Mfezi Ambulance

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Mfezi Ambulance
Type Armoured ambulance
Place of origin  South Africa
Service history
In service 1990–2008
Length 6.56 metres (7.17 yd)
Width 2.48 metres (2.71 yd)
Height 3.03 metres (3.31 yd)
Crew 1 Driver 2 × Orderlies

Engine ADE 449T 9.51 litres (2.51 US gal) 5-cylinder diesel,
184kW @ 2100 rpm[1]
Suspension 4×4 wheeled
1,000 kilometres (620 mi) (road), 300 kilometres (190 mi) (cross country)

The Mfezi Ambulance is an armoured ambulance used by the South African Military Health Service. The name Mfezi is a Zulu word that means snake. The snake is the emblem of the South African Operational Medical Orderly who operate and use these vehicles.

The Mfezi Ambulance replaced the Rinkhals Armoured Ambulance at the end of the Angolan Bush War although it is believed that one Mfezi Ambulance was operationally tested in Angola during the closing stages of the Bush War.[2]

The Mfezi is a 17 metric tons (37,000 lb) armoured vehicle capable of withstanding 3 × TM-57 landmines/21 kilograms (46 lb) TNT under any wheel and two TM-57/14 kilograms (31 lb) TNT under the hull. The side are armoured to withstand up to 7.62×51mm small arms firel.[1][3]

The Mfezi is operated by two medical orderlies and has the capacity to hold four patients lying down and four sitting. The configuration of the inside of the vehicle can be changed as needed according to the situation, although this requires a workshop intervention.


  1. ^ a b Engelbrecht, Leon (25 November 2008). "Fact file: Mfezi armoured ambulance". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Whittle, Marius (2006). "OPS Medic - operational medical orderlies during the Border War". Journal for Contemporary History. 31 (3): 326–348. ISSN 0258-2422. 
  3. ^ Camp, Steve; Helmoed-Römer, Heitman (November 2014). Surviving the Ride: A pictorial history of South African Manufactured Mine-Protected vehicles. Pinetown: 30 Degrees South. ISBN 978-1928211-17-4.