Today, 24 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. 


24 Nov 1973: Four aircrew members from 24 Squadron were Reported Missing after two Hawker Siddeley S-50 Buccaneer aircraft, Serial Numbers 419 and 420 that had departed from Cape Town to conduct a maritime strike exercise against HMS Fearless during a Joint SA Navy and Royal Navy exercise referred to as CAPEX 73 failed to return. At 13h30 the aircraft were involved in a mid-air collision in thick fog over Walker Bay near Hermanus while en-route to the ship. The crews were:

Crew of Buccaneer 419:

  • 01248392E Major (Pilot) Johannes Jacob Stein Steinberg. He was 32. Initially Reported Missing but his body was later recovered from the sea by the Royal Navy ship HMS Tiger. His body was brought on board and delivered to the authorities for autopsy. He had no injuries and it appeared he had drowned after successfully ejecting. He now rests in the Thaba Tshwane (New) Cemetery, Grave 776.
  • 65503161V Captain (Navigator) Hercules Du Preez was Reported Missing and has no known grave. He was 25.

Crew of Buccaneer 420:

  • 65944100E Captain (Pilot) Brian Maughan Antonis was Reported Missing and has no known grave. He was 26.
  • 01505056E Major (Navigator) Clement Roy Vice was Reported Missing and has no known grave. He was 29.

24 Nov 1975: 71463350BA Trooper Gideon Marthinus Frederick Obbes from 2 SAI was Killed in Action during a contact with MPLA and Cuban forces at a bridge located 40 km North-East of Novo Redondo in Central Angola during Operation Savannah. Two armoured cars were ordered forward but were met by a hail of bullets and shells. One Eland broke down and when the machine gun was hit by enemy fire and rendered unserviceable, Obbes abandoned the vehicle. As he jumped out of the turret, he was mortally wounded by enemy machine-gun fire. He was 20.

24 Nov 1978: 76432723BG Rifleman Nicolaas Mostert Hofmeyer van der Spuy van Rooyen from 31 Battalion was killed instantly in an accidental hand grenade explosion at the Omega shooting range during a training exercise. He was 18.

24 Nov 1981: 78426566BG Private Johannes Petrus Coetzee from 1 Maintenance Unit was killed when the military vehicle in which he was traveling overturned. He was 19.

24 Nov 1982: 81954612SWH Lance Corporal Saxon Kaputo from 102 Battalion SWATF was accidentally killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned near Opuwa. He was 22.

24 Nov 1983: 81181885BG Lance Corporal Andre Dan Mostert from 1 SWA SPES was accidentally killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned at Opuwa. He was 19.

24 Nov 1986: 83480426BG Rifleman William Haalsward Opperman from 8 SAI died in the Johannesburg General Hospital from injuries received after he was knocked down by a civilian vehicle that failed to stop at a road block he was manning in Soweto. He was 19.

24 Nov 1986: Special Constable Johannes Sem from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (Koevoet) was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 33.


1976 – DSA Francis CHIHURUNGWA, Kp Prtn, Intaf, died of a gunshot wound to the neck, Manyika TTL, Mrewa, Op Hurricane. He was 25 years old.

1976 – DAs Gervas JOKETERA and Nyararayi NAHWIRE, both Regular, Intaf, were killed in action in Bikita, Op Repulse.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • November 24, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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