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Four soldiers die of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning

dead body

Four soldiers perished from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after starting a fire in their container to combat the harsh cold while on duty in Orkney, North West, as part of Operation Vala Umgodi aimed at tackling illegal mining activities. The tragic incident, confirmed by SA National Defence Force (SANDF) spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini, occurred during their 24-hour shift at Shaft 3, a dormant mining shaft near the disused Harry Oppenheimer Stadium.

According to Dlamini, the soldiers were found deceased inside the container, which served as their guard house, by the relief team taking over their shift. Their rifles and personal belongings were still in their possession, and initial investigations by the Pretoria Forensic Science Laboratory chemistry unit suggested carbon monoxide poisoning as the likely cause of death.

“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,” stated Dlamini.

An inquest has been initiated into the incident, with the bodies of the deceased transported to the Klerksdorp state mortuary for further investigation and postmortem examination. The names of the deceased soldiers will be withheld until their families are informed and all necessary formalities are completed.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Angie Motshekga, along with the department, expressed condolences to the families of the soldiers and the broader defense community. The tragic loss highlights the challenges faced by military personnel in remote and challenging environments, where extreme weather conditions necessitate measures that, in this instance, led to unforeseen and devastating consequences.

In other news – 58 Zimbabwean military officers receive commissions

58 members of the Zimbabwe National Army were commissioned on Saturday following the successful completion of their basic officers military training at the Zimbabwe Military Academy in Gweru. These officers, having endured a rigorous 18-week training course, are now equipped to assume their roles within the military.

They have been urged to uphold professionalism in their duties, adhering closely to the principles outlined in the country’s constitution. Addressing the graduates, ZNA Commander Lieutenant General Ansleme Sanyatwe emphasized the importance of their skills in fulfilling the ZNA’s constitutional obligations and contributing to the nation’s vision. He underscored the ethos of service and sacrifice, reminding them, “National interests come first before self-interests.” Read More

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