Today, 21 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.


21 Feb 1978: 70371711BT Lieutenant Phillip Joseph Castle from Regiment Windhoek, SWATF was Killed in Action in Northern Owamboland during a close-quarter battle with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents at Olusjandja Dam after his Patrol was ambushed just before sunrise. He was 20.

21 Feb 1979: 75332973BG Rifleman Francis William John Snyman from 7 SAI was Killed in Action when the Bedford he was driving, detonated a land mine outside Oshakati. He was 19.

21 Feb 1981: Commandant Pieter Gouws from 1 SWA Squadron SWATF was Reported Missing when his Civilian aircraft, a Cherokee 6 PA32-300, Registration ZS-EXG, disappeared without trace while flying an aerial reconnaissance sortie up the South West African Coastline. He has no known grave and remains unaccounted for. He was 49.

21 Feb 1983: Corporal Kallie Vermeulen from the Northern Logistical Command was killed in a private motor vehicle accident. He was 21.

21 Feb 1984: 76913979SP Rifleman Rinho Jepau from 201 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents. He was 27.

21 Feb 1985: Special Constable Johannes Tobias from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (Koevoet) was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 25.

21 Feb 1988: Two members from 5 Signals Regiment and one member from Infantry School were Killed in Action in Southern Angola during Operation Hooper when their position was attacked by Angolan Air Force MiG Fighter Bombers and a 460kg (1 000lb) aircraft bomb exploded next to the trench in which they were sheltering. The casualties were:

  • 79553640PE Sergeant Gerhardus Marthinus Maritz from 5 Signals Regiment. He was 25.
  • 83320341BG Corporal Van Zyl Venter from Infantry School. He was 20.
  • 85241289BG Signaler Jacques de Lange from 5 Signals Regiment. He was 19.


    1978 – FR Clemence Muwangani, PR BSAP, DOAS. Died in Salisbury Hospital from cerebral malaria contracted whilst on active duty in the operational area.

    1979 – Sgt George Mleya, A Coy, 1st Bn RAR, KIA. 

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


    • February 21, 2018
    • Piet Fourie
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