Person Number
Roberts   72
Date of Birth
2002 18
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Military Number
Death Age
27 27
Rfn  (1439)


9th South African Infantry Bn
Unknown Sub-Unit

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Story by
on 2004-06-03 09:25:58

Erika Gibson

Pretoria - A South African soldier stationed in Bujumbura in Burundi has died in what the defence force has described as a freak accident after a tree fell on a chemical toilet.

Corporal Moahlodi Joseph Moeti, 46, told fellow soldiers shortly before his death that he was going for a walk.

After a while, the other soldiers started worrying when Moeti failed to return.

They went looking for him and found a bluegum tree, which stood next to a row of chemical toilets, had fallen over on to the toilet in which Moeti was sitting.

Moeti apparently died immediately from a blow to the back of the head.

The soldiers, who are part of an African Union peacekeeping force, are stationed at the Palace base in Bujumbura.

According to Major Niko Allie of the defence force, a board of inquiry was set up and found the accident had been a freak one not caused by negligence on anyone's part.

Moeti is survived by his wife, M E Moeti of Sebokeng.

Rare attack by crocodile

This is the latest in a number of freak accidents that have either claimed the lives of, or seriously injured, South African soldiers in the past two years in Burundi.

In November last year, a South African soldier narrowly escaped death when a crocodile attacked him when he was having a swim in Lake Tanganyika. The swift action of two colleagues saved him.

A year earlier, Johannes Roberts, 29, from 9 SA Infantry battalion drowned in the swimming pool at the base.

Pulled gun on sergeant and major

Roberts and a friend had gone swimming in the base pool about 01:15 when he drowned.

Only two months prior to this incident, four soldiers drowned during an emergency rescue operation on the Rusi River.

Earlier this year, corporal Mynette Enoch Nguyuza, 25, shot at Major Wouter de Bruin from Phalaborwa and sergeant Vasudevan Selvan from Durban.

Nguyuza was shot dead during the incident, but the major and the sergeant survived the attack.

Edited by Iaine Harper

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