Today, 24 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.


24 Mar 1963: Five members of the South African Defence Force were killed when the military vehicle in which they were traveling as passengers, overturned at Voortrekkerhoogte. They were:

  • AT/27192 Private Jacobus Gerhardus Roos Runkel from 57 Quartermaster & Technical Depot. He was 18.
  • T/61173 Signaller Ivan Leslie Taylor from 1 Signal Regiment. He was 19.
  • AT/29217 Signaller Ulrich Andre Mulder from 2 Signal Regiment. He was 18.
  • AV/12626 Signaller Jacobus Johannes Helberg from 8 Signal Group. He was 17.
  • AS/16972 Signaller Abraham Lodewicus Botha from 8 Signal Group. He was 20.

24 Mar 1972: 69444685N Private Leon George Muller from the Air Force Gymnasium died from heat exhaustion in 1 Military Hospital. After a day of target shooting at Skurweberg Shooting Range, the Flight Sergeant in charge of the troops was not satisfied with the results of the shooting so after a punishment session at the range, the recruits had to run back to the Gymnasium at Valhalla. Some of the troops, including Private Muller collapsed and were picked up by ambulance and taken back to the Sick Bay. Private Muller arrived in critical condition and was taken to 1 Military Hospital where he later succumbed after suffering multiple organ failure. He was 19.

24 Mar 1975: 72357387N Rifleman Peter John van der Walt from 4 SAI died from a gunshot wound as a result of the accidental discharge of a fellow soldiers rifle while stationed in the Caprivi Strip. He was 18.

24 Mar 1982: 76906814SP Rifleman Gringo Jose’ Manuel from 32 Battalion was killed in a military vehicle accident at Buffalo. He was 23.

24 Mar 1986: 05483417PE Commandant Charles Vernon Hochapfel from the South West Africa Gymnasium attached to 101 Battalion SWATF, Died in 1 Military Hospital from Wounds received during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents. He was 44


    1974 –Pte Johan BRICKMAN, W/Shops, died in a motorcycle accident, Grey Street, Bulawayo. He was 24 years old.

    1977 – Sgt Andrew ‘Andy’ CHAIT, MLM(Post), C Sqn, SAS, was killed in action at Chioco, Tete Province, Mozambique, aged 27 years. Three SAS assault teams, made up of members of A and B Troops, led by Sergeants Andy Chait, Iain Bowen and Captain Grahame Wilson, launched an attack on a ZANLA and Frelimo Camp at Chioco. As they moved into the garrison town at first light, they found the enemy in trenches and bunkers but, accounting for them was difficult, and whilst Sgt Andy Chait was preparing to receive a grenade from one of his team, which he intended to use against an enemy RPD (light machine gun) position, a lone terrorist opened fire from a trench, killing Andy instantly. Cpl Imre Baka, using the same grenade, neutralised the terrorist. 38 CTs were accounted for during the raid.

    1978 – Cst Akim GUNDA, Uniform, BSAP, died suddenly in tragic circumstances in Silobela TTL, Que Que district, aged 24 years.

    1980 – L/Cpl Amratlal Lala RAMJEE, HQ 3 Bde, died on active service. 

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

    • March 24, 2019
    • Piet Fourie
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