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, 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 conducting 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 1987: Airman Albert Osler Kieser from the Air Force Headquarters Media Section was murdered by persons unknown after being found drugged and hanged in Johannesburg while he was on a weekend pass in Johannesburg. He was 19.

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-21 and MiG 23 Fighter Bombers firing rockets and dropping 460kg (1 000lb) aircraft bombs. The trench in which they were sheltering was first hit by rockets before a 460kg landed and exploded right next to their trench. The casualties were:

  • 79553640PE Sergeant Gerrit 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, 2019
      • Piet Fourie
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