SANDF members wounded in attack in DRC in good condition

Published Feb 18, 2024


South African soldiers left injured following a mortar bomb attack on their base in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remain in hospital and in good condition, the military reported.

While the condition of the three soldiers remains under supervision, preparations for the funerals of Captain Simon Mkhulu Bobe and Lance Corporal Irven Thabang Semono, who died during the bomb attack of the South African base on Wednesday, are well under way.

According to the SANDF, both Bobe and Semono were working at 1 South African Infantry Battalion and were deployed with 2 South African Infantry Battalion when they met their untimely death.

The South African contingency was part of the SADC mission in the DRC deployed to support and assist the DRC government in its efforts to bring peace, security and stability to the region.

The latest attack was the second incident in recent weeks. In early February an South African Air Force (SAAF) Oryx medium transport helicopter was hit over 40 times by small arms fire while carrying out a casualty evacuation in the DRC.

While there were no fatalities after the aircraft from 22 Squadron was hit, a commander as well as a medic in the cabin were injured.

It is believed that M23 rebels were responsible for both attacks.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has since the attack faced heavy criticism from both the EFF and DA, who called for the deployment of South African soldiers to the DRC to be stopped and the soldiers recalled until they were better equipped and trained.

Both political parties labelled the continued deployment of the country’s soldiers as “reckless”.

The SANDF and the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) expressed confidence in the capabilities of the country’s soldiers, but said additional aid needed to be sent to the members.

The details of the memorial and funeral services have yet to be communicated.