Today, 18 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

18 Feb 1977: 74363128BA Rifleman Willem Andries Haarhoff from 3 SAI was accidentally killed when a pole fell on him. He was 18.

18 Feb 1980: 70428388BT Gunner Samuel Deon van Aswegen from the Potchefstroom University Regiment was Killed in Action when his Buffel Troop Carrier was hit by an RPG-7 Anti-Tank Rocket during an enemy night ambush at Omindamba in Northern Owamboland. The front Buffel in the convoy was hit by several RPG-7 Anti-Tank rockets and the Kwevoel behind the Buffel that was carrying drums of diesel carried on driving through the ambush and although the vehicle was shot full of holes, it successfully reached Ruacana. The Buffel at the rear of the convoy continued to engage the SWAPO/PLAN insurgents until they broke contact and withdrew into the night. He was 25.

18 Feb 1982: 79613162BG Rifleman Mark Mason from 1 Parachute Battalion was killed in a friendly fire incident when their patrol was engaged by SWATF forces near the Cut-Line. Both patrols had been advised that there were no friendly forces operating in their patrol areas so when they sighted one another, both patrols opened fire and he was mortally wounded. He was 18.

18 Feb 1982: Tragedy struck the South African Navy when the Frigate SAS President Kruger was involved in a collision with the fleet replenishment ship SAS Tafelberg during exercises in the South Atlantic Ocean. The force of the collision buckled the plates and crushed Mess 12 on the President Kruger where the Petty Officers sleeping quarters were located, killing or trapping those inside. After the order to abandon ship was given, the following 16 ratings were Reported Missing and remain unaccounted for:

  • 05507629 PE Chief Petty Officer Johannes Petrus Booysen
  • 77060150PE Chief Petty Officer Hartmut Wilfried Smit
  • 69443794PE Chief Petty Officer Willem Marthinus Gerhardus Van Tonder
  • 07467392PE Chief Petty Officer Donald Webb
  • 05208145PE Petty Officer Stephanus Petrus Bothma
  • 70351226PE Petty Officer Graham Alexander Frank Brind
  • 65718058PE Petty Officer Robin Centlivre Bulterman 
  • 73317695PE Petty Officer Granville Williams De Villiers
  • 66510579PE Petty Officer Evert Koen
  • 08302440PE Petty Officer Hjalmar Lotter
  • 70343553PE Petty Officer Roy Anthony McMaster
  • 72362379PE Petty Officer Roy Frederick Skeates
  • 72265465PE Petty Officer William Russel Smith
  • 75060863PN Petty Officer Michael Richard Bruce Whiteley
  • 72249998PE Petty Officer Coenraad Johannes Wium
  • 80100167PE Able Seaman Gilbert Timothy Benjamin

NOTE: Chief Petty Officer Donald Webb and Able Seaman Gilbert Timothy Benjamin were both seen to abandon ship by jumping overboard into the sea. The following morning, the body of CPO Webb was sighted and recovered by SAS Protea. He now rests in the Simonstown (Dido Valley) War Cemetery. Able Seaman Gilbert Timothy Benjamin remains unaccounted for.

18 Feb 1982: 78445582BG Private Daniel Johannes Jakobus Rossouw from 1 Maintenance Unit was killed in a military vehicle accident at Asab. He was 19.

18 Feb 1983: Constable Anton Delport from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (Koevoet) was mortally wounded during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 25.

18 Feb 1983: 76392000PE Sergeant Paul Petrus van Zyl from Western Air Command, Windhoek, was killed in a private motor vehicle accident at Olifantshoek while travelling back to Pretoria to take up his new posting at Air Force Headquarters. He was 23.

18 Feb 1983: 76910116SP Sergeant Tema Kanheto from 201 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents at Elundu in Northern Owamboland. He was 23.

18 Feb 1984: 81026478BG Rifleman Kim Inglis from Hotel Company, Infantry School was accidentally killed after being was struck in the heart by a small piece of mortar bomb shrapnel during a live ammunition fire and movement attack training exercise at Omutiya. He was 19.

18 Feb 1985: 80489552BG Corporal Leon van Buisbergen from 6 SAI was accidentally killed in Southern Angola by friendly fire from another South African Infantry Unit. The other Units vehicle had detonated a mine with a Kwevoel and a 6 SAI platoon in the area went to their assistance. The patrols opened fire on each other, mistaking them for SWAPO/PLAN insurgents who were also in the area. During the fire-fight that developed between the two groups, Corporal van Buisbergen was fatally wounded. He was 20.

18 Feb 1987: 86853227SWH Rifleman C.V. Kavita from 102 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 19

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1974 – FR Paul ROUSE, PATU, BSAP, died from gunshot wounds received in a follow-up contact , Op Hurricane, at the age of 29. The Death Notice gives Nieuveld Farm, Centenary, as place of death. He was in hot-pursuit of the CT gang that shot and killed Mr and Mrs Fletcher the day before. On completing his schooling at Lord Malvern High, Paul enlisted with the RLI, serving for three years as a regimental policeman. He then took up farming, working for two years as a farm assistant in the Horsehoe Block, Sipolilo, before buying Riviera Farm in Centenary. Paul enlisted with the local Police Reserve in August 1970, but feeling he could contribute more, requested transfer to PATU. Earlier in 1974, whilst checking his tobacco barns, he was set upon by a gang of a dozen CTs, but managed to drive them off, armed only with his pistol.

1977 – DSA Robson CHANAIWA, Kp Prtn, Intaf, was killed in action at Shamva, Op Hurricane.

1977 – PDO Pieter Cornelius FOURIE, ADF, Intaf, was murdered by CTs at Buhera, Op Repulse.

1977 – D Insp Michael John "Mike" HARLOW (38), SB, BSAP, was killed in a contact in the Botswana border area during a hot pursuit operation from Maitengwe TTL, Bulalima Mangwe district, Op Tangent. A team of five had set out that morning to recce the immediate Botswana area in search of a ZIPRA presence. As they entered a kraal in Botswana, terrorists initiated a contact. Mike was shot and killed in the fire fight and FR John McLean severely wounded. Fearing retaliation from the Botswana Defence Force and unable to take Mike's body back the 8-10 km to Rhodesia, the policemen stripped Mike's body so as to avoid any possible identification, and left the body at the kraal together with the critically wounded McLean. Early the following morning, a helicopter recovered McLean, but it was discovered that Mike's body had been removed to Francistown. Negotiations got underway, and on 22 February, Mike's body was returned to Rhodesia.

1977 – Snr DA Ezekial KAMAMBO, Regular, Intaf, died on active service.

1977 – DSA Chihuri KASHANGA, Kp Prtn, Intaf, was killed in action at Rushinga, Op Hurricane.

1977 – DSA Kamaso TZEKI, Kp Prtn, Intaf, was killed in action at Buhera, Op Repulse.

1979 – WO1 Malik Abdul DAVIDS, 2nd Bn, RDR, died on active service aged 39 years.

1979 – D Cst Japhet Ndove MUNEMO, CID, BSAP, died on active service aged 35 years.

1980 – Rfn Johannes Lodewicus VENTER, 8th Bn, RR, was killed by mortar fire in a contact with 8 ZANLA terrorists in the Chiduku TTL, Makoni district (UQ734477). Died aged 22 years. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • February 18, 2018
  • Piet Fourie
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