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Soldier found dead in car boot not part of Operation Lockdown: SANDF

Soldiers patrol the Cape Flats as part of an exercise to clamp down on spiralling crime in the area.
Soldiers patrol the Cape Flats as part of an exercise to clamp down on spiralling crime in the area.

A soldier whose charred body was found in the boot of a state-owned car in Cape Town last weekend was not part of Operation Lockdown, the SANDF says.

“Furthermore, the SANDF would like to categorically state that the death of the member is not related to anything that is happening in the Western Cape with regard to our deployment and the fight against gang violence in the province,” said SANDF spokesperson Brig-Gen Mafi Mgobozi.

He added that the circumstances under which the soldier had been killed were under investigation. The body was discovered in the boot of a burnt Hyundai in Silversands Road, Mfuleni, last Sunday. 

Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz said on Friday the 41-year-old soldier was working at a military base in the Western Cape and had been missing since August 16.

“Reasons for this shocking act are not yet known and the SANDF is working with Mfuleni SAPS who are investigating the circumstances that led to this incident," Mgobozi said on Friday. 

Two men were arrested in connection with the murder during a tracing operation on Monday and Tuesday after fire and rescue services personnel extinguished the burning vehicle. 

Theodore Loggenberg, 43, appeared in Blue Downs magistrate's court on Thursday, and the second man, aged 24, remains in custody. Loggenberg is due back in court on Monday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said more arrests were expected. 

Fritz commended the police for the arrests. "We cannot tolerate such a gross disregard for the peace and safety of the people of our province," he said. "We cannot allow gangsters to intimidate and terrorise our communities, particularly those that are most vulnerable."

Fritz called on the police to determine whether the murder was gang-related, and to "ensure the arrest, conviction and incarceration of gang leaders who may have given the directive to kill a soldier".

He added: "The SANDF has been deployed to assist us in safeguarding the province and we must do everything in our power to support them."

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said the incident was still under investigation and no more details were available.