News24

SA soldiers 'shot children'

2013-03-31 14:39

Johannesburg - South African soldiers who survived last week's rebel takeover of the Central African Republic are traumatised after discovering later that some of the rebels killed were child soldiers, local Sunday newspapers reported.

In what has turned out to be South Africa's heaviest military loss since apartheid, 13 soldiers were killed last weekend in Bangui in clashes with Seleka rebels who toppled president Francois Bozize.

Around 200 South African troops fought against about 3 000 rebels during the battle for the Central African capital that lasted several hours.

Some of survivors who have returned home recounted to local newspapers that they only discovered after the battle that they had been fighting against some teenage rebel soldiers.

"It was only after the firing had stopped that we saw we had killed kids. We did not come here for this... to kill kids. It makes you sick. They were crying calling for help... calling for (their) moms," a paratrooper told the Sunday Times.

South African President Jacob Zuma in January had approved the deployment of 400 soldiers to the Central African Republic to help local troops. as part of a bilateral pact with the administration of now deposed Bozize. In the end about 200 soldiers were sent.

Some of the Central African rebels were "teenagers who should be in school," the soldier told the paper.

In the City Press a soldier was quoted as saying many of the rebels were "only children".

The two papers also quoted the soldiers saying the South African troops were running out of ammunition.

South Africa's government now faces increasing calls at home for a probe into why troops were sent to the Central African Republic.

Zuma is due to attend an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on Wednesday to be hosted by the Chadian leader Idriss Deby Itno.

Comments
  • Buzzbar - 2013-03-31 14:46

    That is one of the unfortunate circumstances of war, remembering of course that a bullet fired- or grenade thrown by one of these kids is just as deadly as if it had been thrown by an adult.

      JoApe - 2013-03-31 14:53

      My heart goes out to our military men and women who got caught up in all this. The more I read, the uglier this story gets.

      Colin Taylor - 2013-03-31 14:55

      Exactly Buzzbar, Why do you think they use child soldiers? Easy to bully and manipulate to the cause... What is a soldier supposed to do when attacked by kids brandishing weapons??? Yup, fire back and take them out. Trust me it's not only kids who cry out for their mothers when they are dying....

      Meno Fooly - 2013-03-31 15:18

      Shoot, or be shot.

      maureen.churchill.9 - 2013-03-31 15:53

      Remember these kids don't have a choice, they are taken from their parents, OR the parents are offered money. These kids some of them can only drag the guns behind them for the army as they're not strong enough to carry them. They have come from starving families. Whoever sent our troops to CAR the blood is on your hands. Give us some truthful answers. This government thinks we are mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed on manure.

      Renaldo Gouws - 2013-03-31 16:06

      A bullet is a bullet, it doesn't matter who holds the gun. Kill or be killed.

      Danie Theron - 2013-03-31 19:16

      The question that remains most vivid - through all the rhetoric, war stories, red herrings, diversions, exaggerations, understating, arm-chair-expert-opinions and other fairy tales that surround this kind of thing.., WHAT WERE WE DOING IN THE C.A.R. IN THE FIRST PLACE..??? http://mg.co.za/article/2013-03-28-00-central-african-republic-is-this-what-our-soldiers-died-for

      Anthony Michael - 2013-03-31 20:56

      Danie, It does not matter, how much work has to be done in SA, One CANNOT built a stable and prosperous SA, without Southern and Central Africa , being at peace!! It is not only SA 's moral duty, to facilitate in Africa's conflicts , It is a necessity !!!

      Fred Steyn - 2013-03-31 21:02

      So what you're saying is our soldiers got their butts kicked by kids. Does'nt say much for our boys does it? Many of youo ay be to young to remember this but back in the days of the "strugle", Swapo and the ANc would kidnap a whole school of children, herd them across the border and indoctronate them with their beliefs and BS and make cadres out of them.

      Danie Theron - 2013-03-31 21:18

      Anthony Michael, You are aware of the fact that the C.A.R. is in the northern hemisphere..? I agree with the "southern" bit of your (otherwise misguided) comment - e.g. Zimbabwe, where SA seems more intent on inciting war (eg supply helicopters in bits and pieces to a despot regime), than to address the blatant human-rights abuses (eg by the Zim police) that happen almost every day... Oops I forgot - interfering in Zim does not suit the ANC's personal agenda, ie removing their despot Chinese business partner, Mad Bob. Your comment simply lends substance to the fact that the ANC is doing NOTHING to protect the sovereignty of SA, in fact, SA's sovereignty is at greater risk than what it has been in the Republic's entire history...

      Anthony Michael - 2013-03-31 21:56

      Danie, You presume too much. 95 % of SA's government foreign policy, is disatrous. and you are quite right, including that of Zimbabwe. I just believe, the SA government was right with their CAR policy! But they did underestimate, the power of France in its former colonies , and did not believe the French could and would 'double cross' them !!! And, yes, I am aware that the CAR is North of the equator, but the CAR is not in Southern, nor Eastern, nor Western, and nor Northern Africa, but in CENTRAL AFRICA !!!!

      Danie Theron - 2013-03-31 23:28

      Anthony Michael, Bru, some personal advice, do not comment here any more... The SA troops were rescued by the French. The SA'can soldiers were extracted from the 'kill box' by the French army, treated by French medics/-field doctors, then sheltered by the French military in CAR.

      gerasimos - 2013-04-01 05:41

      The deployment of child soldiers is a perversion of civilization. This perversion is symptomatic of a society in decline or alternatively a primitive barbaric society devoid of truth and bent on evil. Rest assured that if any army consists of children then nothing absolutely nothing else will succeed in that society. All will become barren and a cursed wasteland.

      freddy.vanwijk - 2013-04-01 07:08

      The children and our soldiers were used as "cannon fodder" to feed power hungry politicians!!

      Kenneth Malaka - 2013-04-01 07:16

      @Anthony Michael, those r pertinent questions indeed. Can somebody come up with a different answer? My guess is NO

      Kenny Grass - 2013-04-01 08:29

      So what,If it throws stones shoot it.

      Danie Theron - 2013-04-01 14:52

      Anthony Michael, Did the French help the SA'can military in the CAR - YES or NO..? Eg, On 24/3/13 at 22:00 News24 reported, "...'They (the SA'cans) took substantial losses and have asked for French support to load their troops and take off' said the source..." The French military are not obliged to assist ANY foreign force, by no measure conceivable - in fact they risk breaking a sh*t-load full of laws in the process - some of them international war crime laws. The French seemingly responded to a SOS from the SA'can soldiers - the truth subsequently being carefully massaged by Zuma's bevy of spin-doctors. You are an idiot of note my friend and idiot of the same magnitude as your Zuma... ... and by the way, has (your) Zuma bothered to thank the French for the extraordinary help to the fleeing South Africans..? You rattle off a bunch of irrelevant red-herrings - as any good ANC die-heart in deep denial does non-stop. The BS you stated are wholly irrelevant to any matter at hand - to reiterate, the French have NO, nada, ziltch, nothing, niks, lutho, f***-all obligation towards the SA'can military, in any manner whatsoever. PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT HERE AGAIN - if you cannot grasp this advise, get a rational thinking person - ie one that has not been Zumazombified, to translate it for you...

      Hawkeye Pierce - 2013-04-02 15:19

      That is the problem in most of the conflicts in Africa, they use children. If you are going to fight in Africa there is a good chance that it will be against children.

  • En Gineer - 2013-03-31 14:46

    Read the Sunday T*mes for the full, more powerful story. Not this useless summarized version.

      Tuyez - 2013-03-31 19:59

      I still want to know how many CAR Rebels that were killed by SANDF.

      Maria Roth - 2013-03-31 21:11

      Michael Anthony is still trolling News 24. Who was pulling the strings Bozize and Zuma. Who was prepared to leave South Africans to die? Zuma.

      Anthony Michael - 2013-03-31 22:11

      Mrs Roth, No, you are misinformed, nor Zuma, nor Bozize were pulling the strings. France, just showed both of them , who is the boss in the CAR !!!!!! They have been this for 53 years, after independence, and it does not look like it is going to change any time soon. To the credit of Bozize and Zuma, they tried to break the stranglehold, France has on the CAR! They failed in the same manor as Jean Bedel Bokassa and John Voster/PW Botha tried in the seventies !!! To accuse, Jacop Zuma, that he was 'prepared' to let SA soldiers die, you are on the wrong thread to get rid of your anti Zuma feelings !!!

      Henk Van Biljon - 2013-04-01 08:33

      Anthony, I think your views are in line with the rest of Africa - that Africans are never to blame for their actions and that there is always some other force. Now you claim Zuma wanted to break the stranglehold of France on the CAR, yesterday he claimed we were there to train the army and keep the peace. There are more questions than your are asking, all with the same answer - FRANCE. If France had a "stranglehold", why is all the natural resources untapped? I think France has a presence there because of the white man's guilty feeling, although they could have left the place to rot long ago. What you are disregarding is history. The history of the ANC who's members are always busy with some self-enriching scheme. They are never above board and the truth is never out in the open. They can't, and don't know how to be ashamed. Your exclamation-marked tirade will not have the desired effect I'm afraid.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-02 09:29

      Lol, what is the bet that Anthony is a ANC cadre?

      Boyisile Yawa - 2013-04-02 13:40

      @Anthony Michael, on this forum when you state facts you will be labelled ANC cadre.

  • Leendert Stolk - 2013-03-31 14:46

    No stress, a child soldier is still a soldier.

      maureen.churchill.9 - 2013-03-31 15:55

      Without choice only promises. Do you honestly believe that they would go willingly?

      Danie Theron - 2013-03-31 19:26

      mapepaki, Well.., millions of people vote for the ANC based on nothing more than the promise of hand-outs, it seems "willingly" is a somewhat pliable concept in some places...

  • Tshepo Lekabe - 2013-03-31 15:01

    tell those dead kids they killed fathers and brothers of this nation

      Nico Eksteen - 2013-03-31 15:25

      Which children died?

      Henk Van Biljon - 2013-04-01 08:36

      Jirre Nico don't jump into a forum without reading the whole article first.

  • FLGN - 2013-03-31 15:01

    They did not know that they were fighting child-soldiers, really?

      En Gineer - 2013-03-31 15:09

      Why dig for something that isn't there? Considering most of the battle occured at night, yes its reasonable to assume they only realisesd in the morning when fighting had stopped.

  • Rre Mouwane - 2013-03-31 15:06

    That shouldn't be a surprise...but as long as they can pull the trigger,you are at war..unfortunatly so..

  • Mary Molatse - 2013-03-31 15:08

    Ministry of defence: our 13 soldiers died for a worthy cause Ja ne cANCer winning the prize yet again

  • Philemonmaepa Phatlane - 2013-03-31 15:08

    whatever,child or not the fact is that they defeated s.a.

      Mashao Bracan - 2013-03-31 15:17

      Lol they defeated u, wat part of SA soldiers ran out of ammunation don't u understand, or u didn't follow the story 4rm where it started ne

      Phuphudlelwe Vukayilahle - 2013-03-31 16:02

      And you are intellectual defeated.

      Jenifer Johnstone - 2013-03-31 17:38

      how can u defend urself without the necessary equipment .if sa troops were given enough arms we would have demolished those children soldiers

      Uzziphathele KaSkhokho Tshabalala - 2013-03-31 18:17

      Who's problem is that,a soldier must always be enough ammunitions and weapons specially if going out of our country,those children use the opportunity,so this is SA problem,SA defeated by children soldiers of CAR...

      Maria Roth - 2013-03-31 21:39

      This entire situation appears to have defeated your ability to think clearly. Our soldiers were shot at by rebels who happened to be children. Who killed our 13 soldiers it could have been these children. This happened at night and they only became aware of the situation the next morning. Or were they supposed to not shoot at whomever was shooting at them in the dark in case it was a child knowing the predilection Africa has for using child soldiers. Children are easily manipulated and have a diminished sense of danger they believe they have a gun and this makes them invincible and they are easily persuaded to join a cause or a gang without scruples. I would be devastated if I killed a child and I would not ever get over it I think. But I would not blame myself under these circumstance. So remorse does not imply guilt in this instance and who ever the soldiers were they had guns and bullets and there were 3000 of them. Our chaps had guns but not enough bullets and they were not even 10% of the soldiers in the arena, Did you expect them to win a stunning victory? This was not a Soccer match.

      Hugh O'l Phart - 2013-04-02 11:43

      I can assure you of one thing, we may have lost the battle here, but that's been the trend for years, we lose ten men to the enemy's hundreds, sometimes thousands but statistically we lose. Our SF guys are good and gave back 100 times the damage incurred on our soldiers. This idea we were handed our asses on a plate is not close to reality.

  • Wongezwa Tshazibana - 2013-03-31 15:10

    M saying this again that CAR belong 2 us, thats our 10th province, luk what Joseph Hitler did, he used those kids 2 defeat countries around German its time we take control of that CAR now

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-31 15:15

      "Joseph Hitler"?

      IantheJ - 2013-03-31 15:36

      We should not be there at all. Why are we? Would like some honest answers but bet we will never get them from Zuma and co.

      Grahame Doupe - 2013-03-31 15:56

      This land claim story is getting a bit out of control now. The rest is not worth further mention.

      Sheik Mohammad - 2013-03-31 17:20

      Glad to see you know your history.

      Bullet Proof - 2013-03-31 17:23

      @ Tzhazibanana-You right "Joseph Hitler", also "Albert Instalin" and "Mao Josetse Tong" they all use children only Einspaint use the had.LOL.

      gerasimos - 2013-03-31 17:43

      Who is "we"? Who is Josef Hitler? What the hell is "our 10th Province"? LOL Go get a Grade 5 history text book child!

      Bart Onderweegs - 2013-03-31 21:10

      Trevor Noah cannot better this one, classic! Take control of that CAR..? Hopefully it's an automatic transmission car, otherwise we'd all get really confused.

      Liezl Haramis - 2013-03-31 21:33

      Plse man!!! If you want to quote or refer to history....hehe especially Germany's, first get Hitler 's name right moron...its Adolf Hitler not bloody Joseph!!!!!

      Liezl Haramis - 2013-03-31 21:33

      Plse man!!! If you want to quote or refer to history....hehe especially Germany's, first get Hitler 's name right moron...its Adolf Hitler not bloody Joseph!!!!!

      Maria Roth - 2013-03-31 21:55

      Tell me Wongezwa Tshazibana did you have a lot of beer this weekend or maybe too much J&B? Hitler used child soldiers when the men had been killed in battle and he refused to acknowledge that the war was lost because he was a mad man. Those children were manipulated into believing that the lives of their mothers and sisters depended on them. He most certainly did not defeat any countries using child soldiers. I most certainly hope you are only stirring and don't really believe that we have any rights in CAR. I you are seriously postulating that we invade CAR you must surely be demented or drunk.

      Joao Nunes - 2013-03-31 22:36

      Aibo !! The CAR is not da ka you thinking of...........you thinking of a "yengeni merc" and the 10th province in your head must be julias Dilema's farm which has also been lost......seriaaaas you must stop sniffing that nonsense....

      Bruce van Ravesteyn - 2013-04-02 08:22

      @gerasimos. Whats scary is that they probably teach that in grade 5 text books today. Rewrite history till it suits you. @wongezwa. The German troops that conqured Europe were hardly children moron. Later in the war he did use kids to defend Germany when troops were running out "By 1943, Nazi leaders began turning the Hitler Youth into a military reserve to replace manpower which had been depleted due to tremendous military losses. In 1943, the 12th SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend, under the command of SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt, was formed. The Division was a fully equipped Waffen-SS panzer division, with the majority of the enlisted cadre being drawn from Hitler Youth boys between the ages of 16 and 18. The division was deployed during the Battle of Normandy against the British and Canadian forces to the north of Caen. During the following months, the division earned itself a reputation for ferocity and fanaticism. When Witt was killed by allied naval gunfire, SS-Brigadeführer Kurt Meyer took over command and became the youngest divisional commander at age 33."" So dear wongezwa, being able to read is great and to think for yourself, well that's priceless. And the 10th province? Fantasizing you are Samuel L Jackson in The 51st State?

  • Ayanda Nyati - 2013-03-31 15:10

    Our troops did the right thing to shoot first and ask questions later because if someone is pointing a rifle towards you, child or not, that's a serious threat that needs to be eliminated by all means possible. Hope the troops will receive all the necessary counselling they deserve.

      Sean - 2013-03-31 15:29

      Kinda reminds me of those Afghan "police" a while back that were trained by the US and that went into a US military base and killed several American Soldiers as they were operating under a different agenda and just masquerading as "friendly forces" working with NATO troops.Allies they were not so you can't risk anything as you only have one chance in life when in that Afghan or this CAR situation.Shoot first and then ask questions later when in a situation like that.

      Michael Pietersen - 2013-03-31 15:37

      Yes, the whole debate around child soldiers is irrelevant. A child with a gun is as dangerous as an adult. Our guys were in a crappy situation and did what they were trained to do, shoot back, and shoot to kill. Civilians have NO right to cry about child soldiers. The only comment they may make is why was un under-equipped force there in the first place. The parabats did well given their situation. Go Bats!!

  • Theo Du Preez - 2013-03-31 15:14

    Firstly, we had every right to defend ourselves, even if was an army made up entirely of children and old people. In war it is a question of kill or be killed. But, why the hell were we there in the first place? Not as if CAR were the most democratic nation in the world. What is next, we are going to send troops to North Korea and Iran? Jacob Zuma is squarely to blame here.

  • Emilios Halepopoulos - 2013-03-31 15:18

    You guys had your asses handed to you by kids? Jeez... Some things need not be said publicly

      Alic France - 2013-03-31 16:00

      I guess you didn't read the article broar start listing to the news reading is not for you. They run out of ammunition

      Kenneth Malaka - 2013-04-01 07:30

      Bro r u literate?

      Bruce van Ravesteyn - 2013-04-02 08:32

      @ alic - READ THE ARTICLE and try your best to comprehend written language. Since when does "The two papers also quoted the soldiers saying the South African troops were running out of ammunition." mean they had no ammo left? I struggle to see hope for a struggling Africa, with people who struggle to think for themselves and choose to get sucked into a herd mentality. WTF your writing even confuses the spell checker on this site.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-02 09:35

      Any proof that they ran out of ammo? Thus far it is only ANC propaganda that I see, and ANC propaganda is normally 90% lies.

  • Uzziphathele KaSkhokho Tshabalala - 2013-03-31 15:18

    Read city press and MG u will here from an injured SA soldier,about how they run out of ammunition,about new contract salaries to go to CAR,about food,not about children soldiers of rebels only,thank u news24

  • Sthere Dlamini - 2013-03-31 15:22

    as much as this is sad, we cannot stray from the fact that our boys were gunned down by lyties. They did what they did to protect theselves and they must not feel guilty about that

  • Ofentse Paballo Makgetle - 2013-03-31 15:23

    Poor kids surely they r forced 2 b soldiers

  • Nico Eksteen - 2013-03-31 15:24

    It's okay, they missed

  • Mphotant Thelejane - 2013-03-31 15:26

    Just a lame excuse to coat failure...those children apparently are well trained compared to our troop. SANDF doesn't seem to be ready and hope in protecting South Africans.

      Lebakeng Nchaupe - 2013-03-31 15:37

      just wait till your robbed and stabbed by kids

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-02 09:36

      @Lebakeng, so the point you are making is that the child criminals in SA are also better trained than our SANDF?

  • Mpho Chris Brown Moreki - 2013-03-31 15:32

    Who caress whether they children or not?those bustards killed our soldiers

  • Qengebakazi Vuyokazi Sonjica - 2013-03-31 15:35

    No one's cheering the killing of children. What exactly did you expect the our soldiers to do,smile n hand them sweets while they were pulling the trigger??!!

  • Teboho Martin - 2013-03-31 15:46

    Bezizo is evil! How can he turn children in to rabel soldiers ,how can SA stand by someone like him,I guess after this madness Bezizo has to be charge by ICC .most of african president are creedy.“NXA” Damn.

      Yanga Maroloma - 2013-03-31 16:18

      Eeee Bezizo is the one overtrown, rebels kid_soldiers are lead by the other guy Djobia or something, the one in power NOW!!! Soooo who's 'creedy' again?!!

      Donovan Hendricks - 2013-03-31 16:54

      You are right Yanga but bezizo is no angel either,he is a backstabbing corrupt turncoat,who also overthrew the former regime, and he recently proclaimed that that vile barbaric dictator Bokassa who massacared 100 schoolchldren,for not wearing expensive school clothing that was manufactured by one of his own factories, as a hero.This the kind of people with whom Zuma associates with.

      Uzziphathele KaSkhokho Tshabalala - 2013-03-31 17:05

      Teboho...teboho... Please man!!!

      Kenneth Malaka - 2013-04-01 07:33

      Tebogo! U just like commenting neh?

  • Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-03-31 15:49

    Our guys were between a rock and a hard place up against killing machines that are possessed with drugs and alcohol. In such cases its either you eat or be eaten. They have nothing to be sorry about!

  • Stanley Kuvaoga - 2013-03-31 15:52

    a batle that last 13 hours with child soldiers your were humiliated just got to show how weak this army is.Get more millitary training from the Israelis

      Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-03-31 16:00

      Easier to judge from the grand stands! Just to refresh your memory, the freedom you enjoying today was fast-tracked by schoolkids in the townships running tit-for-tat battles with young white SADF and SAP conscripts!

      jasonross987 - 2013-03-31 20:36

      Or draft in the form members of the SADF to up the level of training and discipline....

      Jango Za - 2013-03-31 22:06

      Just so I understand Sifiso - is this the same freedom that is currently murdering our farmers by the score? As for tit-for-tat battles, trust me, there was no match for the SADF back in those days. I know, I was there. Angola had Swapo, Russians, East Germans, and Cubans against a far smaller SA force (and a useless UNITA under Savimbi). They could not advance in any way, even with some amazing weaponry such as the Mig 23 SwingWing and H26 Helicopter Gunship. SA changed because of international pressure, and political pressure to do what was right. No stone thrower had any impact on the SADF at all, and far less of them died at the hands of the old SADF than the amount of farmers murdered in the last decade. So stop the scribe of drivel dude. Some of us have ACTUAL experience in this space, not BS struggle-politics fantasies.

      Kenneth Malaka - 2013-04-01 07:36

      Some arm-chair critics who knows nothing about military must shut up!!!

      Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-04-01 07:42

      You're distorting your history to an extent that I doubt you were really there Jango Za! Sam Nujoma's Swapo was fighting for Namibia/SWA and useless Savimbi's Unita were apartheid RSA stooges fighting ruling MPLA of Eduardo Dos Santos. Get your Pa to rerun that story for you!

  • Nico Ratsela - 2013-03-31 15:59

    Those kids knows how to pull a trigger and reload their ammonitions,they are dangerous to society so they had to be eliminated

  • Bheki Nxumalo - 2013-03-31 16:02

    now go back n kill those children who humiliated you in the first round ,then takeover the city from those child soldiers

  • Oscar Ndala - 2013-03-31 16:03

    It was sad SA troops were there to train CAR troops, suddenly we heard that they are there to proteced CAR seveliens the 13 who KIA 'killed in action' died like a soldier with a gun in thier hands just let it go it's not our war.

  • Simphiwe Tladi - 2013-03-31 16:04

    The rebel leader should be held responsible for this

  • Pieter A Swanepoel - 2013-03-31 16:13

    How the edtor can let it go thru like that. It is looking for the person. Who not want to open and read the newa they shoot childern for fun. No yes some open it and lots do not.Why some thing like CHILDER REBEL KILLED BY SA SODIERS. That will take FONTpage

  • Ian Despy - 2013-03-31 16:18

    The harsh reality is kill or be killed.

      Muzi Mbele - 2013-03-31 16:48

      According to our people(SA)to be killed,

  • Ayanda Msomi - 2013-03-31 16:26

    So according to some News24 whites, this is all the ANC's fault. Hahaha this is funny

      John Smith - 2013-03-31 16:33

      Who do you think sent the SA troops to CAR? And for what REASON?

      John Smith - 2013-03-31 16:37

      Is Zuma a member of ANC?

      Erna Westdyk - 2013-03-31 16:39

      Whose fault is it then? Which government sent our troops to CAR? When I last heard the anc supporters are still bragging that the anc is the government of the day! Well then they have to take the rap.

      Donovan Hendricks - 2013-03-31 16:44

      Ayanda yes it is and its no laughing matter either,the anc stuffed the saps,healthcare,education and they stuffed up Sandf too,God forbid we don't go to war,we will be annihilated by whomever fights against us.

      Jenifer Johnstone - 2013-03-31 17:22

      msomi im not white and it is the ANCs fault

      gerasimos - 2013-03-31 17:52

      What is really funny is how naive you are. SA soldiers have died protecting a tyrants interests. SA will die because this same tyrant truly believes that SA is his playground and SA citizens only exist for his benefit. Reminds me of two or three other nefarious characters in recent history Stalin Mao Hitler, Pol Pot Idi Amin......

      Maria Roth - 2013-03-31 22:17

      Sis you are being racist Tula wena.

  • Donovan Hendricks - 2013-03-31 16:36

    These children are brainwashed indoctrinated and high on drugs and alcohol when going into battle,they show no fear no mercy and pity.as Koos van der Merwe commented,why were they not briefed by Sandf as to what they will expect?furthermore it is common knowledge that all these african rebelgroups make use of children soldiers after they were abducted and somtimes there parents are killed.Did our soldiers really didnt know this?

      Cnikiwe Lolwana - 2013-03-31 18:59

      Hendricks even if they knew, what choice did they have? Those kids came with the intention to kill dem. I don't blame the SA Soldiers , they did their job as for the kids tough luck to them , next time they must know that war is not pap n vlies

  • Wessel Jordaan - 2013-03-31 16:37

    Yup and the SA soldier could speak the local language or dialect?! Child soldiers are 'common' to Africa but not unique, the middle-east and far-east have a notorious history linked to 'child soldiers' We were little more than children ourselves when we had to do national service, I did so willingly and were proud to do so - no regrets at all. We were in a political era we had no choice over but in terms of ones personal life I believe the majority of SA men benefitted from National service.

  • Bruce Gauld - 2013-03-31 16:38

    Now all of you who so loudly shouted about SADF soldiers killing children during the border war can shut the F up!! If a kid point a gun at you with the intention of firing it you would have to shoot or you will die! Simple! War is War!

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-03-31 17:24

      The SADF was never a defence force. It was largely a tool of repression that was used to suppress and murder innocent, unarmed men, women and children. It was used foraggressive purposes to perpetuate apartheid. You can only boast of your exploits in that army in dark, dinghy bars where swastikas and Mein Kampf posters adorn the walls.

      Andrew Crawford - 2013-03-31 18:18

      Themba...go back to Zimbabwe. The ANC also committed acts of terrorism where innocent civilians were kiled! War is an ugly thing!

      Daniel En Julia Rossouw - 2013-03-31 19:01

      So Themba I take it the 30000 Cubans and Russians in Angola the SADF fought against were unarmed. Another uneducated brain.

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-03-31 19:56

      Andrew Crawford, sorry; I might have loved there, schooled there, but I am South African. Why dont u tell me to go to Germany? I also attended university there. At the end of the day, the SADF is nothing to be proud of. They are right up there with the SS, Gestapo, Khmer Rouge and other fascist armies.

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-03-31 20:13

      Danny und Julie; Lmao! I am probably more educated than both of you together.....but that's beside the point. What the hell was the SADF doing in Angola in the first place? And Namibia! How many kids did the SADF slaughter in the townships and neighbouring countries? Some of us changed schools twice in a single term, six times in a year to stay one step ahead of your evil, long reach.

      Sean Rossouw - 2013-03-31 20:27

      They were there to prevent the Cuban and Soviet communist forces reaching our border, which would have been very difficult to defend. Did you forget about the Cold war already?

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-03-31 20:36

      Sean, I get your point, but you forget one thing. It would have not been necessary to get our sons slaughtered and slaughtering each other if it was not for racism. The ANC has alway been anti-communistic, and pro-capitalist. If we had been one rainbow nation, there would never have been any need to have this war. I'd go to war to avoid this beloved country from going communist!

      Fred Steyn - 2013-03-31 21:36

      @Themba Khumalo - What you forget or maybe do'nt know is that the so called "Angola" war was financed by the western world and more particularly the USA so stop blaming white south africans only for what happened in the past. If you look at SA 30 years ago and compare it to the SA of today you have no choice but to agree that everything went downhill. If you want to judge a country and it's government just look at the condition of the roads in a country. That will undoubtely tell you how goood or bad a government is. Needless to say, SA is not in good "health". I do'nt doubt that you have an good education but you sure do'nt show any sign of good old common sense,

      Daniel En Julia Rossouw - 2013-03-31 21:49

      Themba thanks for proving my point about uneducated. SWA was put under RSA administration by the UN after WW2. That's what RSA was doing there. Cubans and Russians were infiltrating SWA from Angola that's why RSA were there. They were after RSA gold and uranium. And that is why USA were helping RSA. Atomic Bombs buddy. Cold War.

      gerasimos - 2013-03-31 22:30

      @Themba... Talking about fascists how about you take a good hard look at the fascist ANC regime. What the hell is a Mein Kampf poster anyway? Seems to me you ANC patsies had more "struggle" posters than any one else before..... come to think of it you guys are still struggling with EVERYTHING. BTW at least during the apartheid paradise you could find schools to go and hide away which is a far cry from the textbookless and classroomless mess your regime has left their peasants

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-04-01 00:11

      Where to begin? My poor education? Or lack of commonsense? Or stupidity? The fact of the matter is that u guys are defending an important arm of apartheid, an unjust and unnecessary war. Cold war? Red threat? You would have made Sen Joseph McCarthy proud. Commies everywhere. All you had to do to save the country al this waste was to talk to Presidents Rolihlahla Mandela and Oliver Tambo. The money wasted defending the indefensible, namely apartheid, makes Nkandla money to seem like loose change. Things are better not worse. Apartheid made things look rosy if u were white. The cake just got smaller, there are more mouths to feed EQUAL portions.

      gerasimos - 2013-04-01 05:33

      @ Themba. For goodness sake wake up from your idealism. A man of your intellect can surely see that SA is busy imploding under an inept administration of tyrants. The state coffers are bare, citizens are taxed to the limit with nothing to show for it viz non functioning state hospitals, crumbling road,water sewer systems, uncontrolled expenditure by bankrupt municipalities, bankrupt SA, SABC, Parks Board etc, grubby corrupt ANC cadres, job reservation via BEE and AA and finally blind sycophants who are loyally following their "party" into a quagmire of tyranny under the banner of socialism for "the people". It is the same malady that has bankrupted most of the west. When politicians give free handouts (jobs and money) firstly to themselves and then to their friends in order to stay in power the country will inevitably collapse. The cost burden of this parasitical socialism soon becomes too great for the "can-do's" to carry. I am sorely dissapointed in your definition of "better"

      Jango Za - 2013-04-01 13:01

      Themba, please stop writing complete trash. Really, this junk is so tiring. I served on the Border War. South Africa at the time was opposed to Communism ("Die Rooi Gevaar"), which was being spread by Russian and Cuban influence. Many African nations had fallen to despot socialist regimes. Frelimo in Mozambique, MPLA in Angola, Swapo in Namibia were all under influence, as was the ANC. I don't need to mention Zanu PF, we can see what they have achieved subsequently to somewhat vindicate the old Anti-Socialist defence. As with all these African nations, their own people suffer first under Socialism. The SADF's primary role was against Russian, East German, and Cuban soldiers fighting many miles away from their own homelands. They had incredible Russian equipment like the Mig 23, H26 Helicopter Gunship and numerous mechanised infantry vehicles. With limited resources, the SADF repelled these combined powers, working side by side with groups like UNITA and Renamo. There was no Mein Kampf and Swastikas, but I can tell you than Umkhonto we Sizwe pillaged, maimed, and destroyed many villagers who deemed to be neutral, or in support of anything non-socialist. If you were never on the Border Wars, then you have no right to make stupid comments. Today, every assh*le I meet is suddenly a struggle veteran, when 95% are like you, spew utter cr*p built from self-serving politics. The SADF back then, for all its wrongs and goods, was a far superior force to today's farce we have.

  • Erna Westdyk - 2013-03-31 16:45

    Then we must also assume that some of our soldiers were killed or injured by these children.

  • Piwa Fihlela - 2013-03-31 16:48

    Go to IOL and read 'how deadly CAR battle unfolded' then u wil read a detailed account of what happened

  • Lesego Singo Mokgalo - 2013-03-31 16:54

    Children in classrooms n soldiers at war. whther children or not they were fighting n killing our soldiers, they also deservd to be shot, so if our soldiers were aware tht they are children wht were they suppose to do, take out their belts n hit them while they hev guns on their hands?

  • Mulisa Makhalimela - 2013-03-31 16:55

    a bulet from a gun can kil,does not mater ho is shooting,a child or not.

  • Colleen Erasmus - 2013-03-31 16:57

    How many of our fathers saw their friends get blown up in the war in Angola? I have no memories of my father as a child, he spent 16 years in the army defending our borders where he should have spent 2 years doing military and camps. One of the things about war innocent lives are lost either way! The only thing is that these men all suffer with oost traumatic stress which alters there personalities and they never function properly again.

  • Phumlane Mkhwanazi - 2013-03-31 17:05

    They should not be traumatised they killed combatants not kids.....

  • Mncedisi Pride Blakfesi - 2013-03-31 17:09

    Hayi maan,that was not an act of juvenile delinquency where we would feel guilty of having to resort to harsh measures when dealing with those boys actions.They were the soldiers who were trained to kill and who also stated the shooting.They had a mission to carry out in which death was prescribed.I don't see anything wrong in what our soldier did to defend themselves under those circumstances although the abuse of chldren's rights in most of African states should be condemned.

  • Francois Conradie - 2013-03-31 17:10

    Unfortunate but if someone shoots at you you shoot back, doesn't matter how old they are.

  • peace.sol - 2013-03-31 17:20

    The minute they pick up arms,they cease to be children.

  • Dalas Mantjolo - 2013-03-31 17:32

    if u play wth the bulls u get de horns! Those kids wer capable of killing our fellow s.a soldiers, so no pity for the kids!

  • Eric Fana Moloi - 2013-03-31 17:38

    If thy were killed in SA,there would be a commission of inquiry,regardless hw armed n dangerous they were

  • Mohaola Keke - 2013-03-31 17:39

    News24 management having bad hidden gender about South African

      Lynn Hattingh - 2013-03-31 18:23

      I don't understand, please explain what you mean?

  • deon.duplessis.144 - 2013-03-31 17:43

    @Dalas. Absolutely correct ! Any person with a gun in his hands, I deem to be a soldier. And, I am sorry to say, but if I have to choose between me or him.......... Not the best situation to be in, but extreme circumstances, calls for extreme measures.

      Cnikiwe Lolwana - 2013-03-31 18:51

      Dats true Deon extreme circumstances, calls for extreme measures

  • gratton.rush - 2013-03-31 17:52

    Go for the pig who recruited brainwashed these poor siblings. I am glad they found out after the battle, am sure more of guys would have been taken out. These men were doing what they are trained to do, but sadly have lost their lives and been manipulated on the political chessboard, as so their young opponents. The pics I've seen show well trained men in children's bodies

  • Bheki Nxumalo - 2013-03-31 17:57

    Those Grade 5 must be shown that our soldiers are better than them

      Simphiwe Spijo Nxumalo - 2013-03-31 18:06

      if it was in Mzansi a commission of enquiry was gonna be established just to feed some retired advocates...a bullet is a bullet it kills no matter who fired...

  • Ivan B Langbooi - 2013-03-31 17:58

    taking in account the Geneva conventions those were not kids they were combatants. opening fire at SA's best shorely u no u r opening a can off worms. to the brave who lost their lives. we will neva forget you. we fear not but god. H.U.A

  • Sphelo Makaula - 2013-03-31 18:00

    Good we lost also they must loose

  • Asanda Mtsolong Qoboshiyana - 2013-03-31 18:01

    I wonder whn ths President wil stop protecting these African dectators by poor blood of our brothers. Patriots u did nothing wrong your lives where in danger even those of de monsterkids u hv deserve de best. Whoz protecting SA? Just imagin to hv no enough ammunition bt we ar paying tax wher is our Tax money going if it cnt save our nation mxm#pissed#