Memorial service planned for 11 SANDF members

2016-08-21 08:24
(Supplied Netcare911)

(Supplied Netcare911)

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Bloemfontein – The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has expressed sadness at the death of 11 soldiers who died on the R712 near Golden Gate in the Free State. 

In a statement issued on Saturday, spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said the death of the soldiers  “put a damper on Women’s month”.  

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of the lives of our warriors, protectors of our freedom, democracy and sovereignty,” Mahlangu said. 

“We wish to convey our condolences to their families, friends including their colleagues and wish those injured a speedy recovery."

Mahlangu called on road traffic law enforcement authorities to increase visibility in order to reduce the carnage on public roads. 

"One death on our roads is a death too many.” 

Accident reconstruction experts were sent by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to investigate the bus crash.  

11 people died and several others injured when a military bus overturned on the winding road in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park nature reserve.

Those who died are:

- Phumza Teledimo, chaplain (37)
- Lesego Cynthia Rasethuntsha, cleaner (25)
- Corporal Akhona Tshoni, storeman (30)
- Lance Corporal Sharon Nosiphiwe Macala, personnel (27)
- Maria Jacobs, cleaner (57)
- Alice Thakanyane Masilo, cleaner (27)
- Lance Corporal Cheena Roberta Jonkers, storeman (30)
- Sergeant Matseko Josephine Madimabe, signaller (26)
- Lance Corporal Maditsietsi Constance Morotolo, signaller (26)
- Portia Palesa Ramabodu, health service assistant pharmacist (26)
- Private Maserame Dorcas Molibeli, caterer (25)

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said paramedics arrived at the crash site shortly before midday on Friday.

Nine people died on the scene. Several passengers sustained injuries ranging from serious to critical. 

They were treated at the scene and taken to local hospitals. The 2 more people died later in hospital.  

The bus was transporting the SA National Defence Force employees to Basotho Cultural Village for an event.

Those who died were based at the Department of Defence Demob Centre in Bloemfontein, except for Madimabe and Morotolo, who were based at the Free State Signal Unit.

Funerals were still being arranged. The department said a joint memorial service was planned for Wednesday. A time and venue would be announced soon.

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and other high-ranking officials, expressed their condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the crash.

They visited the injured in hospital and wished them a speedy recovery.

Read more on:    sandf  |  bloemfontein  |  accidents

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