Today, 11 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

11 Feb 1978: 72570187PE Lieutenant Johannes Hendrik Du Toit from 1 Reconnaissance Regiment was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces during an ambush while operating in Zambia. He was 23.

11 Feb 1980: 76224757BG Private Gert Petrus Gerber from Central Flying School Dunnottar attached to 95 Tactical Airfield Unit, suffered critical head injuries when his fuel tanker vehicle overturned near Oluno in Northern Owamboland on 5 February 1980. He succumbed to his injuries in 1 Military Hospital on 11 February 1980. He was 19.

11 Feb 1981: 80631858CK Rifleman Archie Ronnie Williams from the South African Cape Corps died from a gunshot wound accidentally sustained while on patrol in Northern Owamboland. He was 26.

11 Feb 1982: 75501494BT Sapper Phillipus Johannes De Bruin from 5 Engineer Regiment was killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned in Northern Owamboland. He was 23.

11 Feb 1985: Eight members of 32 Battalion were Killed in Action and five more Died of Wounds when Charlie Company Patrol was operating in the vicinity of the Bale River in Southern Angola during Ops Forte. Due to a critical shortage of water, the Company Commander was forced by circumstance to move towards a known waterhole situated close to a large SWAPO/PLAN base. The Patrol passed slightly to the right of the well-prepared Base that was manned by more than 100 enemy soldiers. Although the 32 Battalion Patrol opened fire first, the reaction time of the SWAPO/PLAN fighters inside the base was quicker than expected. In the 25 minutes of heavy close-quarter fighting that followed, Charlie Company suffered heavy casualties. Altogether 8 men from the Company were Killed in Action and many more were wounded, 5 of them succumbing to their wounds later. The eight casualties that were killed in the initial contact were:

  • 82713504PP Lieutenant David Gordon Light was killed instantly by a bullet that struck him below his left eye. He was 26.
  • 81565293SP Rifleman Jakob Eduardo Jamba was killed instantly from multiple gunshot wounds. He was 31.
  • 78914074SP Lance Corporal Jose Alfredo Sachilombo was killed instantly after suffering multiple shrapnel wounds to the body and abdomen. He was 27.
  • 82746405SP Rifleman Petrus Kalitoko Kahete suffered severe multiple shrapnel wounds to the body and died almost immediately. He was 31.
  • 84700038SP Rifleman Alberto de Almeida was killed instantly from a gunshot wound that penetrated both his lungs. He was 19.
  • 78911989SP Rifleman Paulo Jose suffered severe multiple shrapnel wounds to the body and died almost immediately. He was 27.
  • 81511693SP Rifleman Kausanga Galonga was killed instantly after suffering multiple shrapnel wounds to the head and body. He was 27.
  • 82746488SP Rifleman Jose Chihamba was killed instantly after suffering multiple shrapnel wounds to the head and body. He was 30.

After sunset while the casualties were being evacuated to a temporary emergency base, another four of the wounded men, all suffering from massive chest wounds as a result of Rifle Grenades and RPG-7 Rockets, succumbed to their injuries. They were:

  • 81526071SP Riflemen Joao Fernando. He was 29. 
  • 81509630SP Rifleman Mateus Joaquim. He was 26.
  • 81553422SP Rifleman Zeferino Chipoya. He was 22.
  • 76900109SP Rifleman, Mateus Antonio Kinguelele. He was 32

The final death as a result of this contact occurred at 10h00 on 12 February 1985 when another soldier, who had also suffered multiple shrapnel wounds to the body, succumbed to his injuries. He was:

76907302SP Rifleman Musose Muema. He was 32. 

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1970 – Cst TINARWO, Uniform, BSAP, died from a gunshot wound to the chest, in the police station at Chatsworth. He was 21 years old.

1974 – Cst Paul DUBE, Uniform, BSAP, was killed when struck by a vehicle whilst on cycle patrol in the Bulawayo suburbs, aged 22.

1977 – DSA James ZOMBU, Intaf, was killed in a CT action at Gokwe, Op Hurricane.

1977 – Cpl Winston ZOWAH, Kp Prtn, Intaf, was killed in action at Mount Darwin, Op Hurricane. Winston, a founder member of the Horse Troop, was based at Pachanza Keep after leaving the mounted unit. Their keep came under attack that night, and Winston took up his designated position in one of the corner bunkers of which he was in charge. As he was directing fire against their assailants, a bullet entered the gap in the bunker and killed him. He was accorded a military funeral close to the village of Mt Darwin.

1979 – Cst Patrick NYADUTE, Uniform, BSAP, was killed in a shooting incident, aged 27 years.

1979 – Rct Thembikile Bubi SHABANI, Depot RAR, was killed in a CT action.

1980 – Cpl Ian Robert TRAYNOR BCR, 5th Bn, RR, died on active service. His BCR citation states that, as a machine gunner in the RLI (former Support Commando before leaving the RLI), he had been in more than 40 contacts, displaying gallantry and determination in action. He personally accounted for 30 CTs. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • February 11, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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