CAR death toll claims dismissed

2013-04-04 21:06

Johannesburg - The military has rubbished claims that more than 13 South African soldiers were killed in the Central African Republic (CAR).

"The SA National Defence Force dismisses with contempt reports that allege that more than 13 members were lost in CAR," spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said on Thursday.

He did not elaborate in his one-paragraph statement.

French news agency AFP earlier reported CAR rebels as saying the number of South African soldiers killed in the battle was between 36 and 50.

South Africa has put the death toll at 13.

In addition to those killed, 27 South African troops were wounded on 23 March when they were attacked by Seleka rebel fighters near the CAR's capital Bangui.

Earlier, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said government would investigate international reports querying the number of South African soldiers killed. She said official statements indicated the situation in the CAR was chaotic.

"What I can say is that what was confirmed by United Nations and African Union representatives based in the Central African Republic is that in a coup situation there will be chaos, loss of life, and other unforeseen circumstances.

"We will verify the facts and come back to you if there is such a situation. At the moment, we have not received such reports," she said.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Wednesday South African would withdraw its troops from CAR.

  • Corrie Botha - 2013-04-04 21:17

    rubbished big words from runaway cowards

      John Silver - 2013-04-04 22:32

      fighting words... you should try say that to a paratrooper some time.

      Phillie Jansen van Vuuren - 2013-04-04 23:31

      But maybe you should not say it when alone in a bar full of new SANDF paratroopers on on a battlefield forsure

      Roelf Strydom - 2013-04-05 00:39

      Corrie the big armchair soldier! As an ex paratrooper I despise cowards like you.

      Sybrand Van Der Spuy - 2013-04-05 07:01

      Corrie, tel jou woorde asb baie mooi. You probably have never been subjected to a firefight. There is no fun in it. It is indescribable. It is exhilaratingly scary. It is covering your buddy(s) and them covering you because if you don't, you all are DEAD. With more and more information surfacing it is plain as daylight that this "battle" is one of the most epic events of military interaction in the history of South Africa. This battle, the sheer guts and tactical tenacity of our troops will be written about, not only in SA history but will be referenced to in international military training manuals in days to come, hear my words. Badly trained? Poorly disciplined? Run-aways? Cowards? No sir. To fight through a battle such as this one and hold your ground with only 13 men lost, you can not be “any of the above”. That our soldiers were under-gunned, wrongly deployed etc. etc. etc. maybe so. Reference that to politicians. Don’t, ever, ever again knock our boys in the field if you do not really know what you are talking about, please. These guys "fought like lions", many who, shot to pieces, headed back into the fight the moment they were bandaged-up, drips dangling from their arms. As a Veteran of wars and several interesting fire fights I proudly stand behind these brave soldiers and salute them.

      Cobus Van Rensburg - 2013-04-05 07:22

      Coward lafaard kom saam dan sien ons hoe hol jy weg. Geel gat met water in sy bloed al wat ek kan se bly eerder stil

      Matthew Peter John Wilke - 2013-04-05 08:57

      Brave words... Let me guess, you've played Call of Duty etc and now you're an excellent battle tactician. The only coward here is you! Keyboard warrior...

      Wayne Hermanson - 2013-04-05 12:30

      Corrie, please substantiate your comment with facts or be man enough to apologise and retract it. I find your comment irresponsible and inconsiderate. Perhaps an appropriate comment would have been to say that you can't comment because you do not have enough facts and share condolences with the loved ones of the fallen soldiers. It may well be constructive and meaningful to challenge our politicians on whether our armed forces received all the support required for the threat in CAR. I fully support the comments made by my fellow veteran soldiers who have participated in active battle. Wayne Hermanson

  • Makhosonke Mqikela - 2013-04-04 21:22

    We never hear anything about the number of rebel 'fatalities'. Why is it embarassing or what?

      Phillie Jansen van Vuuren - 2013-04-04 23:32

      Because there wasn't any

      Sybrand Van Der Spuy - 2013-04-05 06:58

      Good question Makhsonke - Let's throw a figure of 1000 and then maybe another half of that out there. Not counting those that are now dying of their wounds and no local medical capacity around. If you dont like these figures, just wait and see.....

      Matthew Peter John Wilke - 2013-04-05 08:58

      800+ Happy?

  • Bob Bothalezi - 2013-04-04 21:23

    And for what. To protect buisness interests of the Anc !

  • Fezile Russ - 2013-04-04 21:26


      SharonE - 2013-04-04 21:32

      Smoke and mirrors, it is second nature to the ruling party. Even they don't know when they are lying anymore.

      Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 22:13

      What year do you live in. On what planet do you live. Are you blind. Or, are you just sooo ignorant.

  • Nettie Potgieter - 2013-04-04 21:34

    If the Defence Force does not even know what they were doing in CAR how the hell will they know how many soldiers they have send?

  • Mongezi Mongs Bhele Maphoi - 2013-04-04 21:37

    What we also want to know is how many rebels were killed in this encounter. That is not being reported.

      Victor van der Walt - 2013-04-04 21:51

      Hey no stuck around to count.

      Falakhe Makhathini - 2013-04-04 22:32

      What are you gonna do with 'REBELS BODIES' stock them in a freezer maybe?

      Phillie Jansen van Vuuren - 2013-04-04 23:33

      Can't report ony things that are not There was no rebel casualties

      Matthew Peter John Wilke - 2013-04-05 09:01

      Phillie - Where do you get your intel from? There were many, many casualties on the rebel side.

  • Mongezi Mongs Bhele Maphoi - 2013-04-04 21:38

    What we also want to know is how many rebels were killed in this encounter. That is not being reported.

  • Rowan Clark - 2013-04-04 21:42

    CAR rebels say between 36 and 50 .There must be a large mess there that they are so vague or maybe we where providing uniforms as well ? Question is has anything improved after how many years of " training " there ?

      Zed Max - 2013-04-04 21:50

      The scandal thickens. JZ has a case to answer!

  • Joseph Dlamini - 2013-04-04 21:57

    Our soldiers went into CAR for the first time in 2007 in response to a call to all AU Member States to assist that country & in accordance with our nation's foreign policy objectives & an MOU on Defence Cooperation. There's nothing secret or sinister. The MOU ws signed by T Lekota and the Commander in Chief was Pres TM Mbeki. Operation Vimbezela was for trainng CAR soldiers. Operation Morero was for the protection of Pres Bozize & training of his protection team (Something similar was done in Burundi where leaders of variours political leaders were guarded by SANDF to facilitate negotiations & the transition). Once the training had been completed, our special team of trainers returned home in 2008. What remained after that was Operation Vimbezela which is what Pres Zuma & his cabinet are familiar with. Reasons provided by Min Defence for sending the 200 are true & correct. There are no South African, let alone ANC, investments in CAR. No SA citizen owns any oil or mineral deposits in CAR. Trade between SA & CAR is only $3mil. Check with Dti $ SARS or ask the purveyours of lies to adduce the evidence, not rumours. I've been involed with matters regarding CAR-RSA relations with and devts in the Central Africa region for at least 8 years.

      Mohau Chabeli - 2013-04-04 22:22

      @Joseph, these matters were clearly explained by our gorv bt bcause with a media which thrives on rubbishin our gorv they dnt report that. We also hv opposition party(ies) who r exploitin any situation 2 advance narrow political agenda.

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-05 08:07

      So how do you explain this public document?

  • Nokukhanya Ngcongo - 2013-04-04 22:09

    Y wud only 13 bodies come back if thts the case? People r trying 2 make news abt sum thing thts nt there! It's bad enough 13 people lost their lives all in the name of trying 2 help other people!

  • Lindah Mthanti - 2013-04-04 22:21

    Media and DA stop lying.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 22:23

    The ANC is grinding the wool into your eyes. Some of you are too emotional and ignorant to accept it. May Nelson save you.

  • Gaolekwe Tshimega Papi Motshwane - 2013-04-05 03:28

    Ja ne media media media.

  • Shawon Tiltman - 2013-04-05 06:31

    A man goes into his son's room to wish him goodnight. His son is having a nightmare - the man wakes him and asks his son if he is OK? The son replies he is scared because he dreamt that Auntie Susie had died. The father assures the son that Auntie Susie is fine and sends him to bed. The next day, Auntie Susie dies. One week later, the man again goes into his son's room to wish him goodnight. His son is having another nightmare - the man again wakes his son. The son this time says that he had dreamt that granddaddy had died. The father assures the son that granddaddy is fine and sends him to bed. The next day, granddaddy dies. One week later, the man again goes into his son's room to wish him goodnight. His son is having another nightmare - the man again wakes his son. The son this time says that he had dreamt that daddy had died. The father assures the son that he is OK and sends the boy to bed. The man goes to bed but cannot sleep because he is so terrified. The next day, the man is scared for his life- he is sure is going to die. After dressing he drives very cautiously to work fearful of a collision. He doesn't eat lunch because he is scared of food poisoning. He avoids everyone for he is sure he will somehow be killed. He jumps at every noise, starts at every movement and hides under his desk. Upon walking in his front door at the end of the day, he finds his wife. Good God, Dear, he proclaims, I've just had the worst day of my entire life! She responds, You think your day was bad, the milkman dropped dead on the doorstep this morning.

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