Statement On The National Armed Forces Day
T Mmutle ( Physical)
On Monday 21st February 2022 President Cyril Ramaphosa, as Commander-in Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) officiated at the annual Armed Forces Day at Barberton and Mbombela in Mpumalanga.
Armed Forces Day commemorates the worst naval tragedy in the country’s history – the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi in the English Channel on the 21st February 1917. More than 600 SA Native Labour Corps troops drowned when the ill-fated troopship was struck by the SS Darro.
The ANC is grateful for the role our soldiers have played in peace keeping and for helping the police during unrest and enforcement of the lockdown in the country. They played a critical part during unrest, assisting law enforcement agencies to restore order and protect key economic infrastructure. In addition, when Parliament was engulfed in fire at the beginning of this year, the personnel from Air Force Base Ysterplaat Military Aviation Rescue and Firefighting Services were part of the first responders to douse the flames. These brave men and women are always there to restore stability and prevent a spill-over of the conflict into other countries.