The commander of an infantry company deployed on border protection duty was no shot less than six times by own forces earlier this week.
According to SA National Defence Force (SANDF) director: corporate communication, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, the Bravo Company (of 14 SA Infantry Battalion) commander received information from police that a suspected stolen vehicle was about to cross the Mozambique/South Africa border in Mpumalanga.
“He then relayed this information to the deployed section in that specific area. No further vehicle identification details were provided.
“Troops from the deployed section spotted a vehicle they suspected was the allegedly reported stolen one and opened fire on it. When firing ceased, it was discovered by the section leader the vehicle was not the suspected stolen one but was in fact the vehicle carrying the company commander. He was en route to assist with the search for and recovery of the stolen vehicle,” Mgobozi said.
The company commander, whose name and rank was not supplied by the SANDF, was on the receiving end of gunshot wounds in his right leg (three), left leg (two) and left arm (one). The vehicle driver was hit once in the left arm.
“Both are in a stable condition,” Mgobozi said.
As is the case with all shooting incidents in the SANDF, a board of inquiry has been convened and military police are investigating all factors related to the incident which took place on Tuesday, September 26.
14 SAI recently deployed to Mpumalanga as part of the regular rotation of the Operation Corona border protection tasking. The unit is based in Mpumalanga and provides two companies of soldiers as well as the headquarters function.
As far as can be ascertained this is the first own forces shooting incident since Corona deployments, in their current configuration, started some 10 years ago.
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