Today, 14 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

14 Feb 1987: Three members from South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K (Koevoet) were Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. They were:

  • Lieutenant Colonel G.L. Steyn. He was 48.
  • Sergeant Christoffel Lodewikus Fourie. He was 28.
  • Constable Ryk Ludolph Erasmus. He was 20.

14 Feb 1988: Four Members from B Company, 1 SAI including two Cousins who acted as the MAG Gunner team, were Killed in Action in South Eastern Angola during a contact with elements of the 59th FAPLA Brigade during Operation Hooper. The B Company, 1 SAI troops had not klaared out prior to deployment for Ops Hooper so they became 61 Mech Battalion Bravo Company Element. These troops swopped over with B Company 4 SAI and were operating as part of 4 SAI during this attack as part of 61 Mechanised Battalion. Their Ratel Armoured Personnel Carrier, Callsign 22C was hit on the left hand side and knocked out by a ZU-23-2 Soviet 23mm Anti-aircraft gun deployed in the ground role. On the right hand side where the Groenewald Cousins sat, a large hole was ripped out of the vehicle. It appeared that the Ratel had also been struck at some point by a South African discarding sabot anti-tank round. The casualties were:

  • 84269315BG Corporal Jan Hendrik Kleynhans. He was 19
  • 85263262BG Rifleman Andre Schalk Groenewald. He was 18.
  • 84358266BG Rifleman Pieter Henrich Groenewald. He was 19.
  • 84477751BG Rifleman Vincent Vernon Nieuwenhuizen. He was 19.

14 Feb 1990: 84470228PE Corporal Pieter Gabriel Jacobus Haasbroek from 4 Reconnaissance Regiment was killed in a parachuting accident at Saldanha Airfield near Vredenburg. He was 21.

14 Feb 1991: 86437498BG Lance Corporal Deon Schutte from Group 33 was based near the Mozambique border when one of the South African Cape Corps soldiers that had apparently denied medicines he had demanded earlier in the day, took another soldier hostage. Deon was woken up in the middle of the night and requested to intervene. He tried negotiating with the soldier holding the hostage but the soldier shot him in the chest, killing him instantly. He was 20. 

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1974 – Tpr Nigel WILLIS, C Sqn, SAS, was killed in an ambush in Mozambique, at the age of 18.

1976 – Cpl David Anthony Michael BILLING, 8th Bn, RR, was killed by a gunshot wound, Mukumbura Road, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane. Died aged 34.

1976 – Rct Amos Sila NCUBE, C Coy, 1st Bn, RAR, died in a vehicle accident, on the Umtali/Ft Victoria road. Bikita, Op Thrasher, at the age of 21.

1980 – FR Robert Leslie "Rob" JACKMAN, PR, BSAP, died in Andrew Fleming Hospital from wounds received in action whilst escorting a mine truck, out of Madziwa Mine, in the Op Hurricane area, nearly eleven months previously. He was 31 years old. Working as an Overseer at Madziwa Mine, Rob's medical legacy of rheumatic fever blocked all his numerous attempts at offering himself for military service. He was finally successful after the loss of his brother Dennis, KIA in 1975, made him more determined than ever to do his bit. After completing his stint with 5RR, he joined his local police reserve unit in Madziwa/Shamva. A colleague had this to say: " One out of a number of unsung heroes that springs to mind, took place in March '79, when a Land Rover carrying out ‘Jackal Run’ duties – ore truck protection between Amms Shaft and the crushers at Sulphide on Madziwa Mine – was ambushed by 12 CTs armed with RPDs and RPGs. The two field reservists on Jackal Run duty were wounded: FR Rob Jackman mortally and FR Gambari received a nasty leg wound. The Land Rover was disabled and Rob was incapacitated and semi-conscious. FR Gambari continued to engage the enemy on his own. Hearing the shooting and realising what had happened, the three unarmed ore-truck drivers turned round, stopped their vehicles around the stricken Land Rover to protect it while under fire. As FR Gambari provided covering fire, they loaded the injured into the cabs of their vehicles and extracted them to the safety of Madziwa."

1980 – Cpl Morgan MOYO, HU, RAR (formerly S Scouts), was killed by an accidental explosion whilst on internal ops, Salisbury. Died aged 27. Lt Piringondo was killed in the same incident (see below). It is noted that by this time members of the Selous Scouts had been officially ordered to be re-absorbed into their original units, and in so doing cease wearing the Scouts' insignia.

1980 – Lt Edward Ngwarayi PIRINGONDO SCR, HU, RAR (formerly S Scouts), was killed by an accidental explosion whilst on internal ops in Salisbury. Died aged 27. Cpl Morgan Moyo died in the same incident. Piringondo received the SCR before being commissioned. His citation states that he displayed initiative and bravery of the highest order. He personally accounted for 14 CT kills and eight captures, including high-ranking commanders. He was also recommended for the highest award, the Grand Cross of Valour.

1980 – Gd L. NDITSHI, PV Prtn Group, GF, died on active service. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • February 14, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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