Why are jets flying above Cape Town on Sunday 21 February?
Swathes of Capetonians reported hearing these planes around 8:00 today. Multiple jets could be heard making their way across town – with some comparing the event to a Hollywood blockbuster.
What is with the three planes flying in formation over Cape Town?
— 𝕯! (@darrynvdwalt) February 21, 2021
What’s happening over Cape Town just got buzzed by what looked like a mirage fighter jet.
Plus a couple of spotter planes pic.twitter.com/O1c1wc1r1P
— Gary Cohen (@geceewildride) February 21, 2021
Cape Town CBD & surrounds Twitter freaking out about the jets flying over the city is vrek funny. I know the noise is kak loud & scary but I can’t stop laughing at all the Independence Day images
floating around in my head now. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— Far from the Madding Crowd. (@blomnbeautiful) February 21, 2021
Remembering the SS Mendi
Here’s what is happening: A military fly-by is taking place to pay tribute to one of SA’s darkest hours: On the night of 21 February 1917, more than 600 men of the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC) lost their lives in the sinking of the SS Mendi – the largest single loss of life for the non-combatants in the SANLC during the First World War.
The Mendi was carrying the SANLC to France, where they were due to serve as essential labour support to the ongoing fighting, when the SS Darro, a much larger mail ship, struck the troopship. Every year, this tragic incident is marked with a series of commemorative events – including an Air Force fly-by above Cape Town.
Cape Town: Where will the jets fly?
In total, four of these high-powered jets will make themselves heard at various intervals on Sunday – with the Castle of Good Hope getting an official flypast at 11:00.