An SA Army infantry soldier was apparently shot and killed by her boyfriend, also a soldier. Both belong to 5 SA Infantry Battalion and were deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of Operation Mistral.
As far as can be ascertained from UN peacekeeping records this is the second time a South African soldier has murdered a fellow soldier. The first incident was reported to the UN in May 2005 when Rifleman Bashin Sejake was murdered by fellow soldiers, Rifleman Ingongo Gasa. That shooting happened in Burundi.
The latest soldier shoots soldier incident took place on Friday in eastern DRC where South Africans are deployed as part of MOUNSCO, the UN’s single largest peacekeeping missing and its associated Force Intervention Brigade (FIB).
Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, Director: Defence Corporate Communication, said in a statement: “A member of the SANDF based in eastern DRC tried to commit suicide after allegedly shooting his girlfriend who is also an SANDF member based in the DRC”.
“The alleged girlfriend died on arrival at a Goma hospital. The man is currently in a critical condition in hospital in the same city,” Mgobozi said adding the motive behind the shooting was not yet known.
The dead soldier has been named as Private Nomathemba Ngeleka, a member of 5 SA Infantry Battalion, headquartered at Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. She had been a uniformed member of the SA Army since 2011 and leaves behind a child, her parents, three brothers and three sisters.
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; the Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube and SANDF Chief, General Solly Shoke, have all expressed heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased member.
Details of the memorial and funeral services will be announced in due course.