SUBJECT: THE SANDF APPRECIATES AND THANKS ALL THE SOUTH AFRICANS FOR THEIR PROFOUND SUPPORT DURING THE MOURNING OF THIRTEEN SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE MEMBERS
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would like to confirm that all thirteen (13) of its members who fell in combat in Central African Republic have been laid to rest.
The SANDF conveys its sincere gratitude for the support it received from the members of the public and local government authorities in different areas where the funerals took place.
On the same note, the SANDF would like to inform the public that the nine (9) SANDF members who are still in hospital are recovering well and are given all the medical support that they require.
All the SANDF personnel who were still in the CAR have been withdrawn and are back home safe and are receiving all the professional support they require.
Regarding the allegations by foreign reporters about the number of casualties suffered by the SANDF, the SANDF would like to assure all South Africans that there are no bodies or personnel of the SANDF that cannot be declared. The SANDF can account for each and every person that was deployed in the CAR.
The SANDF Military Command wants to commend all the SANDF personnel who were deployed in CAR for their brave and courageous actions when they were confronted by thousands of opposing (enemy) forces. Despite being outnumbered these SANDF members managed to stand their ground, inflicted many casualties on the opposing forces until the attackers surrendered and initiated cease fire which led to a truce.
Though the SANDF does not pride itself on the numbers of opposing forces it has killed but prides itself on the respect it commands from its opposing forces. The SANDF would like to indicate that according to reports from various sources between six hundred (600) and one thousand (1000) casualties (dead) were suffered by the opposing forces. The SANDF leaves it to the opposing forces to count their own casualties and believes that the opposing forces will be bold enough to admit that hundreds if not more than a thousand of its forces perished or diminished in front of the brave SANDF members.
It is unfortunate that there was no balance in the reports about the casualties during the engagement between the CAR rebels and the SANDF members. Very little is reported or receive attention when it comes to the CAR rebels. This is either by design or default, but the SANDF takes note of that reporting and will never be shaken by false reports.
The incident of CAR will not, in anyway, deter or demoralise members of the SANDF, instead it serves as a source of inspiration to soldier on. The SANDF wants to assure all South Africans that it is always ready to execute any task that it may be assigned to. The SANDF remains the pride of the nations.
Statement issued by Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga Defence Corporate Communication, Pretoria, April 9 2013
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