Today, 30 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.


30 Dec 1974: W60263R Constable Albertus Boshoff from the South African Police serving in Rhodesia, was Killed in Action during Operation Hurricane after suffering a gunshot wound to the chest during a contact with insurgents at Mount Darwin. He was 22.

30 Dec 1975: 01196807PE Major Hendrik Matthee from the School of Armour suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty at Grootfontein. He was 38.

30 Dec 1976: 73531899BC Corporal Peter Vaughan Phipson from the Equestrian Regiment Died of Wounds in 1 Military Hospital after being critically wounded near Okatopi when his horse detonated a Soviet Anti-Tank mine during anti-insurgent operations in mid-October 1976. He was flown back to 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries on 30 December 1976 after complications set in. He was 19.

30 Dec 1988: 85520070BG Airman Johan Nicolaas Nel from the 70 Mobile Radar Unit was accidentally electrocuted while serving at 140 Squadron, AFB Ondangwa. Johan was on standby duty and a call was received to scramble. All on duty personnel rushed to the trailers, one of which was not earthed properly. Johan was barefooted at the time as it had been raining. There was a short circuit on the trailer door and as he tried to open the door, he was killed instantly. He was 19.

30 Dec 1989: 89513998BG Private Douglas Emmaneul De Freitas from 72 Motorised Brigade Headquarters was killed instantly while on guard duty at the Brigade Headquarters when he was struck by a bullet resulting from an accidental discharge from a fellow soldier’s rifle. He was 19.

30 Dec 1993: Three Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) operatives entered a popular student venue, the Heidelberg Tavern, located on Station Road in Observatory, Cape Town, and opened fire with AK-47 Assault Rifles, killing six students and injuring another two. The three APLA operatives - Humphrey Luyanda Gqomfa, Vuyisile Brian Madasi and Zola Prince Mabala were convicted in November 1994 for what became known as the Heidelberg Massacre. On 16 July 1998, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) granted amnesty to all three men. The six casualties in this incident were:

  • Lindi-Anne Fourie
  • Bernadette Sharon Langford
  • Rolande Lucielle Palm
  • Jose’ Nosolino Cerqueira
  • Alan Deglon
  • Quentin Cornelius

The Two Wounded in this incident were:

  • Michael Jacob January
  • Benjamin Braude


1977 – Tpr Gary Demaine QUINN, 2 Cdo, 1st Bn, RLI, was killed during an external operation in Mozambique, northeast of Mtoko. Gary was wounded at 1520 hours, but he died in the casevac helicopter at around 1830 hours.

1977 – Cst Apros TSVETA, Uniform, BSAP, was killed in a vehicle ambush in the Budjga APA, Mtoko, Op Hurricane, at the age of 27. He was travelling in the lead vehicle – driven by PO Pete Westrope – of a BSAP convoy that was attacked by a large group of CTs.

1978 – Spr John MUURAWA, 6 Sqn, RhE, died from wounds received in an accidental explosion. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • December 30, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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  • March 17, 2020
  • Andie Kanne

Alan Deglon and Quentin Cornelius were injured, but luckily not killed

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