Today, 17 June, 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.


17 Jun 1977: Private Johannes Albertus Erasmus from 11 Squadron was killed in a private motor vehicle accident. He was 19.

17 Jun 1978: 78667482KD Rifleman (Mrs) Heyletta Swanepoel from the Bronkhorstspruit Commando collapsed and died after suffering a fatal heart attack while on official duty at the Zonderwater Shooting Range at Cullinan. She was 40.

17 Jun 1979: 74500802PE 2/Lieutenant Samuel Walters Coetzee from 32 Battalion was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces when his patrol was ambushed at a water hole near Hacaonde in Southern Angola. He was 20.

17 Jun 1980: 79880498HX Rifleman M Tjisota from 37 Battalion was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents. He was 20.

17 Jun 1982: Two members of 5 Reconnaissance Regiment were Killed in Action during a Contact with Enemy Forces. They were:

  • 77120483 Sergeant Lloyd Mziwandile Mbele. He was 28
  • Lance Corporal Oiva Shilongo. He was 22

17 June 1982: Special Constable A. Ndawedapo 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 26.

17 June 1984: 82807611SCN Trooper Andre van Neel from 202 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents. He was 19.

17 Jun 1985: 79496725BG Rifleman Juston King from 6 SAI was killed in Private Vehicle Accident at Uitenhage while returning to his Unit from a leave pass to clear out on completion of his National Service. He was 21.

17 Jun 1987: Two members from the Central Flying School at Dunnottar were killed when their AT-6 Harvard, Serial No. 7048 crashed on the farm Rietkuil, 10km South East of Delmas during a training sortie. The casualties were:

  • 7659382PS Captain Bruce Matthew Nelson. He was 26
  • 76273861PS Captain Ricardo Henrico Vergottini. He was 26

17 Jun 1989: 85643294BG Rifleman Neill Knight from 4 SAI, Attached to 62 Mechanised Battalion collapsed and died while at Rooikop Base, Walvis Bay. The Post Mortem revealed that he was suffering from a brain tumor. He was 20.

17 June 1994: 65757296PE Colonel Douglas Leslie Crafford from 2 Engineer Regiment was killed in a Military Vehicle Accident approximately 10km from Noeniput Police Station in the Upington Area. He was 45.


1977 – Field Reservist Jan Hendrik BLIGNAUT, Police Reserve, BSAP, KOAS. Died in a vehicle accident in Kariba during time-off from operational duties, at the age of 31 years. A commemorative service was held in Sinoia on 19 June, his body having been taken to Newcastle in South Africa, where he was buried on 25 June.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • June 17, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
Write a Comment

NOTE: Comments must be approved before they are published.

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/sweettooth-initializer.liquid Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/sweettooth-tab-widget.liquid Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/upsell-now.liquid