COSATU offers its sympathies to the families of the SANDF personnel the nation tragically lost this week

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) offers its heartfelt sympathies to the families of the seven South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel lost this week.  Three gallant members of the SA Navy were lost in a traumatic training accident in Cape Town, including the first woman submariner, and four dedicated army personnel passed away in a tragic road accident near Upington.  Four navy personnel are recovering with one remaining in intensive care.  We wish them a speedy recovery and the families of the deceased all the strength during this painful time.

The Federation urges the SANDF including the Military Ombud, Major General Vusimuzi Masondo (retired) to conduct thorough investigations of these two tragic incidents.  Our SANDF personnel undertake great sacrifices and dedicate their lives to serving and protecting the nation, including during peacekeeping and enforcement missions across the continent, and for little pay.  They deserve to have the maximum security, health and safety measures put in place at all times, to minimise risks to their life and limb.

If anyone is found wanting during these investigations, then action needs to follow.  We cannot afford compromises when it comes to the lives and safety of SANDF members.

The SANDF and the Department of Defence need to ensure that all monies due to these members and their families is processed expeditiously so that they are able to bury their loved ones in peace and to begin the processes of healing.  The injured members must be supported in their recovery processes and supported in returning to active duty.

Issued by COSATU.

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687