Today, 17 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.


17 Dec 1965: Eight members of the South African Cape Corps drowned during a sea training exercise when their light surface craft was hit by a freak wave and capsized in Kalkbay. They were:

540976 Rifleman Piet Rittles. He was 25.
541032 Rifleman Harden Classen Presence. He was 36.
541008 Rifleman Jacobus Newing. He was 22.
541123 Rifleman Mattheus Willem Joubert. He was 24.
540463 Rifleman Harry Harris. He was 33.
5411562 Rifleman Jacobus Gideon Farmer. He was 32.
541024 Rifleman Frikkie Braaf. He was 24.
055412481 Rifleman Jacobus Abraham Arnolds. He was 20.

17 Dec 1975: 73560344BA Gunner Barend Hermanus Neethling from 4 Field Regiment was accidentally killed in Central Angola during Ops Savannah while tampering with a captured 75mm Type 56 Carriage-mounted Chinese recoilless gun. While standing directly behind the weapon, he caused the weapon to discharge and the back-blast from the weapon killed him instantly. He was 18.

17 Dec 1975: 72477714BA Trooper Danie Anderson from 1 Special Service Battalion was accidentally killed during Operation Savannah while standing in the turret of an Eland 90 armoured car that was operating about 100km south of Luanda. The vehicles brakes failed on a steep downhill and the runaway vehicle careered out of control and overturned. Danie was thrown out of the vehicle and broke his neck when he hit the ground. He was 19.

17 Dec 1979: 78913100SP Rifleman Leon Perreira from 32 Battalion was Reported Missing after being attacked by a crocodile while swimming in the Kavango River near Buffalo. He has no known grave and remains unaccounted for. He was 20.

17 Dec 1981: 76519990BT Sergeant Ronald Potgieter from Regiment De la Rey Died of Wounds resulting from an accidental mortar bomb explosion during a weapons demonstration in Northern Owamboland. He was 21.

17 Dec 1983: Rifleman Daniel Chindumba from 201 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Southern Angola. He was 22.

17 Dec 1984: 79820478SP Rifleman Lenas July from 201 Battalion SWATF was killed at Omega after being struck by a bullet resulting from an accidental discharge of a fellow soldier’s rifle. He was 25.


1974 – Air Lt Brian MURDOCH, No. 4 Sqn, RhAF, Cpl Thomas Michael PARKER, 8th Bn, RR, and L/Cpl Roger John POVEY, 2nd Bn, RR, were all killed in an air accident whilst flying in Trojan R4326 at night at Mushumbi Pools, Sipolilo district, Op Hurricane. A Trojan aircraft from No. 4 Sqn, flown by Air Lt Murdoch, had been dispatched to Mushumbi Pools to casevac two landmine casualties, Cpl Parker and L/Cpl Povey. They took off at night with the airstrip having been lit with flares. Unfortunately, the party who prepared the runway had parked their Land Rover at the end of the plane's take-off path, and as the plane lifted off the ground, its undercarriage hit the vehicle, causing the aircraft to crash. All on board were killed in the tragedy.

1975 – Cpl Clive Richard MYERS, Regular Army, died in a vehicle accident on Lorraine Drive, Salisbury. He was 25 years old.

1976 – 2 Lt Anthony John "Tony" "Shorty" CARR (25) and Pte Dennis SIDAMBE (19), both of C Coy, 2nd Bn, RAR, died from gunshot wounds in a contact, Honde Valley, Op Thrasher.

1976 – FR Paul Elliott CROUCH (25) and FR Michael "Mike" NIELSEN (34), both of PATU, BSAP, died from gunshot wounds in a vehicle ambush on Dave Chadwick's farm "Manyangau", near Karoi, Op Hurricane.

1977 – Cst Weston MARARA, Uniform, BSAP, died in a vehicle accident, aged 21.

1977 – Pte S. John NATHOO, 1st Bn, RDR, died on active service, aged 37 years.

1977 – Smn Obert ZVECHIBWE, RhSigs, was killed in a ZANLA attack on Grand Reef, Op Thrasher, by an air-burst in the army camp whilst sleeping in his tent.

1978 – Dvr Francis MAPURA, ADF, Intaf, was murdered by CTs.

1978 – Jnr Cpl Winston MUSHAMBI, PV Prtn Group, GF, died on active service.

1978 – L/Cpl Maurice O. "Mo" TAYLOR, C/S 33, C Sqn, SAS, was killed during Op Inhibit in the Malvernia/Mapai area in the Gaza Province of Mozambique.

1979 – Rfn Christopher John BELSTEAD, Spt Coy, 10th Bn, RR, was killed in action.

1979 – Cpl Simon MOYO, 4 Trp, 3 Sqn, RhE, died of shrapnel wounds from an accidental explosion.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

This listing is always a work in progress and depends increasingly on the families of the fallen and the veterans. If anyone has any extra details (Full names, Ranks, Dates of death, Cemetery where buried or photos, etc.) please do not hesitate to contact us:

  • December 17, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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  • May 04, 2018
  • Hilton Ratcliffe

42 years ago, 18 January 1976, a troop of Eland 90s was sent from Cela along the road between Amboiva and Massanga to sort out a reported enemy presence there. On their way back, they had a problem crossing a stream. Troop commander 2Lt Perdjie Muller and gunner Mark van Staden were first-in-last-out on the narrow track, so they were now at the back of the troop. They were standing in their hatches, watching the Elands at the stream trying to rig a towbar. Unbeknown to them, it was an ambush. They came under heavy fire, and before they could duck inside and close the hatches, Perdjie took about five rounds in his back. Although Mark was standing right next to the lieut, he was unscathed. Perdjie passed away before they could get him back to Cela hospital.

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