Cape Town – A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier was shot dead and another wounded after an Oryx helicopter came under fire in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to SANDF, the wounded pilot managed to continue flying the chopper and landed safely at Goma Airport after Sunday’s shooting.
“A crew member was fatally shot. Another suffered injuries, but continued flying the helicopter and landed safely at Goma Airport. The SANDF is in the process of informing family members of the soldiers involved in this unfortunate incident.” read the statement.
The SA National Defence Force, Media Statement, Sunday, 5 February 2023. The SA National Defence Force members came under fire while flying an Oryx helicopter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.#SANDF#DCCMediaLiaison#JointOperationsDivision#DRC pic.twitter.com/V1EhekDzPq
— SA National Defence Force (@SANDF_ZA) February 6, 2023
A United Nations incident report stated that the commander was shot in the shoulder and the flight engineer was shot in the chest.
They were both flown to the hospital by another Oryx (819), Defence Web reported.
Democratic Alliance Shadow Defence Minister, Kobus Marais has asked the South African Defence Minister Thandi Modise to brief the Joint Standing Committee on Defence on the circumstance of the incident, the report said.
“We cannot allow our soldiers to be unnecessarily exposed to dangers on foreign soil if it should’ve been prevented. Maybe it’s time to consider whether the highest priority is still to have our air support capabilities in a foreign country while we have a critical shortage of air defence capabilities in South Africa and along our land and maritime borders,” the report quoted Marais as saying.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Picture: Twitter/ @CliffShiko
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe