SAS Mendi named

Jun 16, 2004
Author: P&S

The fourth and final corvette to be built in Germany for the SA Navy was officially named at a ceremony in Kiel, Germany this week.

Mrs Helena Retief, wife of the chief of the navy Rear Admiral John Retief had the honour of naming the new stealth corvette/frigate after the SS Mendi, a troopship that was sunk in the English Channel by enemy action during World War I. This resulted in the death of more than 600 members of the South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion, who reportedly went to their deaths bravely while singing Zulu songs on deck.

SAS Mendi sails from Kiel this week and will join three other similar ships, SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana and SAS Spioenkop already in Simonís Town. All four ships were built by the German Frigate Consortium at Hamburg and Kiel.

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