Today, 18 March, we salute and honour the following men & woman who sacrificed their lives whilst standing in the defence of what they held dear at the time and against evil and tyranny.

SOUTH AFRICAN BORDER WAR

18 March 1986: 70440474PE Warrant Officer Class 1 Frederick Petrus Johannes Cornelius from 5 Maintenance Unit was critically wounded in Northern Owamboland when his vehicle detonated a landmine. Evacuated back to the RSA, he succumbed to his wounds in 1 Military Hospital later that evening. He was 31. 

    RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

    1968 – Cpl Erisha CHIKUDZA, 14 Pln, E Coy, 1st Bn RAR, was killed by a gunshot wound in a contact, Urungwe, Op Cauldron, aged 30 years.

    1968 – Tpr Eric Noel Francis RIDGE, 14 Tp, 3 Cdo, 1st Bn RLI, was killed by a gunshot wound in a contact, Op Cauldron, Mana Pools, aged 19 years. ZAPU and SAANC insurgents had infiltrated the country from Zambia at the junction of the Chewore River with the Zambezi. After their presence had been detected, elements of the RAR and RLI were brought into the area from Chirundu and Mtoko respectively, with a JOC established in Karoi on 16 March. The SAS and PATU were also deployed as the hunt for the CTs gained momentum. At 0730, SAS trackers, having followed spoor to the Angwa River area of Mana Pools, reported to RLI troop commander, Lt Bert Sachse, the presence of 10 CTs. A contact soon ensued, resulting in Tpr D. Woods being wounded. Sachse then split his troop in two, directing one half off to his left to encircle the CT position. As they moved off, a CT sniper shot Eric in the heart, killing him instantly. The CT was killed shortly thereafter. Eric is deemed to be the first RLI member to be KIA during the Bush War.

    1977 – DSA Josephat MUSIYIWA, Kp Prtn, was killed in action in Gutu, Op Repulse, aged 18.

    1978 – Cpl Robert Hugh ‘Rob’ CERFE, Pte Elson MAKONDE, and Pte Jacob NKOMO, all of 3(Indep) Coy, RAR, were killed in action. Operating from the old police camp in Nyamaropa, Op Thrasher, a stick of four encountered a very large group of CTs. In the ensuing engagement, and in spite of Cpl Cerfe's desperate pleas for help over the radio, the stick was overrun, and only the MAG gunner, having run out of ammunition, managed to escape, returning to base a couple of days later.

    1979 – Gd Aaron RANJISI, PV Prtn Group, GF, was killed in action. 

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

     

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    • March 18, 2017
    • Piet Fourie
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