Today, 19 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.


19 Feb 1965: P52327 Air Mechanic Johan van der Schyff from the School of Technical Training was critically injured in a private motor vehicle accident in Pretoria on 18 February 1965. He unfortunately succumbed to his injuries in 1 Military Hospital on 19 February 1965. He was 19.

19 Feb 1978: Two members from the South African Air Force and one civilian passenger were Killed in Action while returning from Katima Mulilo to Air Force Base M’pacha after attending a Sunday Church Service. Their military Landrover vehicle was ambushed by a group of SWAPO/PLAN insurgents armed with AK-47's and RPG-7 Rocket Launchers. The vehicle was hit by an RPG-7 Anti-Tank Rocket and then sprayed with automatic rifle and machine-gun fire. The three casualties in this incident were:

  • 01504257PE Commandant Liam Myles Poole, Acting Senior Staff Officer Construction and Works. He was 44.
  • 05079876PE Major Andries Petrus Els from the SAAF 400 Air Field Maintenance Unit. He was 54.
  • Mr David Jacobus De Lange, a civilian Government land surveyor working for the Department of Public Works and stationed at Sector 70 Headquarters. He was 47.

(NOTE: A Memorial Plinth that was originally placed at the actual site of the ambush was later moved to Movement Control at AFB M’pacha. When the SAAF withdrew from Namibia at the end of the Bush War, the Plinth was retrieved and returned to South Africa. It now stands in the gardens of the SAAF Museum at Air Force Base Swartkop).

19 Feb 1978: 75376756BG Rifleman Raymond O’Brien Hunter from 2 SAI was Killed in Action at Elundu after he was shot and wounded and then bayonetted to death when their TB was overrun by a group of approximately 47 SWAPO/PLAN insurgents. He was 20.

(This was the same incident where Rifleman Ferreira and Sapper Johan Van der Mescht were captured and abducted. Rifleman Ferreira was subsequently murdered by his captors).

19 Feb 1978: 75466417BG Rifleman Johan Lemmer Caparus Ferreira from 2 SAI was captured along with Sapper Johan Van der Mescht just before sunrise on 19 February 1978 during a surprise attack by a group of approximately 47 SWAPO/PLAN insurgents on their TB at Elundu. Unlike Van der Mescht, Ferreira refused to go along with his captors and was subsequently murdered. The leader of the group Ruben "Danger" Ashipala (since deceased) stated to the Beeld newspaper on 14 December 2009 during an interview “‘n Groot Boer, maar hy wou nie saam met ons loop nie, toe maak ons hom dood". Rifleman Ferreira's body was recovered and a post mortem revealed that he had more than 27 bullet wounds and 40 plus bayonet stab wounds on his body. He was 20.

19 Feb 1979: 753996121BG Sapper Rudolf Franchois van Heerden from 52 Battalion was Killed in Action in a landmine explosion at Mahanene in Northern Owamboland. He was 19.

19 Feb 1981: 75538132BG Rifleman Shaun Reginald Jessop from 1 SAI was killed when his Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicle overturned during military exercises at Kimberley. He was 21.

19 Feb 1985: 78551090BG Rifleman Jan Petrus van Niekerk from Infantry School died from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while in Sunnyside, Pretoria. He was 22.

19 Feb 1987: 83494971BG Rifleman Nicholas Andrew Stubbs from the Equestrian Centre was killed in a military vehicle accident at the Reitz Show Grounds. He was 19.

19 Feb 1987: W86897F Detective Sergeant Pieter Johannes Collen from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (Koevoet) was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents. He was 29.

19 Feb 1988: Rifleman Lambert Hendrik Fick from 1 Parachute Battalion was killed in a private motor cycle accident while on his way to Potchefstroom. He was 22.

19 Feb 1988: 71504898PE Warrant Officer Class II Barend Johannes Labuschagne from 3 Electronic Workshop, South African Corps of Signals, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound administered by his own R4 Assault Rifle while he was stationed at Rundu. He was 32.


1978 – Pte Stanley CHIKEYA, C Coy, 1st Bn, RAR, was killed in a CT action.

1979 – Cst Manuel DIMINGO, F Tp, SU, BSAP, died on active service, aged 23.

1979 – Cst Crispen MAGAGANI, SU, BSAP, was killed in a CT action, at the age of 20.

1979 – Pte Pondai CHINDUMA and Rfn Desmond Kenneth "Des" WASHINGTON, both of 2 Pltn, 3 (Indep) Coy, RAR, died from gunshot wounds in an ambush near Avila Mission, in the Ruwangwe area, north of Inyanga, Op Thrasher.

1979 – Sgt Thomas SHERENI, Depot RAR, was killed in a CT action.

1979 – Plt Byrne Rielly GARDENER, and DSAs Leonard MCHONJOMERA, Cain NDHLOVU and Joram NYAMAYARO, all of Intaf, were killed when their aircraft detonated a landmine on the Mutawatawa airstrip in Maramba TTL, Mrewa, Op Hurricane. The aircraft had landed successfully, but the landmine had been planted in the parking bay. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

  • February 19, 2019
  • Piet Fourie
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  • July 13, 2016
  • jean adriaan collen

I’m looking for more info about my father

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