Man dies during SAAF basic training

Durban - The family of a Chatsworth man would have been celebrating his 21st birthday today, but are instead planning for his funeral after his shock death.

Vaugan Govender’s dreams of becoming an SA Air Force pilot was cut short when he died three days after falling ill during Basic Military Training (BMT) exercises in Limpopo.

Vaugan Govender died while undergoing basic military training. Picture: Facebook. Credit: FACEBOOK

He had started his training at the SAAF Gymnasium in Hoedspruit on Monday, January 27, but became ill on Wednesday.

He was taken to the Hoedspruit Military Health Centre where he was admitted, said SAAF spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald Maseko.

Govender was later transferred to the Tzaneen Mediclinic.

“He passed away in hospital on Saturday, February 1, at approximately 5pm. His death was untimely and may he rest in peace,” Maseko said.

A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

The Govender family, who have not yet set a funeral date, were too distraught to speak to the Daily News on Sunday.

Govender would have qualified as an airman on successful completion of his training.

Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the chief of the SA National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke and SAAF chief, Lieutenant-General Zimpande Msimang, expressed their condolences to the family.