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SANDF won't probe 'mischievous' reports

The SANDF will not investigate reports of more deaths in the Central African Republic.

Paratrooper Vusumzi Ngaleka, who was killed in the Central African Republic, is laid to rest in Khayelitsha. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has again quashed suggestions that it should investigate if more soldiers were killed in the Central African Republic (CAR) than reported.

Twelve of the 13 troops who lost their lives after rebels in the CAR struck in March were laid to rest on Saturday.

The SANDF says reports by international media that more South African soldiers were killed in the country are mischievous.

French news agency AFP reported CAR rebels as saying between 36 and 50 South African soldiers had been killed in a gun battle.

The SANDF's Xolani Mabanga says the reports are malicious and that the SANDF will not entertain them.

"We are saying that those are just malicious or mischievous reports which we don't know what their purpose is."

Earlier this week, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told the media the government would investigate the report.

However, Mabanga says this will not happen.

"The South African National Defence Force is not doing any investigation."

The SANDF says although it has a deadline for the return of the troops in the CAR, publicising the information is a security risk.

Meanwhile, the family of slain soldier Xolani Dlamini says despite their loss, they are proud of the country's military.

Dlamini was laid to rest at a military funeral service held at the West-Park Cemetery in Johannesburg on Saturday.

His uncle Elias says they will miss his presence, but thanked the military for being his family away from home.

"They were the parents to our children when we were not there. They were very encouraging from the start."

Opposition parties have called for an explanation from President Jacob Zuma following reports that the troops were deployed in that country to protect business interests.

However, Zuma has denied this saying the deployment was above board.