“Mabena, is that you?” This was the bemused quip of one Twitter user reacting to a viral video that has left South Africans on social media in stitches.
Security consultant Yusuf Abramjee shared the video on Twitter on Tuesday morning along with the caption, “This is our @_SANDF_. Video as received.”
It showed a South African Defence Force (SANDF) light armoured vehicle being driven over a sand hill as soldiers watched from what was supposed to be a safe viewpoint.
No injuries reported
However, it appears the armoured vehicle’s driver came down the sand hill a little too fast and failed to turn left on time.
In the process, the driver ended up behind the designated barricade and nearly ran over a number of soldiers who managed to dash out of the way.
In a statement on Tuesday, SANDF’s head of communications Siphiwe Dlamini confirmed that the video was taken at the SANDF Armed Forces Day 2020 capability demonstration practice at the Roodewal Bombing Range in Limpopo on Monday.
He said no injuries or damages were reported in the incident. The vehicle’s driver eventually reversed and drove off from the scene.
SANDF ‘concerned at attempts to cast doubt’
Dlamini said the SANDF was concerned that some social media users have attempted to use the video to cast doubt on the army’s capabilities.
“It is regrettable that there are individuals who hide behind pseudonyms whilst intentionally portraying the SANDF negatively by posting and/or commenting adversely against it with ill intentions of casting doubts about its personnel and equipment to the unsuspecting public,” he said.
The Armed Forces Day will be held on 21 February, but is being preceded by events starting on Tuesday, 18 February.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of SANDF, is expected to officiate the Armed Forces Day parade on 21 February.
According to the SANDF, the annual event is held “to honour South African soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty serving their country.”
It also honours “currently serving men and women in uniform who continue to put their lives in danger in pursuit of stability that would ensure that our country and the entire African continent is at peace with herself.”