Second SA soldier injured in DRC

Fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has left two SANDF soldiers injured.

FILE: DRC M23 rebel soldiers keep guard during the inauguration of newly elected M23 political wing President, Bertrand Bisimwa in Bunagana. 7 March 2013. Picture: Isaac Kasamani/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Another South African soldier has been wounded in renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday after being shot in the thigh.

"In the afternoon, the South African National Defence Force together with the Tanzania People's Defence Force attacked M23 position and during the attack one of our members suffered a bullet wound," explained Xolani Mabanga of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

The other injured soldier was hit by shrapnel after a bomb was set off by the M23 at the weekend.

Both soldiers are in stable conditions.

More than 1,300 South African troops are supporting Congolese soldiers as they battle M23 rebels in the DRC.

Last week, the Presidency revealed that it's costing more than R400 million to keep South African boots on the ground in the country, while saying the soldiers were not actively involved in combat.

Soldier's union the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) says South African soldiers who were seriously wounded in the DRC are doing their jobs, which comes with casualties and high chances of sustaining injuries.

The union's Pikkie Greeff says while it is sad when soldiers are killed or seriously injured, it is inevitable.

"From the union's point of view, it's a soldier's job to deploy and engage in military operations and injuries are part of the job and even dying in combat are part of the job."