Reports of SA Navy frigate firing a cannon round into Simons Town dismissed as fake news


Weekend reports of a South African Navy (SAN) frigate accidentally or mistakenly firing a 76 mm cannon round into the mountains above Simons Town have been dismissed as fake news.

In a statement on Sunday, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said it noted with concern an Argus newspaper report on 30 January about an alleged mistaken firing of a naval cannon gun into a mountain range in Simons Town.

“The SANDF wishes to state that the report is unsubstantiated and baseless and should be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves. It is outright disingenuous and irresponsible to report on unverified information that has a potential to cause panic amongst the citizens of the country,” the SAND statement said.

“The SANDF wishes to assure the citizens of the country especially those in the Simon’s Town that they are and remain safe at all times and should guard against such speculative repots aimed at causing unnecessary panic.”

The alleged incident supposedly happened on Friday, from a ‘corvette’ at the Navy Dockyard in Simons Town. No evidence was given to substantiate the Argus report.

Darren Olivier, Director at African Defence Review, believes that what happened was confusion over Navy firefighting drills that were taking place on a frigate on Friday, and the City of Cape Town apparently using bear bangers to scare away baboons at the same time.

Noting the SANDF’s denial of the incident, Olivier states that, “unfortunately, like nearly all SANDF media releases, it’s too late and with too little detail. The damage has been done.”