Today, 7 December, 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. 

SOUTH AFRICAN BORDER WAR 

07 Dec 1964: PX/47750 Field Cornet (Lieutenant) Izak Cornelius Potgieter from 42 Army Air Reconnaissance Squadron (later 42 Squadron) was killed when his Cessna 185A, Serial No. 728 crashed near Coligny during a routine low level cross-country reconnaissance flight. He was 23.

07 Dec 1975: 67437996PE Sergeant Frederick Gerhardus Wannenberg HCS (P) from 1 Reconnaissance Regiment Died of Wounds in the Battle for Bridge 14 in Central Angola during Operation Savannah. While under attack from a numerically superior enemy force, Sergeant Wannenburg was unable to return fire from his position so with total disregard for his own life, he broke cover and moved forward, firing continuously and engaged the enemy force at close range. Caught in a cross-fire, he was hit by machine-gun fire and fell mortally wounded. Warrant Officer Johannes Conradie took over command immediately, regrouped the men and sent out a party that engaged the enemy from the flank. Although under heavy enemy fire close range, this action forced the enemy force to withdraw. By the time a casevac helicopter arrived to evacuate the patrol, Sergeant Wannenburg had succumbed to his wounds. Both he and Conradie were awarded the Honoris Crux for their gallantry and devotion to duty in a situation of mortal danger. He was 24.

07 Dec 1976: 65616658PE Sergeant Jan Gerrit Bantjies from 1 SAI organised himself a live Alouette Gunship 20 x 82mm High Explosive Incendiary (HEI) cannon cartridge to keep as a souvenir while he was serving in the Operational Area. While attempting to make the device safe, the High Explosive projectile exploded, killing him instantly. He was 28.

7 Dec 1979: 78578614BG Rifleman Patrick Benjamin Bikkers from 5 SAI died in 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria from injuries received in a hit and run accident on the Pietersburg Highway. He was 19.

07 Dec 1979: 76279454BA Rifleman Johannes Gabriel Albertus Mostert from 11 Commando Regiment was Killed in Action while on patrol in the Etale area. The patrol discovered a concealed SWAPO/PLAN weapons cache and while inspecting the contents of the cache, Mostert inadvertently detonated a booby trap device that killed him instantly. He was 19.

07 Dec 1987: 81553224PE Lieutenant (Mrs) Daphne Margaret Therissa Bacher from the South West Africa Medical Command SWATF died in the Windhoek State Hospital after contracting pneumonia. She was 43.

07 Dec 1988: 85470243BG Lance Corporal Johannes Christiaan Du Plessis from 2 Special Service Battalion was killed at the Rooisloot Training Area when his armoured car overturned, crushing him underneath. He was 19.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1974 – Pte JOHN (21) (not his surname) and L/Cpl KANGAYI (29), both of 1st Bn, RAR, both died of gunshot wounds in a CT action, hot wound, Karoi, Op Hurricane. This would almost certainly not have been his surname, but his first name - a not uncommon habit back then of clerical "errors”. Sadly, we may never know his surname, which is so important in tracing our black soldiers' tribal backgrounds.

1977 – Cst Claudious CHOMUTIGIDI, Uniform, BSAP, died on active service aged 22 years.

1977 – FR Kenneth HESELTINE, PR, BSAP, died from medical complications after he collapsed on operational duties at Chidodo Keep, Uzumba TTL, Mrewa district, Op Hurricane.

1978 – Cst Petros DONZWA, SU, BSAP, was killed in an accidental explosion, at the age of 21.

1978 – Cst Eliman GUMEDE, Uniform, BSAP, was murdered by terrorists whilst off duty in Zaka TTL. He was 22 years old.

1978 – Pte Levy MUJERE, 2nd Bn, RAR, was killed in a CT action.

1978 – DA Tapera Martin NDAVA, Regular, Intaf, died on active service.

1978 Rfn Johannes Cornelius VAN HESS, 2(Indep) Coy, RAR, died on active service.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • December 07, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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