The rehearsal for the Armed Forces Day night shoot took place on Monday February 18, with the army’s big guns blasting off from 4pm as they were checked, and the preview officially kicking off at 8.10pm.
It drew a sizeable, excitable crowd and spectators brought their children to the event where a grandstand had been built at Sunrise Circle.
On display were helicopters such as Rooivalk and Super Lynx, Gripens and Hawks jet fighters, long-range artillery guns, tanks and armoured cars.
At the recently held public meeting on Wednesday February 6, SANDF’s representatives Rear Admiral (JG) Sammy Matshimane, chief coordinator for the Armed Forces Day this year, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kachelhoffer, the night shoot and capability demonstration coordinator and Lieutenant Colonel Lappies Laubscher, regional environmental manager for the Western Cape, invited the public to walk with SANDF to do a sweep of the area before and after the demonstrations.
However, on the day, when the volunteer civilians, arrived at the appointed time to do the sweep, they were told by Lieutenant Colonel Kachelhoffer that the SANDF had done their own sweep at 2pm.
Muizenberg High School volunteers were tasked with handing out ear plugs to the public arriving for the event and were treated to a tour of the military display on Sunrise Beach.
A handful of protesters, holding placards, held a peaceful demonstration.