family I salute u guys

  • Mashao Bracan - 2013-03-26 17:51

    My bro made it, I thank sincere condolence to the families that lost their loved 1ns u guys r in my prayers

  • Luthando Gulwa - 2013-03-26 17:52

    General Salute present arms! My salute to our fallen combatants

  • James Smythe - 2013-03-26 17:54

    R.I.P Shamefully let down by your own government.

  • Magatikele Magatikele - 2013-03-26 17:54

    Zuma has to listen. I am waiting for his honest respond with regard to what happened. I am not conviced with what he said up to so far.

      Roger Jenkins - 2013-03-26 18:15

      you will wait a long time for an honest reply.

  • Grant Webb - 2013-03-26 17:55

    RIP guy's you're place was booked! To all those doubters out there from the previous reports hang you're heads in shame. I'm proud to be South African.

      mark.barker.370 - 2013-03-27 04:03

      Grant why are you proud - a thoroughly inept performance by the SANDF. These bozos don't represent me and they certainly weren't defending me in CAR. They are overpaid and poorly trained thats why so many of them dies - just affirmative action soldiers. They got their asses whuppped!

  • Alic France - 2013-03-26 17:55

    R.I.P soldiers

  • Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-03-26 17:57

    I believe those guys fought and die with their boots on the way I respect them. I wanted to join them in 1994 and ended up joining their neighbouring unit, School of Armour at Tempe! RIP Sky Eagles!

  • simon.selahla - 2013-03-26 17:58

    Condolences to their loved ones as well as their families!! And let their souls rest in peace! SALUTE!!!!

  • Thikhathali Ronald Ligege - 2013-03-26 17:59


  • Jane Warrington - 2013-03-26 17:59

    The Gripens were not armed due to financial constraints! No - but there is money for Nkandla. Shame on you ANC government. Wrong priorities yet again.

      Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-03-26 18:03

      This is NOT the time and the place my good countryman!

      Terence Pattison - 2013-03-26 18:07

      What is the point in spending BILLIONS on these aircraft if you can`t afford the ammunition to make them effective!! A couple of Harvards equipped with free fall ordnance could have sorted the problem. The SANDF is a joke, with a supreme commander who is the ultimate Joker. May God help the poor soldiers with a leader group like this.

      Mzuvukile Maswana - 2013-03-26 18:17

      Eyi! Just wonder whether some people are patriotic or just simply arrogant. We blame the government when we r the government.

      Lee Brand - 2013-03-26 18:40

      The grippens were never an option. They can only fly 800km in combat. A 1940's dak with a gatling would have been more use. Idiots.

      Dudu Son - 2013-03-26 18:58

      They need to be brought back if there are financial constraints. As much as they are Soldiers, they need conselling, and be sent when they are fully armed. By the time when we are to fight for our country, there will be few soldiers left as ours are all over Africa. Its hurting.

  • Jacky Malatji - 2013-03-26 18:00

    R I P members

  • Mohapi Tebza - 2013-03-26 18:01

    I have lost a school mate in this cross fire Rest in peace Xolani Dlamini A.K.A Chaki.

      Abdul-Ba'ith Bashir Sayegh - 2013-03-26 18:12

      I'm sorry for your lost my brother. Salute.

  • Babalwa Mamkeli - 2013-03-26 18:04

    RIP our warriors!!

  • Abdul-Ba'ith Bashir Sayegh - 2013-03-26 18:05

    I lost 13 brothers, that is how I feel now that I'm reading their names. We should have gone back and picked up our brothers blood. May their souls rest in peace.

  • Obadia Kgopolo Segwape - 2013-03-26 18:06

    wish i knew how many rebels blacksemd how i so wished RIP OUR HEROES

      hummer.hlophe - 2013-03-26 18:32

      sources say 500+

  • Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-03-26 18:06

    44th Parachute Brigade flag in Tempe base Bloemfontein will always FLY high! Fly Sky Eagle Fly!

  • Carlton - 2013-03-26 18:08

    To the guys giving thumbs down to condolence, honestly I wonder what gutter you crawled out of. RIP and condolences.

      WILLIAM2012 - 2013-03-26 20:03

      I agree 100% with you Carlton, it's obviously some freak trying to upset the rest of us. ( sick )

      mark.barker.370 - 2013-03-27 04:06


  • Trevor Mashilo - 2013-03-26 18:10


  • Meeke Setlalentoa - 2013-03-26 18:11

    May the soul of our fallen HEROES RIP

  • Catherine Botha - 2013-03-26 18:12

    Rest in peace.

  • Roger Jenkins - 2013-03-26 18:14

    Once again, in Africa, nothing makes sense. A cockup of note. RIP, it appears you were thrown to the wolves.

  • Peter Mokoena - 2013-03-26 18:15

    Due to financial constraints the Gripens were not armed with weapons. WhWhat was the point? To decorate the wwarehouses. Some people have blood on their hands..

      Lee Brand - 2013-03-26 18:34

      The grippens have a combat range of 800km. They are useless for air support in CAR

      Johnnie Vercuil - 2013-03-26 20:35

      No, not to fill the warehouses but the pockets.

  • Andre Du Rand - 2013-03-26 18:16

    Fly Sky Eagles, u will be remembered, i salute u. R.I.P

  • Johannes Le Grange - 2013-03-26 18:17

    A Soldier's Prayer... The soldier stood and faced his God Which must always come to pass... He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass. "Step forward now, you soldier, How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?" The soldier squared his shoulders and Said,"No, Lord, I guess I ain't... Because those of us who carry guns Can't always be a saint. I've had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was tough, And sometimes I've been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough. But, I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep... Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep, And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear, And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears. I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here... They never wanted me around Except to calm their fears. If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand, I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand." There was a silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod... As the soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God, "Step forward now you soldier, Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, You've done your time in Hell." Dedicated To All That Serve... God Bless our Soldiers

      Dudu Son - 2013-03-26 18:33

      Amen. May They All Rest In Peace.

      Lwazi Matakane - 2013-03-26 18:51

      if i could id doubel like your prayer,triple like it and hope u make it to heaven too!!!to the force that fell!!

  • Mary Mc Gregor - 2013-03-26 18:21

    We salute you brave Parabats....

  • Dlayani Tivani - 2013-03-26 18:22

    S.Africans r waiting for Mr.Zuma,s honest respond with regard to what happened to our Soldiers up there !

  • Sthembiso Jali - 2013-03-26 18:22

    No words to explain the pain

  • ApostleJohn M Radebe - 2013-03-26 18:25

    Under the presidency of JZ, we had Marikana, police brutality, and many other disappointments...and now men lost their lives for a foreighn policy that is not clear! How can you send soldiers to the other country without enough resources? I feel for the families that lost their loved ones...RIP maqhawe ase South Africa. As for the Anc, I abhor what it has become.

  • Ditantane - 2013-03-26 18:27

    where was the missing solder all this time, and why still listen to the rebels?

  • Marwala Dakalo - 2013-03-26 18:27


  • Meeke Setlalentoa - 2013-03-26 18:31

    May the soul of our fallen heroes RIP

  • Tshwarelo La-t Rankapole - 2013-03-26 18:36

    Airborne All the way.....

  • Ben Dell - 2013-03-26 18:40

    my deepest condolences to the families of those soldiers that died.

  • Richard Castelyn - 2013-03-26 18:45


  • Richard Castelyn - 2013-03-26 18:45


  • JohnJ - 2013-03-26 18:47

    Shall we all try and cut through the BS and attempt to understand what has occured here? A rush of a few hundred troops in double quick time to the CAR happened just before the President decided to forget all about his commitments to the "Rebel" forces. This should say something should it not. Over and above this the whole deployment seems to have been devoid of logistics, intelligence and exstraction planning. Comments made in the article by the ANC spokesman are to numerous and bizarre to challenge here but I suspect they are the start of yet another cover up of gross incompetance that has cost more South African lives.

  • Skosana Mafika - 2013-03-26 18:49


  • Conrad Schrenk - 2013-03-26 18:50

    Grippens on standby but unarmed !! (Out off their range anyway)The SANDF'S worst enemy is their commander in chief. Poor soldiers.

  • deon.duplessis.144 - 2013-03-26 18:50

    Wherever you are, may the loads be plentiful, the skies aways be blue, and your landings always be soft. RIP my fellow patrons of the skies.

  • Rampant - 2013-03-26 18:52

    You send the boys there, please ensure that they have the support and back up.If SANDF does not know how to run such an operation, do not put the lives of these men at risk.

  • Philip - 2013-03-26 18:52

    So let me see if I have this straight....Zuma buys these Gripens fighter jets and they are not armed?? Looks like we got ripped off worse than we first thought.

      Thabani Mpulo - 2013-03-26 19:08

      i think that we as citizen supposed to know what really happen, they say the sole purpose for the soldiers deployment was to train CAR soldiers and to provide protection to the ousted president. then the question is how do our soldiers find themselves fighting the rebels after the ps they commissioned to support has departed. how the commanders of the soldiers let 200 fight 3000. what happen to the intelligence unity which suppose to gather information from the ground. something doesn't gel here!!

      Kent Paulsen - 2013-03-26 19:25

      They were parabats. These guys are not trainers, they are an elite fighting unit.

  • Bullet Proof - 2013-03-26 18:54

    Who is acountable for this completly unnecessary situation?

      Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-03-26 19:25


  • Mdu Mlangeni - 2013-03-26 18:57

    As a paratrooper, I am willing to be hungry and thursty. I am prepared to face the enemy fealessly. Airborne! All the way!

  • brian.bagnall.54 - 2013-03-26 18:59

    At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them RIP.

  • Ndangah-Brumilda Shedni Mmberegeni - 2013-03-26 19:00

    Rest in peace