Lone infantryman shoots and kills two women in KZN

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The actions of a lone soldier who shot two women, wounded a third and apparently also shot and wounded a policeman near Durban has put a damper on the upcoming Armed Forces Day celebration to be held in the east coast port city.

The soldier is, according to new SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Director: Corporate Communications, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, a rifleman in Upington-headquartered 8 SA Infantry Battalion.

The infantryman was in possession of an R4 assault rifle, which he apparently drew ahead of reporting for guard duty. There was, at the time of publication, no indication of where he allegedly drew the assault rifle and ammunition, where he was supposed to be going on guard duty or where he was based in the greater Durban area.
“He allegedly fatally shot two civilians (his girlfriend and her female friend) and shot and wounded a third civilian (female). His fourth victim, a member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who went to investigate the shooting incident, was allegedly shot and wounded by the SANDF member.
“The SA Police Service has activated its Tactical Response Team (TRT) to track and locate the SANDF member. Military Police were dispatched to the scenes of the shootings. The SANDF will co-operate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the law takes its course,” Mgobozi said.

Military police and their colleagues in the SA Police Service were today following up on leads and information as they try to apprehend the shooter, whose name has not been made public.

The SANDF annually marks Armed Forces Day on February 21, the same day the troopship SS Mendi sank in the English Channel after being rammed by the SS Darro in 1917, making this year’s commemoration the centenary.
“South Africa has adopted February 21 as Armed Forces Day in recognition of those who lost their lives in the most devastating military accident in the history of South Africa and those who continue to serve the country with distinction, willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of the Republic,” Department of Defence (DoD), head of communications, Siphiwe Dlamini, said.

The SANDF has listed five objectives for Armed Forces Day including uniting all South Africans behind the country’s military and expanding public understanding of the defence force’s role and purpose in society.