Thursday, July 27, 2017
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SANDF peacekeeper fatalities

A South African peacekeeper with the UN.Since the establishment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), South Africa has been involved in a large number of peacekeeping operations. These contributions have resulted in fatalities, both combat and non-combat related.

Although the Department of Defence records 40 South African soldiers killed since the country became an active troop and equipment supplier to African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) continental peacekeeping and peace support missions, this figure is not complete and when those killed in Lesotho or the Central African Republic (CAR) are included, the figure increases to nearly 80.

The single biggest loss of life suffered by South African forces deployed continentally since democracy was the ill-fated Battle for Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) in March 2013 where 15 elite soldiers were killed and a further 27 wounded in a vicious firefight that saw the deaths of several hundred Seleka rebels.

Other fatalities on peacekeeping missions include scorpion bites, drownings and falling trees, amongst others. Peacekeeping is dangerous work and an idea of its risks can be found in statistics from the United Nations, which has recorded 1 810 fatalities in its 16 current peacekeeping operations (out of 112 200 personnel). In total, there have been 3 592 fatalities in all UN peace operations since 1948.

South Africa is revered for being a major contributor to the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission efforts, with annual contributions fluctuating between 1 500 and 2 500 members. Since democracy numerous peacekeeping deployments have been undertaken, including operations Mistral, Sunray and Teutonic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Operation Espresso on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border; Operation Fibre in Burundi; Operation Triton in the Comoros; Operation Montego in Liberia; Operation Cordite in Darfur; Operation Pristine in Cote D’Ivoire; Operation Vimbizela in the Central African Republic (CAR); Operation Bongane in Uganda; Operation Rachel in Mozambique; and Operation Manguzi in Angola, Lesotho and Namibia.

Here follows a list of SANDF fatalities whilst serving in South African, United Nations, African Union and Southern African Development Community missions since the establishment of the SANDF.

Date                     Name                                               Location Notes
17 September 1988: Corporal Madimetja Victor Makalela. Lesotho. Brakes of vehicle failed.
22 September 1998: Lance Corporal Owageng Abelt Mothupi. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1998: Lance Corporal Sambonga Mtengwane. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1998: Corporal Jerome Alexander Sax. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1998: Rifleman Phillip Tumisang Tshewu. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1998: Captain Johan Nel. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1998: Lance Corporal Sikhumbuzo Zett Mafuta. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1998: Lance Corporal Lucas Mnikeni Magwazana. Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
22 September 1988: Rifleman Albert Twale Mangoagape Lesotho. Combat at Makoanyane military base.
27 September 1998: Simanga Mafunda Gumede. Lesotho. Ratel rolled during operations.
1 December 1998: Rifleman AM Mdontsane. Lesotho. Cause of death unclear.
4 January 2002: Clerk Elvis Azwefawi Makhado. Burundi. Murdered.
20 February 2002: Corporal Mynette Enoch Nguyuza. Burundi. Committed suicide after wounding two comrades in an argument.
10 Oct 2002: Gunner Kgokong Abram Huma. Burundi. Accidental drowning during an exercise.
10 Oct 2002: Lance Bombardier Thabani Sydney Mbele. Burundi. Accidental drowning during an exercise.
10 Oct 2002: Lance Bombardier Phillip Mello. Burundi. Accidental drowning during an exercise.
10 Oct 2002: Gunner Ntjanyana Petrus Potsane. Burundi. Accidental drowning during an exercise.
8 September 2003: Sergeant Thomas LR Baile. DRC.
14 September 2003: Sergeant Hermann C Meynhardt DRC. Asthma and heart attack.
20 January 2004: Warrant Officer Class 2 J Reeves. Burundi. Vehicle accident.
29 Mar 2004: Private Sekalala Alpheus Mothapo. DRC shot dead during attack.
6 April 2004: Rifleman Joseph Samsonyone Bauque. DRC. Drowned in a lake after Casspir crashed and sank.
6 April 2004: Rifleman Tirhani Solomon Rikhotso. DRC. Drowned in a lake after Casspir crashed and sank.
6 April 2004: Rifleman David Chewe Raphasha. DRC. Drowned in a lake after Casspir crashed and sank.
6 April 2004: Sergeant Mashape Frans Maake. DRC. Drowned in a lake after Casspir crashed and sank.
6 April 2004: Corporal Sello Christopher Pilusa. DRC. Drowned in a lake after Casspir crashed and sank.
6 April 2004: Rifleman Mammetja H Marakalala. DRC. Drowned in a lake after Casspir crashed and sank.
5 May 2004: Corporal MJ Moeti. Burundi. Killed by falling tree.
5 June 2004: Sergeant MM Mfene. Burundi. Heart attack.
6 Jun 2004: Rifleman Martin Mokgatlhe Tau. DRC. Shot during ambush.
6 Jun 2004: Rifleman Reitumetse David Matlakele. DRC Vehicle overturned after ambush.
14 September 2004: Sergeant Abraham Hercules Le Roux. Burundi. Asthma attack.
14 Nov 2004: Sergeant Jongilizwe Nodada. Burundi. Road traffic accident.
17 Nov 2004: Gunner Elvin Mopani Hendricks. Burundi. Shot dead by colleague.
20 May 2005: Rifleman Bashin Sejake. Burundi. Murdered by comrade.
20 May 2005: Rifleman Ingongo Gasa. Burundi. Committed suicide after murdering Sejake and wounding four others.
13 June 2005: Lance Corporal MO Dlamini. Burundi.
22 September 2005: Staff Sergeant HJ Mashilo. Burundi.
17 December 2005: Sapper ON Masindi. Burundi. Vehicle accident.
9 January 2006: Warrant Officer Class 1 MT Nene. DRC.
4 June 2006: Rifleman AB Maya. Burundi.
30 July 2006: Captain CH Gedi. DRC.
10 July 2006: Private Zingisile Carlos Tsemane. DRC. Died after short illness.
20 April 2007: Rifleman Willy Jameson Masia. DRC.
28 April 2007: Corporal KB Dichaba. Burundi. Taxi accident.
20 May 2007: Rifleman M Ngantweni. Burundi. Shooting incident.
23 May 2008: Corporal Sibusiso Bafana Nelson Dube. DRC.
28 August 2008: Corporal Sydney Melvin Williams. Sudan. Shot himself.
19 September 2008: Rifleman Lesedi Boitumelo Monaisa. Sudan. Died after being stung by scorpion.
30 September 2008: Staff Sergeant Samson Davids. DRC. Drowned after vehicle fell through bridge into river.
30 September 2008: Corporal Morney Reinaart Molouly. DRC. Drowned after vehicle fell through bridge into river.
29 October 2008: Corporal Benjamin Titus. Sudan. Shot and killed by unknown gunmen.
30 March 2011: Private LR Molobelo. DRC.
23 May 2012: Able Seaman Thulani Mbuli. Mozambique Channel. Drowned during anti-piracy operations.
17 October 2012: Private Vincent Mthuthuzeli van der Walt. Sudan. Killed in ambush.
22 December 2012: Rifleman SP Sibiya. Sudan.
27 December 2012: Private AB Sithole. Sudan.
23 March 2013: Corporal Mokgadi Darius Seakamela. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Corporal Ntebaleng Andrew Mogorosi. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Lance Corporal Daniel Sello Molara. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Lance Corproal Lukas Mohapi Tsheke. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Lesego Maxwell Hertzog. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Zamani Jim Mxhosana. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Xolani Dlamini. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Vusumzi Joseph Ngaleka. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Karabo Edwin Matsheka. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Khomotso Paul Msenga. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Maleisane Samuel Thulo. CAR Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Motsamai William Bojane. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
23 March 2013: Rifleman Thabiso Anthon Phirimana. CAR. Killed in action against rebels.
29 April 2013: Sergeant Matlole Othniel Mahasa. CAR/South Africa. Died of wounds in RSA.
26 May 2013: Rifleman Lucas Moloke. CAR/South Africa. Died of wounds in RSA.
21 October 2013: Rifleman Richman Hlanganani Nxele. Sudan. Committed suicide.
15 June 2014: Rifleman Zongezile Victor Nkohla. DRC.
12 April 2015: Sergeant Masilo Tshepo Modiba. Zambia. Killed in hit-and-run while returning from DRC.
27 September 2015: Private Toto Tom Malashe. Sudan. Killed in ambush.
20 December 2015: Rifleman Ashwin Ashrick Zass. DRC.
9 March 2016: Corporal Mxolisi Edward Mnyipika. Sudan. Killed in convoy ambush.
18 December 2016: Rifleman Moalosi Albert Mokhothu. DRC. Killed during Mai Mai attack.