22nd July 2024

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SA navy extends inquiry into SAS Manthatisi incident

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SAS Manthatisi

Tulani Ngwenya

South Africa – In the aftermath of the devastating incident off the shores of Kommetjie near Cape Town on September 20, 2023, where three South African (SA) Navy sailors lost their lives, the Chief of the SA Navy, Vice Admiral Monde Lobese, has granted an extension to the ongoing Board of Inquiry (BoI) investigating the SAS Manthatisi event.

The incident involving the Heroine-class submarine, SAS Manthatisi, led to the immediate establishment of a Board of Inquiry to investigate all aspects of the incident and ascertain the chain of events that culminated in the tragic loss of lives at sea. Vice Admiral Monde Lobese granted the BoI’s request for an extension in order to guarantee a complete and exhaustive investigation, demonstrating the gravity and complexity of the case.

The inquiry, tasked with unravelling the circumstances and factors contributing to the incident, initially faced a fixed timeline for its investigation, however, recognising the need for a meticulous examination of the incident, it sought additional time to ensure a comprehensive and unbiased understanding.

Lobese, acknowledging the importance of a thorough inquiry into the incident, revealed that, “It is crucial that we leave no stone unturned in our quest for the truth and a complete understanding of the factors that led to this tragic incident. The extension granted to the Board of Inquiry reflects our commitment to a transparent and comprehensive investigation.”

The incident has cast a shadow over the naval community, prompting a re-evaluation of safety measures and protocols to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Read more on the subject.

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF), in issuing a media statement, emphasised its commitment to transparency and accountability in handling such incidents. The extended timeline for the Board of Inquiry ensures that every detail is scrutinised, providing a basis for informed decision-making and preventive measures to safeguard the lives of naval personnel.

As the investigation continues, the nation awaits BoI’s findings hoping for insights that may prevent future tragedies at sea. SANDF assured the public that the inquiry will be conducted with the utmost diligence, and updates will be provided as the investigation progresses.

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