Mini Navy Festival in Cape Town cancelled – SANDF Freedom of Entry parade on track


The SA Navy (SAN) has cancelled its mini-festival set for Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront this weekend in the wake of the tragic submarine accident off Kommetjie on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Andries Mahapa, Director Defence Corporate Communication (DCC), said the SAN mini festival scheduled to take place between 23 and 25 September “has unfortunately been cancelled due to the tragic loss of lives on board the submarine SAS Manthatisi.” Three submariners died when they were washed overboard during an exercise.

The  mini festival was expected to include participation from a number of warships and have a Type 209 submarine open to the public as well as capability exhibits and displays. These were to include precision drill, officers’ sword drill, sea cadet precision drill and SAN band performances.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF), including a SAN contingent, will continue to be part of Heritage Day events by way of exercising its freedom of entry to the City of Cape Town. A SANDF parade poster shows the SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Army, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) and SAN as part of the parade.

A DCC statement issued today (22 September) has it that “11 units across all services and divisions” will be part of the parade. The parade will reach the VIP saluting podium at Cape Town City Hall on Darling Street at 11h00 tomorrow (Saturday, 23 September).

Cape Town Executive Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis will take the salute. Joining him on the podium, along with unnamed “prominent figures”, will be SA Army Chief Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha. The three-star general is tasked by SANDF Chief General Rudzani Maphwanya as being the Level 2 Chief Executor for the Freedom of Entry parade.

The DCC statement has it: “Freedom of entry is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies wherein an honour is bestowed by a municipality upon a military unit, as a valued member of the community or a visiting celebrity or dignitary”.

Units named as part of the parade include 10 Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Cape Town Highlanders, Chief Langalibalele Rifles, Nelson Mandela Artillery Regiment and Autshumato Anti-Aircraft Regiment. According to the statement these Reserve Force units will have Freedom of Entry to Cape Town conferred during the parade.