Today, 17 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. 


17 Nov 1980: 78329216BG Sapper Hendrik Johannes Jacobus Jacobs from 1 Construction Regiment was shot dead by a Sentry on guard duty at Chetto Base in Sector 20 after he entered a restricted area during the night and failed to identify himself after being challenged by the Sentry. He was 18.

17 Nov 1981: 77446250BG Rifleman Gert Johannes de Lange from 4 Vehicle Reserve Park was accidentally killed after suffering shrapnel wounds in an accidental hand grenade explosion at the Maryland Training Base. He was 20.

17 Nov 1986: 76484369BT Corporal James Eric Cooper from Group 46 was accidentally killed when his Buffel Troop carrier overturned at Kwanobuhle. He was 26.

17 Nov 1986: 83885387SWH Rifleman W. Mbandjeue from 102 Battalion SWATF was accidentally killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned in Northern Owamboland. He was 23.

17 Nov 1987: 83490110BG Lance Corporal Johann Redelinghuys from the South African Medical Corps was attached to 61 Mechanised Battalion Group during Operation Modular. During late afternoon on 16 November 1987, the Rinkhals vehicle to which he was assigned broke down and the medics (Redelinghuys and the Doctor, 2/Lieutenant Davis) remained with the vehicle until it was recovered by a Withings Combat Recovery Vehicle. While being towed out of the combat zone, the Withings and Rinkhals were both knocked out by a ripple of Soviet 122mm BM-21 rockets. Sergeant Lappies Labuschagne, the driver of the Withings was not injured in the first rocket attack but the Doctor, 2/Lieutenant Davis was slightly wounded and Lance Corporal Redelinghuys was critically wounded in the stomach by rocket shrapnel. A Ratel 90 with its main armament disabled that was immediately behind the two vehicles, reversed out of the killing zone but was abandoned by the driver after hitting a tree stump and becoming stuck. Sergeant Labuschagne abandoned the Withings vehicle and immediately took over as driver of the Ratel 90 which he managed to dislodge from the tree stump. He promptly drove back into the killing zone and rescued Lance Corporal Redelinghuys, 2/Lieutenant Davis and Rifleman Spencer before driving to safety. A T-54 tank that suddenly appeared on the scene was engaged by the Ratels Gunner using the 7,62mm Browning machine gun but fortunately, the tank broke off the engagement without firing. Lance Corporal Redelinghuys was evacuated back to Rundu but sadly succumbed to his wounds in the early hours of 17 November 1987. He was 20. Staff Sergeant Labuschagne was later awarded the Honoris Crux for his exceptional display of gallantry while under constant enemy rocket bombardment.

17 Nov 1988: 85324069BG Private Alwyn Lubbe from 1 Maintenance Unit was accidentally killed when he fell off a moving vehicle while in a convoy that was travelling from Kimberley to Eenhana. He was 19.


1976 – DSAs Agrippa BHEBHE (23), Allnear CHIMERE (21), Albert MOYO (29), Doctor NDEBELE (26), and Dumisane NYONI (21), all five of Kp Prtn, Intaf, died of gunshot wounds and burns, when CTs attacked Ndhlovu Camp, Wankie, Op Tangent.

1978 – NS PO Stephen Alan UNDERWOOD (25), Uniform BSAP, and D/Cst Ben KAITANO (41), SB BSAP, were both killed in an ambush north of Karoi in the Mukwichi TTL, Op Hurricane.

1979 – DSA Joseph KARUMAZONDO, Kp Prtn, Intaf, was killed in a contact.

1979 – Spr Todd MAFU, 7 Sqn, RhE, died in a shooting incident.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • November 17, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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