40 SANDF soldiers deployed to Limpopo test positive for Covid-19

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An SANDF member patrolling the streets of Cape Town during the lockdown.
An SANDF member patrolling the streets of Cape Town during the lockdown.
Roger Sedrus/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • The battalion from Cape Town was deployed to Limpopo.
  • 40 soldiers tested positive for Covid-19 once in Limpopo.
  • The affected soldiers are in quarantine.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed that 40 soldiers deployed to Limpopo tested positive for Covid-19.

According to a statement by the SANDF, the battalion identified to be deployed to Limpopo is an infantry battalion from Cape Town. 

"As always the SANDF ensured that all the necessary precautions were in place and the battalion was under a 14-day quarantine period at their home unit in Cape Town before being transported to Lephalale to augment another battalion in the SANDF's safeguarding role on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe," SANDF Joint Operations Division spokesperson Captain Jaco Theunissen said.

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After the battalion arrived in Lephalale on 13 June, they were immediately placed under the 14-day quarantine period at the South African Military Health Services Training Centre in Lephalale.

"As is the norm during Mission Readiness Training, none of these members were allowed outside the base.

"After some members had been screened it became clear that a number of them needed to be tested. It was established that certain members tested positive for Covid-19.

Tested

"A decision was then taken for the entire battalion to be tested. Those found positive were isolated in a facility inside the base that has been specifically established and prepared for this purpose," Theunissen added.

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Theunissen said soldiers are at the coalface in the fight against Covid-19 in assisting other government departments in various different roles.

Soldiers from different units have been deployed all over South Africa and the composition of its members is not from one region. 

"The SANDF will not act irresponsibly in making decisions on which elements needed to be deployed when and where.

"The SANDF would like to urge all South Africans to heed the call of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, not to discriminate against persons that tested positive for Covid-19."

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