A veld fire in the Northern Cape claimed the lives of six South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members, leaving three others with severe injuries. The catastrophic incident unfolded at the Lohatla combat training centre, as a fierce fire, driven by gusty winds reaching speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour, swept through the area.
The fire, originating from a nearby mine, encroached upon the western section of the SA Army’s combat training center shortly before 2 pm on Friday. At the time, soldiers were in the vicinity, making preparations for the upcoming annual SA army exercise known as “Exercise Vuk’uhlome.”
Major General Rene Mecuur of the SA Army reported that six soldiers lost their lives in the tragic incident, while three others suffered secondary-degree burns. The South African army is actively assessing the situation on the ground, with a comprehensive investigation underway.
In the wake of this heart-wrenching occurrence, the identities of the fallen soldiers will be disclosed once their next of kin have been duly informed.