News24

SA soldiers were ambushed

2013-04-02 14:04

Pretoria - The South African soldiers, who were killed in the Central African Republic last month, were ambushed on the way back to their base, their commanding officer said on Tuesday.

The soldiers were advancing towards rebel fighters outside the capital, Bangui, but some rebels managed to cut around them and attack their base, said Major Jiyane, whose first name could not be immediately obtained.

He told a memorial service for the fallen soldiers in Pretoria: "We stood our ground and fought, the grass and the bushes of Bangui provided cover for us in the dark hours of the night."

He said while the soldiers were fighting on the ground, a chopper had provided aerial support for them.

He described the soldiers as "disciplined tigers".

"The soldiers waited like tigers for my command and fought like lions until the end."

The 13 soldiers were killed in a clash with rebel fighters outside Bangui last month.

Twenty seven were wounded and have since been flown back to South Africa for medical treatment.

The wounded soldiers were admitted to 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

A representative for the soldiers' families said on Tuesday the SANDF had provided a chaplain and social workers to help them deal with their grief.

"We were angry when we received the news about the deaths of our brothers, but the support from the SANDF made us stronger."

He appealed to the media and public to show respect for the soldiers' families, and to allow the soldiers to be buried in a dignified manner.

The SANDF last week said the families would decide whether they wanted a military funeral, a semi-military funeral, or a private funeral.

Comments
  • Anton Anton - 2013-04-02 14:13

    Tigers dont get ambushed wtf

  • Alan Street - 2013-04-02 14:15

    Poor training !

      Sithembiso Mayisela - 2013-04-02 16:58

      I imagine you have been through the training...how better would you do it?

  • Refiloe Thelma Shikwambana - 2013-04-02 14:17

    Funny how they kp cmng up wth stories.

  • Piet Jakhals - 2013-04-02 14:21

    F... UP by child soldiers.....

      Dean Kyle - 2013-04-02 15:47

      maybe a jakhal and a Rooster can do better than the SANDF neh? ja thats what i thought

  • Roelf Strydom - 2013-04-02 14:23

    I see we have many arm chair soldiers commenting here. Wannabe's of note, pity on you! RIP brave soldiers!

      Moeketsi Matli - 2013-04-02 14:32

      Roelf you are right most of this armchair soldiers will hide behind their mothers aprons once they are confonted with the situation that our soldiers were confonted with, to them is well and clever to comment on something they know nothing about, i really feel sorry for them.

      Eugene Meyer - 2013-04-02 15:01

      Its arm chair soldiers who would like to hear what happened, because the story keeps changing. Ambushed...but how do you ambush 200 soldiers in a town? SA Base was under attack, but then the CAR rebels came to the base the following day and said they never ment to shoot SA troops? Run out of bullets, troops scattered around the place gaurding building, etc... We just want to know what happened, and why were we there. Thats all.

      Dmitri Dumas - 2013-04-02 15:02

      @Roelf, to a point I agree with you. RIP to the men who were KIA. What upsets me (and I think, the majority of readers) is not the soldiers, but the command structure (or lack thereof). Never mind close to nil (or even nil) air support. Having read most of the comments and threads and various versions of what happened, I come to one question all the time: How do you ambush 200 bats (If they were all bats) ??? As I was not there, let me ask a question here. How many rounds did each soldier carry (5 mags x 30 rounds) ??? plus a bit extra. Now for a "as has been reported" a close to 13 hour contact, how do you continue to engage with limited ammo, nil (or close) air support. Where was the re-inforcements. I mean. For 13 hours (give or take), that makes one hell of a mess with radio traffic.

      Nigel Burgess - 2013-04-02 15:16

      It's not the brave soldiers we question or ridicule Roelf, but the politicians who placed them there, and the Brass who so obviously didn't do their prep. Remember also, many of us are not wannabes, but have/has beens and actually know exactly what we're talking about, and therefore we question some of the ridiculous lies we're being fed, as well as wanting to know what the actual tactical situation was because so far the info doesn't tally.

      Roelf Strydom - 2013-04-02 15:19

      I blame the press, only portions of what happened is reported and then people start making their own assumptions. There were a few small groups of our soldiers fighting at different places and yes they all regrouped at the base and from there groups were sent out again. I am a proud paratrooper and honored to be associated with these men. Get ALL the facts before you jump to conclusions, it's like commenting on a rugby match if you only know what happened in 1 scrum. This fight lasted for hours there are more to it than is said in this article or any other article.

      Nigel Burgess - 2013-04-02 16:19

      @ Roelf. All noted and I fully support your sentiment. I think people are simply crying out for the full story, and the funny remarks are out of frustration at being taken for idiots by our politicians. Government do not seem to think citizens have a right to know what is happening to our men and women in the forces, and this is wrong. We want to know and we would also like the truth regarding what their actual purpose (mission) really is.

  • Colin Nelson - 2013-04-02 14:25

    Parabats ambushed while reatreating. Condolences to the families.

      John Silver - 2013-04-02 14:43

      ambushed is ambushed. Fighting retreat to base is the only sensible option when you are not the dominant force on the ground and have air or armour cover. RIP good men.

  • Brian Tebogo Mogotsi - 2013-04-02 14:28

    You guys are liers. Your stories refuse to gel.

  • BLUESILVER2012 - 2013-04-02 14:39

    Hang on here!! First they said these "soldiers" were ONLY there to train and thus no gear for full on combat...then we are told they were on a recce NOW we are told they were ambushed after "advancing" on rebels so tell me ANC and SANDF, which one of you LIEING THIEVING BASTARDS is telling us the truth. This STINKS of a cover-up by the ANC to avoid and embarrassing truth, has the SANDF become soft, fat and lazy that ill equipped rebel soldiers can defeat them with ease??? No Union or ANC to protect you once you outside SA borders.

      Silenta Solly - 2013-04-02 16:00

      Shouldn't you be concerned about what's happening in china?

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-03 07:55

      Somewhere they'll lie themselves in a corner.

  • Sthembiso Jali - 2013-04-02 14:39

    this incident should be bunned from publicity. too many lies being spewed around. even those officials who did wrong will exploit the opportunity

  • Ari Potah - 2013-04-02 14:41

    "The soldiers who were killed in the Central African Republic last month, were ambushed on the way back to their base, their commanding officer said on Tuesday. The soldiers were advancing towards rebel fighters outside the capital, Bangui, said Major Jiyane, whose first name could not be immediately obtained." Advancing or ambushed on their way back to camp?? No wonder thesepoor guys died with this kind of confusion abounding . . .

  • Ghostsword - 2013-04-02 14:44

    ... show respect for the soldiers' families, and to allow the soldiers to be buried in a dignified manner.

  • Karl van Rooyen - 2013-04-02 14:45

    Sorry but I have to smile at this majorscomment about CROUCHING TIGER , HIDING LION ...

      rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-04-02 15:00

      Probably watched a kung fu movie.

      colin.fryer.7 - 2013-04-02 15:01

      You are right Karl, almost as though it was lines from an epic film being run.

      Nigel Burgess - 2013-04-02 15:22

      Yes it really is just so damn funny. How about just giving us the factual sequence of events, and I mean the real version, not the ANC political version or the hollywood drama version.

  • Philemonmaepa Phatlane - 2013-04-02 14:45

    do not hurt the families involved with lots of different stories.we as s.a loves them dearly and we will bury them with dignity

      Anton Anton - 2013-04-02 14:51

      Yes I agree we cannot blame the poor guys that died , we must blame the ANC government for sending them there, its like sending them to death row.

  • byron.jay.37 - 2013-04-02 14:48

    Nothing can be justified. We are still killing our own people.

  • En Gineer - 2013-04-02 14:50

    South Africans can sometimes make you sick. Armchair warriors who are probably overweight bank tellers, commenting as if they would have done any better. The details of what happened that day are freely available, and yet you spew out your conspiracy theories. If you want the soldiers' stories to be exactly the same word for word, you're missing a few cells because half the time they weren't fighting in the same area, only until the end. You are nothing short of stupid to think they fought 3000 child soldiers for example. Funny thing is when the SADF was fighting a battle in Angola thousands of km away, you believed every single word the defence force told you. No internet, no verifying, just word of mouth. Pathetic bunch of people we are.

      Bruce Gauld - 2013-04-02 14:55

      I agree. We need to think first before talking. Most of the time we as humans speak utter crap. People who have never been I a fire fight just don't know jack. I'm one of them and instead choose to think about it instead of speak about it. Just think, our lions fought well. They did what they could. An ambush is something else.

      Bheki Dingiswayo - 2013-04-02 15:34

      Hi Chief thank you for the information. It is much appreciated.

      Hugh O'l Phart - 2013-04-02 15:48

      play station experts.

      Freddie Miller - 2013-04-02 15:48

      Not all are inexperienced arm chair critics. I was in Ops Modular, Hooper, Packer and Excite and they were large full scale conventional operations, with artillery, tanks and air support. The fact that none of this was available to these troops is a travesty, not a single armoured vehicle and no fire control (artillery) or adequate air support. Absolutely disgusting. It is a miracle more didn't die. And as far as the comments about child soldiers... a 13 with an AK is as deadly as a 21 year old, more so as they have less understanding of the consequences. Angola was full of 13 year old soldiers in the '80s.

      Nigel Burgess - 2013-04-02 16:35

      Exactly Freddie. No disrespect whatsoever towards the ground troops, particularly if they were caught in an ambush, but where on earth was the tactical support and proper infrastructure for a meaningful counterattack and relief for these poor chaps on the ground. You do not rely on a few hundred soldiers to fight like this for hours on end with no proper retaliation and relief. How long have the Commanders had to organise and put in place proper infrastructure. I believe this was bad/no intel of the real developing situation, and a gross lack of 'ready to go' support and infrastructure.

  • Bruce Gauld - 2013-04-02 14:51

    If everyone could just get along in S.A we could be so much more powerful as a nation. Think of all the different cultures and what they have to offer? I think its high time we get involved in a war together. That way we could focus all of our latent hatred together onto a single target. If we could do this we would surely unify!!!

      Cane Corso - 2013-04-02 15:16

      Whatever, brother. If you haven't noticed, there is something called AA. I know people who wish to make the military a profession but are refused on the basis of the colour of their skin. Sort that shyte out first, then talk about holding hands in death.

      Hugh O'l Phart - 2013-04-02 15:49

      there were white guys there too.

      Siphiwo Mdunge - 2013-04-02 15:54

      there couldnt be a better explaination to the word 'unity' in SA, our soldiers black and white fighting a common enemy side by side.

      Bruce Gauld - 2013-04-02 15:59

      Um, in a full blown war you and your white friends will be accepted don't worry. Why do you think hitler had to use old men and boys near the end? My point remains, its about the only thing that will unify us.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-03 07:58

      "its about the only thing that will unify us." No it won't. I will never trust a ANC cadre with a gun behind my back. Hell, I don't even trust them with my tax money.

  • Monarch Magudulela Siphiwe - 2013-04-02 14:53

    I'm proud of our guys for standing their ground and RIP to all those who died there, as for the leaders I mean they know very well that our soldiers where there for years clearly the commander pulled a wrong trigger that lead to this situation.what happened to the story that they where at their base when all that happened?

  • onlinebaas - 2013-04-02 14:53

    "Where soldiers live in peace and angels sing amazing grace!" Tim Mcgraw - If you're reading this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeGEz_ns5I0

  • Mamokwee Rathipa - 2013-04-02 14:59

    May their soul rest in peace.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2013-04-02 15:02

    How many rebels did they kill? Why is this never mentioned, after all, the rebels waved the white flag, if this can be believed!

  • mfanah.radebe - 2013-04-02 15:04

    This members deserve a fully respected military funeral with all arms of service present to salute our fallen brothers in arms.

  • Magda Henning - 2013-04-02 15:06

    Says you Major Jiyane....what a joke

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-02 15:17

    Take the military funeral. Everything mahala, except for the life you gave so cheaply.

  • ltmodise - 2013-04-02 15:20

    May their souls rest in peace. My question is one, what was our intelligence doing while the rebels were busy approaching that base? Were they sleeping or doing their own things? If they were able to do their jobs they were gonna see that there is rebels ahead that wanted to ambush them.

  • Ntsiki Gebuza - 2013-04-02 15:20

    How many rebels were killed Mr J?????

      Sfiso Khumalo - 2013-04-02 15:34

      stop pausing stupid questns, there is noting 2 intrtain here dats 4 da military 2 knw en 2 keep

      Hugh O'l Phart - 2013-04-02 15:50

      around 500, why?

      Nettie Potgieter - 2013-04-02 16:13

      ?1 000

  • nicholus.nakanyane - 2013-04-02 15:21

    Arggg drop it already this is the 5th story..different 1.tell us about uncle dictator mugabe and stop lying..sick of it..

  • Stevo66 - 2013-04-02 15:33

    This is all confusing. I think SA needs more explanation on what happened at CAR, one comes to the conclusion that something is fishy here.

  • Jimmy James - 2013-04-02 15:54

    Lack of combat intelligence and control from day one!!!

  • phosa.peter2 - 2013-04-02 16:14

    Only 3 question un-answered commander ,1 where was the intelligence cops on that Day? 2 who waved the white-flag during Gun-exchange that lasted for 9hrs.(why?). 3How (why) was the sandf Base ended-up in the hands of Seleka Rebels?.

  • Gwenny Miomezandi - 2013-04-02 16:22

    Cn sm1 pls explain 2 me y des questions r bein askd 2day if sm1 else *oposin political party* rly cared, coz i blv dis isnt jst cumin out of da box nw dey knew b4 my broders went out of dis country...... aint u 2 b blamed 2????

  • Themba Wordsworth - 2013-04-02 16:37

    Most of the people commenting here are civilians without knowledge of what's soldiering is all about. We are supposed to commend our troops but people are uttering lot of rubbish. SANDF doesn't owe anyone explanation unless you are family member. Stop politicizing our Defence Force.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-03 08:00

      @ Themba Wordsworth The most white guys over the age of 37 got a good military training. We will stop politicising the SANDF when they ANC stop using the SANDF for political gain and to protect ANC interests.

  • Henk Tredoux - 2013-04-02 17:00

    Ambushed? They were sent to their death by an uniformed, uneducated greedy President to protect, another self enriching Moron! Stop patting around the (am)bush!

      Zzolisa Mmandlana - 2013-04-03 01:39

      He is far more intelligent than you will ever be hence he is your president

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-03 08:01

      Only a ANC cadre that will see a dude with Standard 4 as intelligent.

  • scouter.fourone - 2013-04-02 17:45

    How the hell do you get 'ambushed' by one thousand rebels? Out flanked perhaps, but not ambushed unless your 'points' are fast asleep for a number of hours and over some considerable kilometres....

      Tshepo Matli - 2013-04-02 17:55

      wena u shut up cuz u were nt there. If u got nothhing positive 2 say jst shush....

      Zzolisa Mmandlana - 2013-04-03 01:36

      They walked straight to their L apparently

  • Henchman Monco - 2013-04-02 18:12

    maybe DA is supplying those rebels with arms and information... u'll never know

  • Cassandra - 2013-04-02 21:44

    ...to protect the business interests of the politically connected elite" is how one report on radio described the reason for the presence of the SA soldiers in CAR. Experiencing the reality of corruption in high political places from the top down in SA every day inclines me to believe the radio report. It is the sort of thing the ANC would do when one thinks about it, isn't it? Does one really believe anything Zuma says...of course, it must be a key point, hay.

  • Modisagarekwe Majafa - 2013-04-02 21:46

    RIP guys, you died for a reason at the end, we will never stop asking so many questions though we really need to know as a nation.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-04-03 08:03

      Just hope they died for a good reason. Thus far it sounds like they died for greed.

  • sterling.ferguson.397 - 2013-04-02 21:50

    Cheif Sitting Bull ambushed Custer at Little Big Horn.

  • Modisagarekwe Majafa - 2013-04-02 21:52

    We will continue looking for the true story but that will never bring our men back, we lost them, we just have to accept it and let them rest in peace.

  • Iampeople - 2013-04-02 22:01

    For a leader so nervous in an obvious way Stutterin’ and mumblin’ for nightly news to replay And the rest of the world watchin’ at the end of the day In their livin’ room laughin’ like, "What did he say?" Read more: LINKIN PARK - HANDS HELD HIGH LYRICS

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