Today, 28 October, 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. 


28 Oct 1977: Six members of 1 and 2 Reconnaissance Regiment were Killed in Action at Onalomono in Southern Angola while attacking Eheke during Operation Kropduif. While attacking a SWAPO/PLAN Base, the Recce team prepared to cross an open area of ground as the SWAPO/PLAN forces were in the process of withdrawing from their positions. As the Recce group moved forward they were caught in the enemy arcs of fire. The casualties were:

  • 05453576PE Warrant Officer Class II Francois Carl van Zyl PMM MMM (1 RR). He was 34.
  • 67291112PE Sergeant Michiel Labuschagne Kruger MMM (1 RR). He was 26.
  • 65666281PE Sergeant Wentzel Christoffel Marx (1 RR). He was 29.
  • 64024110BT Sergeant Neville Grant Clack (2 RR). He was 30.
  • 68277771BG Corporal Antonie Badenhorst (1 RR). He was 25.
  • 72321920PR Lance Corporal Gary William John Walker (1 RR). He was 20.
  • 64020357BT Lieutenant Leslie Charles Greyling (2 RR) was critically wounded and evacuated to 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria where he unfortunately succumbed to his wounds on 4 November 1977. He was 30.

28 Oct 1977: 76908722SP Sergeant Bernado Andre Mwonambunga from 32 Battalion was Killed in Action after suffering multiple shrapnel wounds in an enemy mortar bomb explosion during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN forces near Onalumona in Southern Angola during Operation Kropduif. He was 34.

28 Oct 1978: Three young Ops Medics attached to 52 Battalion at Ogongo in Northern Owamboland died when they unselfishly put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of others. While at the Ogongo Agricultural College, a civilian labourer went down into a sewage tunnel in order to clean it. His supervisor Mr. Brown heard him fall into the water and climbed down into the tunnel to assist him. These three National Servicemen were in the area when they heard Mr Brown cry for help. Knowing that the underground tunnel was filled with lethal methane gas and that their chances of survival were slim, they nevertheless volunteered to climb down into the underground tunnel to try and rescue the other two men. None of them returned as they were all overcome by the toxic fumes. These three young heroes were posthumously awarded the Honoris Crux for their unselfish act of self-sacrifice in an attempt to save others in circumstances of extreme danger. They were:

  • 75381095BG Private Burgert van Dyk van Papendorp HC (P) South African Medical Corps. He was 19.
  • 75567008BG Private Johannes Cornelius Jooste HC (P) South African Medical Corps. He was 19.
  • 75218362BGPrivate Frederick Johannes Smith HC (P) South African Medical Corps. He was 18.

28 Oct 1979: 382378C Field Reservist Johannes Jacobus van der Merwe from the BSAP (British South Africa Police) Reserve was Killed in Action during a contact with insurgents in Rhodesia. He was 49.

28 Oct 1986: 60000359PE Major Daniel Kotze from the Financial Service Corps at Defence Headquarters died after suffering a fatal heart attack at his home. He was 46.

28 Oct 1987: 86744075HF Rifleman Aaron Alfred Khumalo from 111 Battalion was Killed in Action during a contact with MK operatives after they had crossed into South Africa from Swaziland approximately 57km east of Vryheid. He was 25.

28 Oct 1992: 89494041BG Lance Corporal Jacob Johannes le Roux from Group 36 was killed in a military vehicle accident at Thaba N'Chu. He was 18.


1975 – AC Robin Ashley SHAND, Security (TF), RhAF, died in Andrew Fleming Hospital, Salisbury, of malaria. He was 18 years.

1976 –DA Luke PASIPAMIRE, Regular, Intaf, was shot and killed by CTs at Tsvakari Hill, Charewa, Mtoko, Op Hurricane (VR015095).

1977 – FR Letala CHILINDE, PR, BSAP, was killed in Bikita, Op Repulse.

1979 – FR Johannes Jacobus VAN DER MERWE, PR, BSAP, was killed in a CT action in the Salops area, at the age of 49.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • October 28, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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