Today, 10 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. 


10 Dec 1975: 72428725BC Rifleman Thom Du Toit Lotze from 2 SAI was Killed in Action in a contact with Cuban Forces during Ops Savannah while part of a patrol sent out to clear a road that ran parallel to the Nhia River in Central Angola near Bridge 14. The patrol was preparing a TB for the night when they encountered a Cuban patrol dressed in the same uniforms. A few words were exchanged before a fire-fight broke out in which he was killed. Rfn D.H.D. Marais was critically wounded in the exchange of fire but the Cuban patrol was wiped out by SADF counter-fire. Marais was evacuated across the river early the following morning under fire but Lotze's body could only be recovered once SADF Forces had captured Bridge 14. He was 19. Marais later died from his wounds in the Cela Hospital on 12 December 1975.

10 Dec 1975: 72304769BA Sapper Udo Kneed von Schmettau from 2 Field Engineer Regiment was Killed in Action during Ops Savannah while transporting a wounded soldier to the hospital at Cela in Huambo Province, Central Angola. His vehicle received a direct from an enemy 82mm mortar bomb, killing him instantly. He was 19.

10 Dec 1976: 72247521BC Lance Corporal Marthinus Petrus Pearson from 3 SAI was killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned in Northern Owamboland. He was 19.

10 Dec 1978: 73334328BG Private Hendrik Stephanus Willem Engelbrecht from the South African Medical Corps Training Centre was killed in a Military Vehicle Accident in Northern Owamboland. He was 21.

10 Dec 1978: 75452300BG Rifleman Mark Steven Taylor from Infantry School was critically injured in a private motor vehicle accident near Calitzdorp. He was admitted to hospital but suffered heart failure while under anaesthetic. He was 19.

10 Dec 1983: 80385123BG Rifleman Richard Barrington from 6 SAI was attached to Foxtrot Company, Platoon 4 that had set up an ambush position to prevent insurgency from the north. Shortly before nightfall, the Platoon received orders from HQ advising that they could also possibly expect insurgents approaching from the south that were heading back into Angola. During the night there was heavy rainfall and in order to relieve himself, Barrington left the ambush position and moved in a southerly direction. On his return to his position, still in pouring rain, a fellow soldier on guard duty accidently mistook him for an insurgent and shot him dead. He was 19.

10 Dec 1983: 76529825BG 2/Lieutenant Robert Ernest Byron from Infantry School was killed in a private motor vehicle accident near Hartenbos. He was 23.

10 Dec 1988: 80476493BG Sapper Christiaan Andre de Goede from 2 Field Engineer Regiment was killed when his military vehicle overturned near Nelspruit. He was 18.


1974 – PO Owen John HAYLOCK-SMITH, Uniform, BSAP, died of a skull fracture, Andrew Fleming Hospital, Salisbury. He had been involved in a motor vehicle accident a week earlier. He was 22 years old.

1975 – Pte Allen Fred RUDOLF, RDR, died from a head injury in Salisbury Hospital, Salisbury. He was 23 years old.

1978 – Pte Henry DUBE, 1st Bn, RDR, died on active service, aged 20.

1979 – L/Cpl Famnly WILLIAMS, 2nd Bn, RDR, died on active service, aged 24. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • December 10, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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  • December 16, 2016
  • Mark Adams

As far as I understand and from other sources, including newspaper clipping it Is Lotze not Lotz. Also the Cuban force were taken out by the platoon, not from the other side of the river.

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