Navy ships were on display at the Waterfront as part of Armed Forces Day. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Vusi Masondo officially opened the Armed Forces Day (AFD) with a fan park at Mandela Park Stadium in Khayelitsha at the weekend.

The event, which saw many Khayelitsha residents in attendance, is expected to continue until tomorrow.

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said: “As the (SANDF) we can without doubt assert that we are the people’s national defence that represents all sectors of our community, united in their diversity. 

"The people of Khayelitsha and surrounding areas welcomed us with open arms and filled the stands at Mandela Park Stadium to witness the massive demonstrations and static displays by the SANDF.”

The AFD is a joint presentation by all arms of services and divisions of SANDF and is the largest celebratory and most important highlight on the SANDF event calendar.

Some of the activities in the fan park included aerobatic displays by the Super Falcons, static displays of state-of-the-art military hardware, free falling demonstration by paratroopers, rapid bridge building demonstrations by army engineers, a mock attack demonstration by air and ground-based elements, gun run, sword drills, precision drills, a hostage release operation simulation, and a martial arts demonstration.

“Since the fan park opened on (Saturday), we have been overwhelmed by the interest shown by the public from all walks of life. 

"Visitors to the SANDF Fan Park were fascinated by the state-of-the-art military equipment that they were given an opportunity to view. 

"They were shown the requirements to enlist in the military and the career opportunities our armed forces offer to qualifying South Africans,” said Mgobozi.

“Mandela Park Stadium also provides facilities and a perimeter fence that makes controlling the movement of visitors to the venue manageable. 

"The venue also has a wide area that affords us enough space to lay out our extensive military hardware displays and information tents, where human resource officers interact with the public and educate them on the role and mandate of the SANDF within our country’s constitutional framework.”

Cape Times