Today, 23 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.


23 Feb 1978: 67334920PE Captain Andries Johannes van Ellewee from 41 Battalion Died of Wounds after being struck in the neck and face by a piece of shell shrapnel at Narubis near Keetmanshoop while standing beside an Eland 90 during live firing exercises on the 17 Feb 1978. He was immediately evacuated to the Katutura Hospital in Windhoek where he unfortunately succumbed to his wounds on 23 February 1978. He was 26.

23 Feb 1981: Rifleman Michael Roy Kemp from 3 SAI was killed in private motor vehicle accident near Whittlesea while on his way back to Potchefstroom after spending a weekend pass at his home in Grahamstown. He was 19.

23 Feb 1983: 80299613BG Private Ronald Richard Erasmus from 5 Maintenance Unit suffered respiratory failure and died in hospital. He was 19.

23 Feb 1983: Rifleman Simon Hamutenya from 101 Battalion SWATF Killed in Action during a contact with insurgents in Southern Angola. He was 23.

23 Feb 1983: 79524534BG Lance Corporal William Francis Moag from 7 SAI died from gunshot wounds accidentally sustained while stationed in the Operational Area. He was 20.

23 Feb 1984: Special Warrant Officer Lukus Likuis 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 31.

23 Feb 1986: Special Sergeant Abel Matiesta 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 36.

23 Feb 1987: Three members from 101 Battalion Romeo Mike Team SWATF were Killed in Action close to Vinticet in Southern Angola after their Casspir was hit by Soviet RPG-7 Anti-Tank Rockets when they drove into a SWAPO/PLAN Battalion ambush. They were:

  • 78212354BT Corporal Hector Lucas Strydom. 902 SSC - RM 6. He was 24
  • Rifleman Tom Job. 902 SSC - RM 6. He was 23.
  • Rifleman Esau Simon. 902 SSC - RM 6. He was 24.

23 Feb 1987: Two members from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (Koevoet) were Killed in Action and one later Died of Wounds during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. They were:

  • Special Sergeant Mwainbange Mwanyengange. He was 32. 
  • Special Sergeant Johannes Naffral. He was 35.
  • W404222W Sergeant Christiaan Petrus Momberg. (Wounded and evacuated but died in 1 Military Hospital on 25 February 1987).

23 Feb 1988: Four members from the South African Cape Corps training Unit attached to 54 Battalion, were Killed in Action during a fierce engagement with a numerically superior force of FAPLA and SWAPO/PLAN troops in South Eastern Angola. The casualties were:

  • 85092385PC Corporal Dawid Petersen. He was 22.
  • 87954533CK Rifleman Joseph Brian Harker. He was 21.
  • 87092383CK Rifleman Phillip Dawid Matroos. He was 22.
  • 87959771CK Rifleman Alfred Snyders. He was 23.

23 Feb 1989: 87750154HF Rifleman Mhluteki Absalon Makatini from 111 Battalion died from gunshot wounds accidentally sustained in a shooting incident while in Swaziland. He was 20.

23 Feb 1992: Captain Vincent Benjamin Willian Cooke from the South African Air Force who was attached to the Ciskei Defence Force Air Wing, was killed when his MBB-BO105 Helicopter, Registration ZS-HKM from the Ciskei Defence Force, crashed while being used to assist with power line construction in Ciskei. He was 26.


1975 – Sgt Jan “Jack Brummer, 3 W/Shops Coy RhASC, DOAS.

1977 – SO Timothy Hewitt PDG (Post) (aged 22), OC, E Tp, SU BSAP, KIA. Died in Salisbury Hospital of wounds received in a contact on 17 February 1977, Wedza district, Op Thrasher. His PDG citation relates his bravery. Hewitt was driving a heavy vehicle in a convoy that was ambushed by CTs. Despite receiving a serious wound to his abdomen he returned fire and continued to rally his men, resulting in the CTs breaking off the attack. He then organised a follow-up and, by radio, guided an aircraft to the scene. He remained in command until casevaced an hour and a half later.

1978 - PRAW Plt Angelos “George” Stam (aged 60), PRAW BSAP, KOAS when his aircraft crashed in bad weather during a flight between Que Que and Chirdezi. Mrs Wendy Hahn and Mrs Maureen Robinson who were being flown to see their husbands in hospital also perished in the crash. A fighter pilot with the Royal Hellenic Air Force during WWII, Angelos came to Rhodesia in the 1940s, where he later joined the Mashonaland Flight of the Police Reserve Air Wing. He became a well-known and respected figure in flying circles, acting as chairman of the Mashonaland Flying Club for seven consecutive years. A highly skilled and experienced pilot with over 6000 flying hours, this Anglo American head office employee was studying, at the time of his death, for a law degree at the University of Rhodesia.

1979 – FR Lemani Magaba, PR BSAP, KOAS.

1979 – Cst Francis Matake (aged 23), Uniform BSAP, KOAS.

1979 – FR Musindo, PR BSAP, KOAS.

1979 – FR Yotamu Otiresi, PR BSAP, KOAS.
(The official notice in Outpost (BSAP journal), reports the "accidental deaths in action" of four members of the force in one CT incident. The incident, occurring in the Beatrice area not far from Salisbury, resulted in the deaths of Cst Francis Mataka, and Field Reservists Lemani Magaba, Yotamu Otiresi and Musindo.)

1979 – FR Chrispen Marafu (aged 25), PR BAP, KIA on Hulley Farm at Tengwe, Karoi, Op Hurricane.

1980 – Spr Jahalempi Ncube, SME RhE, KIA. 

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

  • February 23, 2019
  • Piet Fourie
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