The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says it s set to receive the body of Moalosi Mokhothu on Friday afternoon.
The 27-year-old soldier was killed during a fight with rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier this month will today, be handed over to SANDF who will in turn hand over the body to the diseased family.
Moalosi Albert Mokhothu, who died during a gun battle with rebels served as a member of a United Nations Stabilisation Mission. He reportedly died at about 6:30 am when a coalition of the Mai Mai and Allied Democratic Forces rebel groups operating in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) attacked the position of the South African National Defence Force near Butembu in the Beni region of the eastern DRC,
“As the attack took place the SANDF members, as part of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Congo, engaged in a fire fight with the attackers and repelled the attack,” SANDF said in a statement.
The late rifleman, also known as Bushi to his friends and family died while waiting for medical evacuation. Two others were wounded in the attack by rebels near Butembu in the Beni region
SANDF described the fallen hero as one who paid the ultimate price while contributing to peace on the continent. His remains are expected be back in South Africa on Friday afternoon at the air force base in Waterkloof and the SANDF says they will welcome him like any other hero who fell in combat.
“The South African National Defence Force will formally receive the body from the battlefield in a heroic manner and hand it over to the family.” The force’s Xolani Mabanga says
Mabanga also says the SANDF will inscribe Mokhothu’s name on the wall of remembrance, acknowledging him as a hero who paid the ultimate price whilst contributing towards peace, stability and prosperity in the continent.
The the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon also condemned the killing and called on the “authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to ensure that this attack is investigated and its perpetrators are brought to justice”. He underlined, once again, that attacks against UN peacekeepers are unacceptable.