One South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier died and over 40 other soldiers were injured on Friday when a military bus overturned at around 10am on the N12 highway from Kimberley to Saldanha.
“Four members suffered critical injuries. The bus was 20km to Victoria West. Emergency medical personnel attended to the scene and stabilised the injured. The name of the deceased member will be announced as soon as the next-of-kin have been informed,”spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said.
“Three critically injured members were taken by road (ambulance) to a hospital in De Aar and subsequently airlifted to 3 Military hospital in Bloemfontein and one highly critical member was airlifted from the scene of the accident to a hospital in George for further emergency medical treatment.”
Mgobozi said that the 55-seater bus was ferrying a total of 43 members from various units in Kimberley to a soccer tournament when the accident occurred.
The other 38 members suffered various minor injuries and were taken by road to a hospital in De Aar for medical attention,” Mgobozi said.
“Details on the circumstances that led to the bus overturning will form part of an investigation into the bus accident,” Mgobozi said.
“The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Honourable Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube and the Chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke express their condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the deceased member and have also wished the injured members a speedy and healthy recovery in hospital.”