President Jacob Zuma, the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, has expressed his deep sense of loss at the tragic passing of six crew members and five passengers who perished in a plane crash on Wednesday.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel were on board the Dakota DC3 C47 plane in the Drakensberg area, en route to Mthatha when the plane apparently failed to negotiate bad weather and crashed in the mountain area.
"This tragic incident has caused great anguish to the families and indeed to all of us. They perished on duty, while providing selfless service to the State and the South African nation. This is an incalculable loss not only for the Air Force, but for the SANDF and the entire country. We cannot even begin to imagine the pain that the families are going through. They need all our support as we collectively mourn our compatriots and soldiers who passed on. We express our deepest condolences, as we all try to come to terms with this shocking incident," said President Zuma.