The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has unveiled the names of the two soldiers who died in a vehicle crash in Polokwane, Limpopo on Thursday 15 December 2016.
The force in a statement released on Tuesday said the names of the deceased are: Staff Sergeant Phillip Konzaphi Kota and Sergeant Tankiso Possa. The duo aged 54 and 51 respectively.
One of the soldiers died at the scene while the other died on arrival to the hospital.
SANDF spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said: “It was actually a head-on collision where two members of the SANDF died, one died instantly and another died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The accident happened along the N1 north next to Hartleigh, 46km North of Makhado. It is alleged the two trucks, of which one was a military truck, were travelling towards Makhado when another truck travelling towards the north lost control and collided with the two.”
It is understood that the deceased Kota and Possa were from 6 South African Infantry Battalion in Grahamstown. Further information revealed that Kota was married and has two children.
The other, Possa hails from Ntabankulu, Eastern Cape, was also married with two children.
The department added that the funeral arrangements of the soldiers would be communicated as soon as it finalises them the families of the deceased.
In a related story, the SANDF, on Monday, confirmed the death of one of its member. The soldier died in a rebel attack in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The yet-to-be-revealed soldier died on Monday in a gunfight that erupted when members of the Mayi Mayi and Allied Democratic Forces groups attacked the SANDF position near Butembu around 6.30am.
The soldier was part of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Congo. SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said in the course of the fiery attack, four rebels, and a policeman was gunned down.
The attacks came amid heightened tensions as Congo President Joseph Kabila’s last term in office ends. Since her independence in 1960, Congo has not witnessed a peaceful transfer of power.