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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Inquest opened into deaths of four SANDF members

The soldiers died due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after they allegedly made a fire to keep warm during freezing weather.


The South African Police Service (SAPS) has initiated an inquest into the deaths of four members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who died due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after they allegedly made a fire to keep themselves warm during freezing weather in North West.  

The four SANDF soldiers had been deployed on a 24-hour shift at Shaft 3, a dormant mining shaft in Orkney, near the disused Harry Oppenheimer Stadium, on Friday.

It is a hotspot for illegal mining.

Acting SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the members were found inside a container structure which was used as a guard house for those on 24 hours duty on Saturday morning.

Grim discovery

They were discovered during a change of shift.

SAPS was called in and upon inspection of the scene, all four had died, with their rifles on them and their personal items still with them.”

Dlamini said the district surgeon was called to the scene and examined the bodies and confirmed no injuries.

“A team from the Pretoria Forensic Science Lab Chemistry Unit also attended the scene and preliminary findings are that the deaths of the members could have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, from a possible fire made by the members during the cold night inside the container structure.”

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“The bodies of the deceased were transported to the Klerksdorp State mortuary for further investigation and post-mortem,” Dlamini said.

Deceased

Dlamini said the names of the deceased will be announced once the families have been informed and all processes and formalities have been completed. Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

The SANDF top brass, including Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Angie Motshekga and her deputy Bantu Holomisa, have sent their condolences to the families of the deceased and the entire defence family.

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