Today, 23 May, 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

23 May 1979: Two members from 5 Reconnaissance Regiment were Killed in Action at Shona Mutamanjamba in Southern Angola while carrying out reconnaissance mission to locate a suspected SWAPO/PLAN Base in the area. The three-man Team was tracked and ambushed by a numerically superior force of SWAPO/PLAN insurgents and in the ensuing fire-fight, two Team members were killed and the third member, although wounded, successfully evaded capture until the helicopter arrived to extract the Team. Upon hearing the approaching helicopter, the SWAPO/PLAN force broke contact and withdrew from the area. The casualties were:

  • 67260869PE Captain Johannes Cornelius van Wyk HC. He was 27. (Captain van Wyk had earlier won the Honoris Crux when he distinguished himself as part of Bravo Group during Operation Savannah in 1975/76.)
  • 73288375PE Corporal Johan Kloosterziel. He was 22.

23 May 1983: 74341090BT Rifleman Coenraad Jacobus Bezuidenhout from Regiment De La Rey was killed instantly when a Soviet PG-7 Anti-Tank Rocket was accidently detonated inside their Buffel Troop Carrier while travelling on the Oshakati-Oshikuku road. He was 24.

23 May 1983: 77387944BT 2/Lieutenant Jacobus Edward Visser from 202 Battalion SWATF was killed in a motor cycle accident at Rundu. He was 23.

23 May 2012: Able Seaman Thulani Emmanual Mbuli from the SAS Drakensberg was Reported Missing during anti-piracy operations in the Northern Mocambique Channel. He together with others had boarded a suspect Iranian Freighter, the "Dhow Hoane" for a routine search and inspection operation and while he was disembarking from the ship, he slipped off the ladder and fell into the sea. Despite a 36-hour search, no trace of his body was ever found. He was no known grave and remains unaccounted for. He was 19.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1970 – Corporal Musarurwa NYAMAYARO, School of Infantry, Army, died on active service. Died from accidental asphyxiation. He was 42 years old and is buried in Mrewa.

1976 – Rifleman Niall Carmichael CAMPBELL, 9th Battalion Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Died in Andrew Fleming Hospital, Salisbury, from a gunshot wound to the abdomen, received in a vehicle ambush on 12 May 1976, at the age of 33. His company was on its way home to Brady Barracks, travelling along the Tshiturapadzi to Chikwarakwara road when the ambush occurred, and as the troops debussed to defend their position, Rifleman Frederick Bint, Rifleman Pieter Blignaut and Corporal Theunis van Tonder were fatally wounded. Buried in Marandellas.

1976 – Lance Corporal Michael Graham HEBBERD, Regular Army, killed on active service. Accidental death, aged 21 years. He was cremated at Warren Hills, Salisbury.

1976 – District Assistant, Matongondiwona Godfrey MUTAMANGIRA, Regular Intaf, murdered. Murdered by terrorists, Mutambara TTL, Melsetter, Op Thrasher. He was 27 years old and is buried in Mutasa TTL.

1977 – Lance Corporal Robert Edward LEE, 4 (Independent) Company, Rhodesia Regiment, killed on active service. Died in a vehicle accident on the Wankie/Milibizi/Binga road.

1978 – Patrol Officer Johan Anthony FRANKE, Uniform BSAP, killed on active service. Died in a vehicle accident in the Salops operational area, aged 24 years. His semi-military funeral was held at Warren Hills Cemetery, Salisbury, on 26 May. Field Reservist C. Gaddini who was in the same accident died the following day.

1979 – Lance Corporal John C.C. ALEGRIA, C Company, 8th Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, killed on active service. Killed in Mutasa South TTL by a Special Branch unit by mistake. Op Thrasher. Corporal Alegria had a stutter and was unable to respond to a challenge by the SB unit who then opened fire.
1979 – District Security Assistant Obert RUZVIDZO, Keep Protection, died on active service.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • May 23, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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