Today, 7 November, 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. 


07 Nov 1978: Two members of 101 Battalion SWATF were Killed in Action during a contact with PLAN insurgents. They were:

  • Rifleman J. Frans. He was 22.
  • Rifleman N. Mandingi. He was 23.

07 Nov 1978: 78952280SD Rifleman Abraham Roman from 41 Battalion SWATF was killed when struck by a bullet from an accidental discharge of a fellow soldier’s rifle while on patrol in Northern Owamboland. He was 36.

07 Nov 1978: 78951076SC Corporal Willem Petrus Swartbooi of 41 Battalion was Killed in Action during a contact with PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland when he received a direct hit from a Soviet RPG-7 anti-tank rocket. He was 18.

07 Nov 1982: As part of punishment drill 77454387PE Corporal Andries Johannes Strauss from 31 Battalion was dropped off 50km from Omega Base at 13h00 and told to walk back to the Base. He was equipped with his rifle, ammunition, food and water but he failed to arrive at Omega. Despite an intensive search of the area over a number of days, no trace of him or his equipment was ever found. There was a lot of controversy over his disappearance and at one point, even foul play was suspected by the parents and this aspect was also investigated by local Police. A search was even conducted throughout the RSA to ensure that he had not gone absent without leave (AWOL). The outcome however remained inconclusive and the suspicion of a lion or wild animal attack was also never ruled out. To date, he remains unaccounted for and has no known grave. He was 20.


1976 – L/Cpl Matthew Charles "Matt" LAMB, 12 Tp, 3 Cdo, 1st Bn, RLI, died of multiple gunshot wounds from "friendly fire" in a contact, Mutema TTL (south-east of Birchenough Bridge), Op Thrasher, aged 28 years. Matt was leader of Stop 2, dropped off by helicopter in the vicinity of an OP-sighting of CTs. As they advanced northwards in a sweep line along a dry stream and with the sun beginning to set, automatic fire brought the patrol to the ground. In the initial confusion of the firefight and in poor light, one of the troopers fired twice at a fleeting shadow only 16 metres in front of him. Tragically, it was Matt he had shot, both rounds entering his chest. Matt's body was casevaced out that night and taken to Chipinga Hospital. The following morning, the bodies of six CTs were found at the scene. Matt, Canadian-born, had also served with the SAS.

1978 – DSA Richard MUCHENJE, Kp Prtn, Intaf, die3d on active service.

1978 – Sgt Arthur StocQuell TOPHAM, A Sqn, RhACR, was killed by a landmine blast near Chipinga, Op Thrasher. He was sitting in the turret of a Ferret Scout Car, driven by Tpr dos Santos, when it went over a landmine. The patrol, consisting of two Ferrets, two Elands and a Support Unit Unimog, was on its way back to Chipinga, from checking on deserted farms in the area.

1979 – DSA Rangirayi MANYANGADZE, Kp Prtn, Intaf, died on active service.

1979 – Pte Godfrey MPOFU and Pte Day Nyathi, both of SchInf, Army, died from gunshot wounds received in a CT action.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • November 07, 2016
  • Piet Fourie
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