Today, 25 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

25 Dec 1977: 75362434BC Rifleman Michael Nicolaas Beukes from 4 SAI was critically wounded during a fierce contact that took place between Beacon 9 & 10 in the rain and at extremely close quarters when a large group of SWAPO/PLAN insurgents outflanked his patrol using the rain and poor visibility as cover. One of the insurgents, armed with a Soviet DPM machine-gun climbed onto an anthill and raked the patrol with machine-gun fire. Due to the very close proximity of the insurgent force, Beukes thought that the enemy were charging and rose to his knees to lob a grenade so as to break the charge. In doing so, he was hit by a burst of machine-gun fire. During the contact the SWAPO/PLAN machine gunner was also struck and killed by a stray RPG-7 Anti-Tank Rocket fired by one of his own men and the young Cuban Platoon Commander of the enemy force was also shot dead by the patrol. Beukes was evacuated to the Trauma Surgical Unit at Grootfontein but he unfortunately succumbed to his wounds while still on the operating table. He was 18.

25 Dec 1979: 76624899PC Private Ronald Atkins from 2 Military Base Management was killed in a Military Vehicle Accident, at Grootfontein. He was 20.

25 Dec 1981: 81533572SP Rifleman Funa Dala from 32 Battalion Died of Wounds in Hospital on 25 December 1981 after being critically wounded in a landmine explosion on the road between Ongiva and Chiede in Southern Angola on 14 December 1981. He was 28.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

 1975 – Pte Eugene Stoddart (aged 18), RDR, DOAS from a torn aorta.

1976 – Insp (T) Hugh Borrett (aged 38), Uniform BSAP, DOAS from a heart attack at home in Salisbury.

1976 – Rct Raphael Muchenje (aged 26), Depot RAR, KOAS. Died in Binga Hospital from severe injuries he sustained when he fell off a cliff.

1977 – Game warden Nato Minnaar, National Parks, KIA at Mana Pools, Op Hurricane. According to Philip van Rensburg, Nato served his camps with the RLI. No trace of this name appears in the RLI RoH or in “Contact”.

1977 – Cst Naison Mutasa, Uniform BSAP, KOAS. Died from injuries received in a vehicle accident in the Tanda TTL, Makoni district, Op Thrasher.

1979 – DSA Augusten Chikoki, Kp Prtn Intaf, KIA during an attack on his PV.

1979 – Aux Cst Arthurius Muringani (aged 26), PR BSAP, KIA.

1979 - Flt Lt – Plt Andre Senekal, No 7 Sqn RhAF, KOAS whilst flying an Alouette III at Mount Darwin, Op Hurricane. He tried to fly at night, but it was too dark and there was no horizon. He crashed soon after take-off.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • December 25, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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1 Comments
  • July 10, 2017
  • Anelle Minnaar

Good day, Nato Minnaar was my brother, and he started to work for Wildlife + Parks
Board as a cadet in 1977, until he was killed at the end of that year