WATCH: SS Mendi memorial site does not depict enormity of the tragedy – Cyril Ramaphosa

2019-02-21 19:59
Children sitting on a army vehicle during Armed Forces Day. (Zukile Daniel, News24)

Children sitting on a army vehicle during Armed Forces Day. (Zukile Daniel, News24)

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WATCH: SANDF Capability Demonstration in Bloem

2018-02-21 13:09

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) hosted an impressive 'capability demonstration' at the De Brug range outside Bloemfontein on Tuesday, as part of a series of events leading up to Armed Forces Day on 21 February. Watch. WATCH

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) celebrated Armed Forces Day 2019 on Thursday in Cape Town.

Following the celebrations, the SANDF honoured the soldiers who lost their lives in the fateful 1917 sinking of the SS Mendi. 

When the SS Mendi sank 19km south of the Isle of Wight, 616 South Africans were aboard the vessel. The loss of the SS Mendi remains the worst maritime disaster suffered by South Africa.

In 1916, Britain requested that the South African Native Labour Contingent provide them with 10 000 men for the British war effort. The men were mainly requested to work as labourers, unpacking ships before moving inland to assist the armed forces.

President Cyril Ramaphosa began his morning by visiting the memorial site of the SS Mendi at the University of Cape Town.

Defence corporate communications' Captain Marumo Machete said that Armed Forces Day was important as it shows South Africans what their tax contributions are spent on.

Read more on:    sandf  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  cape town

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