It was an impressive display amid the smoke, dust and diesel fumes. Guns blazed, jets bombed, and tanks and armoured cars churned up the red sand of the army’s combat training centre at Lohatlha in the Northern Cape.

The recent Exercise Ukuthula got the thumbs up from many of those who attended, among them military attachés from foreign countries. One of the visitors remarked that the exercise sent a clear statement: "Don’t stuff around with the SANDF [SA National Defence Force]."..

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