Defend Truth

PHOTO ESSAY

SANDF honours its fallen on International Day of UN Peacekeepers

SANDF honours its fallen on International Day of UN Peacekeepers
Molima California Khuselo, supported by her children and a family member, lays a wreath for her husband at the SA National Defence Force’s 8th annual commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers at the De Brug mobilisation centre near Bloemfontein. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

The SA National Defence Force held its 8th Annual commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers with a wreath-laying ceremony at the De Brug mobilisation centre near Bloemfontein.

In 2015, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) promised to honour the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on 29 May, remembering SANDF soldiers who died while on duty.

sandf peacekeepers

A silhouetted SANDF member stands at attention while the South African flag is raised. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

Molima California Khuselo is overcome with emotion during the wreath-laying ceremony. Her young daughters Unathi and Sibongile are with a family member. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

A technician inspects a Rooivalk helicopter at the venue. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

Emotional family members after laying wreaths at the International Day of UN Peacekeepers ceremony. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

Lerato Sejake prepares to lay a wreath. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Speaking at the ceremony on behalf of all the families was Lerato Sejake, who lost her father, Jabulani Ben Sejake, on 20 May 2005. He was stationed in Lenasia and was part of One Battalion.

“On this day we honour all current and former members of the armed services, because our country’s greatness is built on the foundation of your courage and sacrifice. You give more to the nation to safeguard the veracity. To hold the flag high as it can be. A big salute to all the heroes,” Sejake said. 

While she found the day very overwhelming and emotional, Sejake said she was grateful to have represented the families as she had always wanted to speak on their behalf. The families present at the event praised her speech, saying she said all that they would have wanted to say.

sandf peacekeepers

Flags blow in an icy wind. The flags were completely lowered except for the South African flag which was at half mast in tribute to fallen soldiers. The flags were all later raised. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

Solemn music marked the wreath-laying ceremony. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

Families huddle under blankets in the icy weather. The rain stopped before the ceremony began. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

An army officer on a Badger IFV infantry fighting vehicle during the ceremony. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

sandf peacekeepers

Wreaths are laid at the SANDF’s 8th Annual commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

“Memorial Day is the day set aside to remember with gratitude and pride, all those who served and died for our country and our freedom. May your day be filled with memories and peace,” the programme for the service read.

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. South Africa will never forget their sacrifices.

“To those in uniform, serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honour you today and every day. God bless South Africa.” DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.