Call to join the army

PAYING HOMAGE: Members of the South African National Defence force bid farewell to gunner Rudzani Siphuma at his funeral in Thongwe. Pic. Chester Makana. © Sowetan.
PAYING HOMAGE: Members of the South African National Defence force bid farewell to gunner Rudzani Siphuma at his funeral in Thongwe. Pic. Chester Makana. © Sowetan.

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

A top army general has called on the youth to join and reinforce the South African National Defence Force.

Brigadier-General Abel Nelwamondo was speaking at Thongwe, Rammbuda in Limpopo, during the funeral of gunner Rudzani Siphuma, 21, a soldier who died at the South African Army Combat Training Centre in Lohatla, Northern Cape, two weeks ago.

He said young people should not be deterred by accidents such as the one at Lohatla because accidents occurred everywhere.

Nine soldiers died after a computerised anti-aircraft cannon went out of control and spat bullets hitting soldiers that were training, injuring 14.

The training was a yearly exercise, which involved 5000 soldiers from the airforce, navy and military health services.

Nelwamondo said investigations were still under way and a report would be made public upon completion.

Siphuma's father Solomon said his family had accepted that what had happened was an accident.

"We have so far received the best treatment from the SANDF," said Siphuma

His son died together with Sergeant John Bezuidenhout, 30; Bombardier Khangeziwe Malaza, 24; Gunner Rhulani Mtileni, 23; Gunner Botse Seipato, 21; Gunner Thapelo Nkwana, 21; Gunner Sammuel Nyembe, 22; Gunner Emmah Mthimunye, 20, and Gunner Sebenzile Nhlabathi, 20.

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