Today, 26 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. 


26 Oct 1973: 70409073N Signaler Petrus Johannes Pienaar from 2 Signal Regiment collapsed and died from heat exhaustion during Basic Training. He was 18.

26 Oct 1977: Two members of Regiment De Wet were killed when they accidentally detonated a Claymore Directional Fragmentation Anti-Personnel Mine near Elundu. The casualties were:

  • 66381237BT Rifleman Antonie Michael Jacobz. He was 27.
  • 71442438BT Rifleman Lodewicus Johannes Oberholzer. He was 22.

26 Oct 1983: 81300436BG Airman Wernich Haupt from 250 Air Defence Artillery Group, South African Air Force suffered critical head injuries when he accidentally fell off the back of a moving Land Rover. He died from his injuries in 1 Military Hospital later the same day. He was 18.

26 Oct 1985: 85072270CK Rifleman David Bowers from the South African Cape Corps was killed when struck by a bullet resulting from an accidental discharge of a fellow soldier’s rifle while at the Touwsrivier Training Area. He was 20.

26 Oct 1987: 83069799BW Private Charles Matthew Dirkse from 5 Maintenance Unit died in Oshakati Hospital from heart failure resulting from a blood clot in the lung. He was 29.

26 Oct 1990: 81324592BT Private Dirk Cornelius Pieterse from 31 Field Workshop Squadron died in 1 Military Hospital after being critically injured in a military vehicle accident 35km from Vryburg. He was 25.


1975 – Cst Zebediah Mapache CHINHEMA, SU, BSAP, died in a vehicle accident 12 km north of Nyamapanda, Op Hurricane. He was 24 years old.

1976 – DA Naison CHANGARA, Regular, Intaf, and Sgt Chakanaka Joseph MUTOVA, Uniform, BSAP, both died from gunshot wounds, Dirihori Township, Soswe TTL, Marandellas, Op Thrasher. They had been together on patrol at the time, when the two of them were abducted by CTs, publicly humiliated, and finally shot in cold blood.

1976 – DA Rueben PARADZA, Regular, Intaf, died from multiple shrapnel wounds in Chiredzi, Op Repulse, aged 25.

1978 – Tpr Joseph Patrick "Joe" BYRNE, 14 Tp, 3 Cdo, 1st Bn, RLI, was killed in action south-east of Birchenough Bridge, Mutema TTL, Chipinga district, Op Repulse. An American national from Kearney, New Jersey, he is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery, New Jersey.

1978 – Cst Lovemore MAKOMBEGUMI, L Tp, SU, BSAP, died in 'tragic circumstances' at the Unit's base at Chikurubi Depot, Salisbury. He was 30 years old.

1978 – Gd Caiphos KURUMBA and Gd Gerald MOMBEYERARA, both of PV Prtn Group, GF, both died on active service.

1979 – Gd Charles REWAYI, RHQ Echo, Op Grapple, GF, died on active service.

1979 – Pte Paul SCOTT, 1st Bn, RDR, died from gunshot wounds received in a CT action.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • October 26, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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