Friday, July 19, 2024


Inquest into deaths of four SANDF members

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) has initiated an inquest into the deaths of four members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who may have been poisoned by carbon monoxide while on duty combating illicit mining.

The members were stationed on a 24-hour shift at Shaft 3, a dormant mining shaft in Orkney, North West, next to the abandoned Harry Oppenheimer stadium which has been a hotspot for illegal mining, according to the SANDF.

The deceased members are said to have been found inside a container structure which was used as a guard house for those on 24-hour duty on Saturday morning, 6 July 2024, when the next shift was taking over.

The police were called and upon inspection of the scene, all four had died, with their rifles on them and their items still intact.

“The district surgeon was called to the scene and examined the bodies and confirmed no injuries. A team from the Pretoria FSL Chemistry Unit, also attended the scene and preliminary findings are that the deaths of the members could have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, from a possible fire made by the members during the cold night inside the container structure,” the statement read.

The bodies of the deceased were transported to the Klerksdorp State Mortuary for further investigation and post-mortem.

“The names of the deceased will be announced once the families have been informed and all processes and formalities have been completed followed by the announcement of the funeral arrangements.”

The Minister of Defence and MilitaryVeterans Angie Motshekga and Deputy Minister Bantu Holomisa, have extended their condolences to the families of the deceased and the entire defence family.

The soldiers were deployed under the police Operation Vala Umgodi to tackle illicit mining.



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