SA Sapper dies in Mozambique

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A 51-year-old Sapper died in a military level two hospital in Pemba in what appears to be a medical, rather than a combat, fatality.

Staff Sergeant Johan van Rooyen was on the strength of Kroonstad based 2 Field Engineer Regiment deployed in Mozambique as part of Operation Vikela, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) contribution to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique.

A four paragraph statement issued by the SANDF Directorate: Corporate Communication (DCC) has it Van Rooyen reported at Mihluri base “presenting with a severe headache and chest complications”. He was transferred to a level 2 medical facility in Pemba where he seemingly died. The statement does not indicate who manages the medical facility in the Mozambican harbour city nor does it give a cause of death.

Van Rooyen’s remains will be repatriated to South Africa where “the SANDF and his family will finalise funeral arrangements”.



As per SOP, the statement includes condolences from both the minister (Thandi Modise) and deputy minister (Thabang Makwetla) of defence and military veterans as well as Defence Secretary Sonto Kudjoe and SANDF Chief, General Rudzani Maphwanya.