Today, 8 February, 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

08 Feb 1976: 70529177BT Rifleman Andre de Lange Strydom who was based at Oshakati, left the base without permission and attempted to return through the wire fence in the middle of the night. When he failed to identify himself to the guard on duty when challenged, the guard opened fire, killing him instantly. He was 21.

08 Feb 1978: Three members from 32 Battalion were Killed in Action during in a fierce fire-fight with a numerically superior enemy force at Mamuandi in Southern Angola during Operation Seiljag. They were:

  • 76901537SP Rifleman Lucindo Laurindo. He was 20.
  • 76908136SP Rifleman Rodrigues Augusto. He was 19.
  • 76901602SP Rifleman Antonio. Mussungu. He was 20

08 Feb 1978: 76901248SP Rifleman Neville Bernade from 32 Battalion was Killed in Action during in a contact with enemy forces in Southern Angola between Onhunda and Oshipala during Operation Seiljag. He was 19.

08 Feb 1979: 74297672BG Gunner Pieter Du Toit from 10 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment was grievously burned on 07 February 1979 while escorting a patient in an ambulance to 2 Military Hospital at Wynberg. The ambulance was involved in a collision with a civilian vehicle and burst into flames. He successfully extricated the patient from the blazing ambulance but received 3rd degree burns to 80% of his body during the process. The patient survived but Pieter succumbed to his injuries on 8 February 1979. He was 20.

08 Feb 1981: 76306034BG Rifleman Morgan John Williams from 5 SAI was Killed when he was struck by a bullet resulting from an accidental discharge of a fellow soldier’s rifle in Northern Owamboland. He was 20.

08 Feb 1984: 73521593PE Captain Sarel Jacobus Kruger from 5 Reconnaissance Regiment was accidentally killed in a parachute training accident at Hoedspruit. He was 26.

08 Feb 1984: 81269136BG Rifleman Hendrik Francois Taljaard from the Equestrian Centre was killed instantly when he was accidentally run over by a Samil 100 truck near Potchefstroom while on his way to stand guard at the North West Command Ammunition Dump. The Samil vehicle had stopped while the driver checked which turn-off he should take and Taljaard used this opportunity to climb off the vehicle to pick up some small stones. The vehicle started reversing just as Taljaard tried to re-board and he slipped on the gravel and fell under the rear wheels of the truck. He was 19.

08 Feb 1984: 80531759PE 2/Lieutenant Johannes Petrus Verhoef from 8 SAI died from agunshot wound accidentally sustained near Air Force Base Ondangwa in Northern Owamboland. He was 21.

08 Feb 1988: 83302273BG Rifleman Thomas Andries Dreyer from 5 SAI disappeared while swimming in the Klip River and was believed to have accidentally drowned. His body was later recovered from the Windsor Dam. He was 24.

08 Feb 1994: Airman Willem Philippus Bester from the Air Force Gymnasium was killed in a private motor vehicle accident. He was 18.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1976 – PO Bruce Macley BAKER (23) and Cst David TAVENGWA (21), both of Uniform (Team Alpha), were both killed in an ambush, Ngarwe TTL, Nyamapanda area, Op Hurricane. Bruce and David had gone into the area late one afternoon to interview what had been a reliable source, not knowing that the individual had joined the ZANLA cause. The man had organised a CT ambush as the policemen were leaving in their Land Rover after the meeting, which resulted in Baker and Tavengwa perishing in a barrage of close-up fire. Call-signs from the base at Kotwa, led by Rob Tubbs, recovered their bodies and the vehicle later that night. A quick follow up resulted in the elimination of the CTs responsible.

1978 – DA Jock Alfred Mantseye NCUBE, Regular Intaf, died on active service.

1978 – AC Garry John TAYLOR, Security (TF), RhAF, was killed in a motor vehicle accident at Thornhill Air Station, Gwelo, Op Grapple.

1979 – L/Cpl Mark Joseph MACKINNON-PEEL, 1st Bn, RDR, died on active service aged 19 years.

1979 – 2Lt Desmond Charles "Chappie" ROSENFELS BCR (Post), attached to 14 Trp, 3 Cdo, 1st Bn RLI, was killed in the Manica Province of Mozambique in a ground and air operation on a ZANLA camp. Troop commander since July 1978, Chappie, a TA officer, had been in several Fire Force contacts in which numerous CTs were killed. On 8 February, his Fire Force section was deployed against a gang of 25 CTs. The undergrowth was very thick, resulting in most of the CTs kills taking place at extremely close range. Towards the end of the engagement, a well-concealed CT directed small-arms fire on the section, wounding one of the men. As the soldier fell into a gully, he was fully exposed to enemy fire. Chappie, with no regard to his own safety, crawled into the gully to assist the wounded trooper, but whilst he was pulling him back, he was himself shot and killed from close range. For his personal bravery, resourcefulness and aggression throughout his short career, and especially for his selfless actions on the day, Chappie was posthumously awarded the Bronze Cross of Rhodesia.

1979 – Cst Likwa Madzivanyika SIBANDA, Uniform, BSAP, was killed in a CT action, Op Tangent, at the age of 24.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • February 08, 2019
  • Piet Fourie
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