Congo-Kinshasa: After Mortar Fire Tragedy, Two SANDF Soldiers Deployed in DRC Die in Apparent Murder-Suicide

Just two weeks after two South African soldiers were killed by mortar fire in the Democratic Republic of Congo, two more SA soldiers died in an apparent murder-suicide in the central African nation.

In a statement released on Friday, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said that two of its members deployed in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) had died in a murder-suicide.

“The incident occurred when one of them shot and killed the other with their service weapon before turning the weapon on themselves with fatal consequences,” it said.

The statement said the minister of defence and military veterans, Thandi Modise, “expressed her shock” at the incident.

Speaking to Daily Maverick over the phone, the head of communications at the SANDF, Siphiwe Dlamini, would not share any information about the mental health resources available to SANDF members in general or to soldiers deployed in active conflict zones such as the one in the DRC.

Instead, he directed Daily Maverick to the statement released on Friday, adding that the SANDF had convened a board of inquiry to work with Monusco to “investigate the incident and the circumstances that led to it”.

“We will wait for the outcome of the board of inquiry of the SANDF in conjunction with … Monusco, which will look at circumstances surrounding the incident,” he said.

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