Today, 5 January, 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.


05 Jan 1978: 66248139PE Corporal Gert Jacobus Erasmus Goosen from 11 Technical Stores Depot was killed in a Military Vehicle Accident while on his way to Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. He was 27.

05 Jan 1981: 78555117BG Lance Corporal Pieter Swanepoel from the SWA SPES Bike Squad was Killed in Action in Northern Owamboland when his motorcycle detonated a boosted Yugoslavian TMA-3 Cheese Mine. He had just transported a tracker (Kevin O'Neill) over to the mounted infantry who had located a "spoor" near Oom Willie se pad and was returning to his Section when his motor cycle detonated the mine. He was 19.

05 Jan 1982: Three members from 19 & 31 Squadron were Killed in Action when their Aerospatiale SA330H Puma, Serial No.168 was shot down by hostile small-arms fire not long after crossing the cut-line into Southern Angola en-route to Ongiva after dropping off troops. It appears that a single AK-47 bullet ruptured a hydraulic pipe to one of the main rotor servo’s. The leaking hydraulic fluid was ignited by the engine exhaust and the flame cut away a rotor actuator rod causing the Pilot to lose control. The Puma helicopter struck the ground inverted 15km North East of Namacunde. There were no survivors. The helicopter Co-Pilot was the only son of the then serving Chief of the South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Denis John Earp SSA SD SM SOE.


  • 70535448PK Captain John Allen Robinson (Pilot and Aircraft Commander). He was 27.
  • 71423784PE Lieutenant Michael John Earp (Co-Pilot). He was 26. (From 31 Squadron)
  • 71348015PE Flight Sergeant Kenneth George Dalgleish (Flight Engineer). He was 26.

05 Jan 1983: Warrant Officer Class 1 Leonard Philip Rodney from the 1 Military Town Management Fire Department in Voortrekkerhoogte collapsed and died after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 47.

05 Jan 1984: Special Sergeant Benfried Markus from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K (Koevoet) was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 27.

05 Jan 1985: 80351729BG Private Gregory Grant Swain from Northern Transvaal Medical Command was killed instantly while on Guard Duty in Pretoria when he was shot through the heart as a result of an accidental discharge of a fellow soldier’s rifle. He was 20.

05 Jan 1987: Special Sergeant Uatuapeke Kandji from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K (Koevoet) was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 29

05 Jan 1988: 84530575BG Lance Corporal John Adam Lotriet from 10 Armoured Car Squadron was killed in Northern Owamboland after being struck by a bullet resulting from an accidental discharge of a fellow soldier’s rifle. He was 19.


5 January 1979: S/Sgt Tobias GWENJERI, Sgt Len MORIARTY, L/Cpl Gift GONYE, Spr Bernard BINGA, Spr Methuseli DUBE, Spr Benson MAJUTA, all of 1 Sqn, RhE and Spr Lunis NYATHI of SchInf, RhE, were killed in an accidental explosion. As a result of sappers being critically injured in the south-east over the previous two days when handling the Rhodesian-made Carrot anti-personnel mines, an order was sent out to backload all these mines to the rear HQ for forwarding to Army Ordnance for vetting. An underground magazine at the Victoria Falls (Op Tangent) rifle range held stocks of these mines, which were used in the minefields stretching from Victoria Falls to Deka. A truck driven by Sgt Adams was sent to this locality to upload the faulty AP mines. The majority of the Engineers based at the Falls were sent there to assist, including the outgoing OC Lt John Carlisle, with some forming a chain to load the boxes of mines, whilst 7 – 8 others were employed a distance away to recover empty plough-shear boxes. At this time, there was an enormous explosion. The findings of a board of inquiry were inconclusive, estimating that 4-5 boxes of these mines had detonated. The cost was great as seven men of this unit all lost their lives in this tragedy. (Source: Lt B. Calder who was there at the time)

1979 – Tpr Bradley Wade "Brad" LITTLE, 3 Cdo, 1st Bn, RLI, was killed in a fire force action in Op Thrasher, in which 27 CTs were accounted for.

1979 – K/Sgt Stanselous MUZKUZHA, PV Prtn Group, GF, died on active service.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

  • January 05, 2019
  • Piet Fourie
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