President Ramaphosa pays respects to SS Mendi soldiers

President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid his respects to the South African soldiers who died 102 years ago when the military steamship, the SS Mendi sank during dense fog on the English Channel.

More than 600 people died, of which many were black South African troops.

A spectacular display by the country’s armed forces is being showcased at Blouberg Strand in Cape Town as part of National Armed Forces Day.

President Ramaphosa has addressed the gathering saying the country honours the sacrifice of those who died.

He says: “They are our heroes and it is our duty to impart on our children the story of their bravery, their courage, commitment, and their long suffering. It is said that service to one’s fellow human, one is truly tested. The armed forces of Democratic SA can be justifiably proud of producing soldiers of resolve, steadfastness, and soldiers whose hearts beat with a great deal of patriotism.”

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