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


18 Aug 1979: 75510578BG Rifleman Glen Colin Coppard from 4 SAI was Killed in Action in a landmine explosion when he stepped on the device while assisting with a wounded soldier. He was 20. The attending Doctor although wounded in the incident, survived and is now a successful Dermatologist living in Cape Town.

18 Aug 1979: Three members from 3 SAI were Killed in Action in Southern Angola when they triggered a Soviet POMZ-2M anti-personnel picket mine during clearing operations inside an enemy base. The casualties were:

  • 74767146BG Corporal Johannes Petrus Maritz. He was 20.
  • 74437377BG Lance Corporal Frank Nienaber. He was 21
  • 75332239BG Rifleman Joseph Benjamin Ruben Jordaan. He was 20

18 Aug 1981: 74262247BG Rifleman Gavin Dickenson Elliott from 5 SAI died from multiple shrapnel wounds accidentally sustained when a 90mm High Explosive Shell exploded. He was 22.

18 Aug 1982: Two members from 44 Parachute Pathfinder Company and one member from 5 Reconnaissance Regiment were Reported Missing approximately 40 miles inside Matabeleland during Operation Drama, a clandestine mission in Zimbabwe. The Force of 18 SADF members were ambushed by Zimbabwean Forces and conflicting reports indicate that these three men were Killed in Action while other reports state that they may have been taken prisoner and later murdered by Zimbabwean Forces. News reports also later reported that the Zimbabwean Government had “disposed of their bodies” as the Next-of-Kin had failed to claim them. All three men have no known grave and remain unaccounted for. The casualties were:

  • 80016298PN Staff Sergeant Peter David Berry (5 Reconnaissance Regiment). He was 33.
  • 80023104PN Sergeant Robert Trevor Beech. He was 27.
  • 80023898PP Sergeant John Andrew Wessels. He was 24.

18 Aug 1982: Private Wynand van Rhyn from the South African Medical Corps, attached to 2 Millitary Hospital, Wynberg was Reported Missing when he failed to return after going hiking alone on Table Mountain. His body was later located by other hikers the following day and recovered. It appeared that he had lost his way and in the dark, fallen and broken his leg and had subsequently died from shock and exposure during the night. He was 19.

18 Aug 1993: 80024094PE Sergeant M. Dube from 5 Reconnaissance Regiment was accidentally killed when his parachute failed to deploy while carrying out a freefall parachute jump. He was 35.


18-Aug-76 Rct Chakanyuka Jiri S Scouts KOAS Died from a gunshot wound to the chest, Inkomo Barracks, Salisbury. He was 20 years old.

18-Aug-76 Cst John Mamvura Uniform BSAP KIA in a terrorist rocket attack on the police station in the Mayo area, Op Thrasher. Died aged 21.

18-Aug-78 S/Sgt Eric Winter RhASC DOAS aged 53 years.

18-Aug-79 FR Donald Baker PR BSAP KIA Died of wounds from a landmine blast, whilst on a follow-up operation on Far Vista Farm, Mtoko, aged 58 years . During Donald's service as a pilot with the RAF in WWII, he was shot down over the North Sea and spent four years as a POW. After the war he settled in the Virginia area, Macheke, where he farmed for 32 years.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †  

  • August 18, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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  • March 17, 2020
  • michael beyl

Frank Nienaber was killed in Angola due to setting of a landmine with his horse.

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