President Zuma salutes SANDF member killed in DRC

President Jacob Zuma has extended condolences to the family of South African soldier, Rifleman Moalosi Mokhothu, who was killed during a gunfight with rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Sunday, a coalition of the Mayi Mayi and Allied Democratic Forces rebel groups operating in the Eastern DRC attacked the South African army base near Butembu in the Beni region.

After a lengthy stand-off, the attackers fled. During consolidation of the scene, it was established that four Mayi Mayi rebels were killed and two captured.

Mokhothu was killed in action, while two other SANDF members, Rifleman Sidumo Simon Mbhamali was critically injured in the neck and Bonginkosi David Phakathi sustained a minor hand injury.

Mokhothu and many other members of the South African National Defence Force are part of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO), which is employed in the DRC for a peacekeeping mission.

President Zuma saluted Mokhothu for his courage and his contribution, saying it will never be forgotten.

"We have learned with shock and sadness of the fall of our dedicated, brave and patriotic young soldier. We are proud of him. He died fighting for peace and stability on our continent. He paid the ultimate price for peace. We are deeply saddened.

"On behalf of government and all South Africans, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, relatives and colleagues. Our prayers and thoughts are with them in this difficult period. May his soul rest in peace," President Zuma said on Thursday.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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