Today's Labour News

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saafCity Press reports that had it not been for the Air Force 22 Squadron commander who employed desperate evasive tactics on Friday morning as rebel gunfire ripped through the Oryx he was piloting, everyone on board would probably have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Shooting by the rebels – presumably the infamous M23 forces who had earlier said they were ready to fight the South Africans – almost completely severed a finger of Major Jannie Augustyn and left one of his legs full of shrapnel. With him in the Oryx were copilot Major Harvey Strauss, flight engineer Sergeant Divan Adams, medical staff, and an Indian patient who was part of a medical evacuation. The shot that hit Augustyn’s hand lodged in the helicopter’s joystick. The bullet that filled one of his legs with shrapnel entered the helicopter from below, leaving an enormous hole in the aircraft. A medical orderly, Sergeant Mahlalela, was seriously wounded in the side when a bullet struck him below his bulletproof vest, after entering through the Oryx’s floor. His lungs were also badly injured and he was taken to a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. The helicopter was hit at least 43 times and a hydraulic system that controls the lowering of the undercarriage was damaged. Augustyn underwent surgery at the military hospital in Goma to try to save his finger and remove the shrapnel from his leg.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Erika Gibson at City Press (subscriber access only)

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