soldiers killed in northern cape fires

The Northern Cape fires have tragically resulted in the loss of five soldiers’ lives, as they swept across the SANDF Combat Training Centre in Lohatla according to a report the South African National Defence Union (SANDU).

The South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) have officially confirmed this tragedy in a statement.

The SANDF statement describes the incident: “On Friday afternoon, a massive fire with a wind speed of 70 kilometers per hour, originating from a nearby mine, swept into the western part of the CTC, which is the South African National Defence Force’s training center in Lohatlha, Northern Cape. This unfortunate event occurred during preparations for the upcoming SA Army Vukuhlome Exercise, resulting in damage to the assembled equipment at the training center.”

sandf vehciles destroyed at lohatla base
Several vehicles were destroyed by the raging fire. Source: SANDU

According to SANDU, five members of the SANDF, comprising 4 males and 1 female, lost their lives, and several other members sustained injuries. Additionally, multiple military vehicles, tents, and other equipment were destroyed.

SANDU extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.

This incident marks yet another tragic loss of South African soldiers’ lives, totalling 12 soldiers lost in the past three weeks.

The SANDF plans to convene a Board of Inquiry to investigate various aspects, including the circumstances leading to the loss of personnel and equipment, as well as the extent of the equipment losses, which appear substantial based on social media footage.