Today, 17 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.


17 Feb 1980: 05234968PE Staff Sergeant Michael Johannes van der Linde from 5 Reconnaissance Regiment was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces in Southern Angola. He was 39.

17 Feb 1981: 77372753BG Signaler Walter James Griffin from 2 Signal Regiment attached to 237 Troop (BRUSH) in Grootfontein, was accidentally killed while returning to Grootfontein when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned at Otjovasandu in Sector 30. He was pinned under the vehicle and died as soon as the Buffel was lifted off him. He was 19.

17 Feb 1984: 79429882BG Rifleman Hendrik Jacobus Smith from 1 Parachute Battalion was Reported Missing near the Epupa Falls in Kaokoland. The Cunene River was flowing strongly and making whirlpools between the rocks. One of his boots fell into the river and he jumped in to retrieve it. He never re-surfaced and despite an intensive search by the members of the patrol, he was never located and remains unaccounted for. He was 20.

17 Feb 1987: Two members from 202 Battalion SWATF were Killed in Action when their Buffel Troop Carrier detonated a landmine in Southern Angola. The casualties were:

  • 84836600SCD Lance Corporal L. Aukhumeb. He was 22.
  • 84817329SCN Rifleman G.H. Edwards. He was 19.

17 Feb 1987: 86855913SWH Rifleman K.S. Kambonde from 102 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Southern Angola. He was 23.

17 Feb 1988: 5532700PE Staff Sergeant Aubrey Nelson Borcher from 101 Battalion SWATF died in 1 Military Hospital after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 49.

17 Feb 1988: 84564715BG Lance Corporal William Arthur Frederick Price from 1 SAI, attached to 61 Mechanised Battalion Group was Killed in Action in Southern Angola during Operation Hooper. UNITA soldiers were attached to the Battalion and it was not uncommon for them to periodically enter the laager area and request water and food. On this occasion, it appears that a FAPLA Special Forces member, dressed as a UNITA soldier infiltrated into the laager and requested Corporal Price to fill two water bottles for him. As Price unscrewed the cap on one of the bottles, the booby-trapped water bottle exploded, killing him instantly. In the confusion that followed, the FAPLA Special Forces infiltrator made good his escape. He was 19.

17 Feb 2017: Three members of the South African Navy died while trying to rescue three members from the Department of Public Works who were working in a sewage pit repairing the valve. Toxic gas started escaping into the pit that effected their breathing and one contractor managed to exit the pit and flag down a SANDF Maritime Reaction Squadron Bus that was passing by. The three Navy members unselfishly reacted immediately and entered the pit to rescue the other contractors in the pit but unfortunately, they were also overcome by the toxic gases. As more assistance arrived, members with breathing apparatus descended into the pit and recovered all six people in the pit. All resuscitation attempts could not revive the three Sailors and Paramedics on the scene conducted a final assessment and pronounced all six members (Public Works Personnel included) dead at the scene. The Military casualties were:

  • Leading Seaman Amrithlall Tothara Ramdin from Naval Base Durban. He was 41.
  • Able Seaman Francois William Mundell from SAS Makhanda. He was 26.
  • Seaman Henro Ter Borg from the Maritime Reaction Squadron. He was 21


1974 – PO Alan James MURRAY, PATU, BSAP, was killed in a vehicle accident aged 26.

1977 – Rfn Alan David HEARD, 1 Tp, 1(Indep) Coy, RR, was killed in a contact, aged 20 years.

1977 – Rfn Allan Eric VAUGHN, Spt Cdo, 1st Bn, RLI, was killed in a contact in the Soswe TTL, south of the Marandellas/Macheke Road, Marandellas district, Op Thrasher, at the age of 22. In a large Fire Force operation out of JOC Rusape, seven CTs were killed in a prolonged ground and air attack on a 15-strong gang. The operation included a paratroop deployment by Dakota.

1978 – Snr DA Ndayila David Dhlodhlo MANGUNI, Regular, Intaf, was murdered by CTs in the Nkai district, Op Tangent.

1978 – Gd Moffat SEREMWE, PV Prtn Group, GF, was killed in a CT action.

1978 – Ext Sup Elija Chingowa TAKENDESA, ADF, Intaf, was murdered by CTs.

1978 – Gd John TAPAMBWA, PV Prtn Group, GF, died on active service.

1979 – Asst Keni NKOMO, ADF, Intaf, was murdered by CTs whilst on R&R, Ehampeni Line, Tjolotjo, Op Tangent. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

  • February 17, 2019
  • Piet Fourie
Write a Comment

NOTE: Comments must be approved before they are published.

  • April 26, 2017
  • John von Guilleaume

R.I. P. Mike, was a great man taken in his prime.Great memories of him on the Bluff.

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/sweettooth-initializer.liquid Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/sweettooth-tab-widget.liquid Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/upsell-now.liquid