5 SAI soldiers’ sentences include rank reduction and detention


A reduction in rank, detention and fines are sentences handed down to 11 5 SA Infantry Battalion officers and soldiers following an assault incident in the DR Congo.

Captain PM Matsekoleng acting company commander at the time of the incident was convicted of assault and obstructing the course of justice. He was reduced to the lower rank of lieutenant.

Platoon commanders lieutenants BS Botsi and NK Mhlupheki were each fined R6 000 after being found guilty of obstructing the course of justice. The same fine was handed down to Staff Sergeant EB Majola and Corporal VT Magolego. The court found them guilty of the same charge as their platoon commanders.

Three riflemen – S Tshabalala, EB Ntshangase and TE Nkuna – were fined R4 000 each for obstructing the course of justice.

The remaining three soldiers charged in connection with the assault of a Congolese teenager at Mbuyi-Mayi in DR Congo in January this year were sentenced to 120 days detention. They are CL Phungula, RL Sibede and LK Masetlwa and their sentences are for assault and obstructing the course of justice.

The sentences were handed down in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, where 5SAI is based last month.

Sixteen unit members were originally charged after the 17-year-old was apparently caught stealing plastics buckets and bins from a military base in Mbuji-Mayi in the DR Congo province Kasai Oriental. He was apprehended by the soldiers and assaulted. The incident was reported and an investigation mounted which saw a court sitting in DR Congo in June. This was followed by court sittings in South Africa, the first one September 17 and the second and final one from October 15 to November 2.