No South African soldiers have been killed or seriously injured in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has said.
Reports that SANDF troops were injured or killed should be dismissed as propaganda, Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said in a statement yesterday.
“This is just mere propaganda and psychological warfare from the rebel forces who want to portray their so called success against the DRC government troops.”
Mabanga said there were clashes between the M23 rebels and the armed forces of the DRC on Saturday.
“During these clashes it happened that a mortar bomb fell close to the base where the SANDF members and Tanzanian People’s Defence Force (TPDF) members, part of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), is located.
“The FIB members suffered minor injuries from shrapnel or splinters from the bombs causing minor injuries to one SANDF member and two TPDF members,” he said.
Mabanga said the SANDF intended holding a media briefing to update the public about its participation in the FIB.
Last week, President Jacob Zuma informed Parliament that 1345 soldiers had been deployed to the DRC.
The SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said it wished the injured a speedy recovery.
“To those fighting M23 rebels, Godspeed and good luck, your bravery is an inspiration to us all,” said secretary Pikkie Greeff
He said soldiers had raised concerns that they were promised Gripens and Rooivalks when they left, but that the helicopters had not arrived in the DRC.
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