Mangaung welcomes its heroes

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SABRINA DEAN – The Bloemfontein CBD is expected to play host a welcoming parade by 44 Parachute Regiment for soldiers who were deployed in the Central African Republic (CAR) this morning, 9 May.
The Mangaung Metropolitan Municiaplity said in a statement: “These are our heroes; they will be welcomed as such.”
The soldiers were caught up in the devastating battle of Bangui in the CAR on 23 March. The battle claimed the lives of 13 paratroopers and a 14th member, Sergeant Othniel Matlole Mahasa, recently succumbed to his injuries and passed away in Bloemfontein.
Today, Mangaung Mayor Thabo Manyoni is expected to officially welcome them back to “the city which they have known all these years as their home away from home”.
The first parade is scheduled to start from Charlotte Maxeke Street outside the Post Office and make its way through the city from 8am. Proceedings then move to the Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre in Rocklands for a Flag Hoisting Ceremony from 10am.
“The Mayor as the main functionary will address members during the Flag Hoisting Parade,” the statement read.
This afternoon from 3pm the Regiment will participate in a Retreat Parade, also at the stadium in Rocklands. “During this parade the unit will also have the opportunity to display their skills and tactics by means of a demonstration in order to enhance the ooperation with civilian entity,” the statement said.