Second SANDF vehicle crash in Free State within a month


A crash near Bethlehem in Free State – the second in the province in less than a month involving military vehicles – earlier this week left 46 soldiers with injuries ranging from minor to critical.

Those injured were, according to an SA National Defence Force statement, all military skills development (MSD) members attached to 2 Field Engineer Regiment at Bethlehem.

The crash was apparently caused when the driver of the Samil 50 personnel carrier lost control causing the vehicle to overturn Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said adding the crash and its cause was being investigated.

The Samil 50 overturned about 22km from the Free State town where it had collected soldiers who were on town pass.
“The South African Military Health Services (SAMHS) in co-operation with Provincial Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were dispatched to the accident scene and rendered medical assistance. There are six members who were critically injured. They were airlifted by a South African Air Force Oryx helicopters to 3 Military Hospital at Tempe and a privately operated medevac helicopter to Bloemfontein’s Pelanomi Hospital.”

Last month 11 women SANDF members were killed when the bus they were travelling in crashed en route to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park outside Clarens for a Women’s Day function.

There were 42 SANDF personnel aboard the bus which apparently rolled down an embankment on the R712 close to the national park.

Nine females were killed in the crash with two more succumbing to their injuries later.

That crash is also the subject of a board of enquiry.