SA Legion provides headstone for sailor’s Durban grave


Another example of the sterling and often unsung work done by the SA Legion of Military Veterans comes from Durban where a dead sailor now has a headstone on his grave.

Johann Kruger of the SA Legion’s Durban branch said: “A while back the Legion was informed of a fellow soldier – actually a sailor – who died on active duty and was buried in the Heroes Acre of Redhill cemetery in Durban North, but without a tombstone”.

Goodman Mthunzi Maphumulo was raised and educated by his grandmother after his parents died. After school, Maphumulo joined the SA Navy and was busy with basic training at the then Naval Station SAS Jalsena when he tragically drowned at the age of 22 during a military training exercise at Midmar Dam in August 1992.

Jalsena was a training facility mainly for the Indian community based on Salisbury Island, home of what is now being refurbished and upgraded to full naval base status again after years as a naval station.

Kruger said they could not find out why the young sailor was buried without a headstone to mark his grave.
“The Legion took a decision to show the necessary respect and honour due to him and arranged for a headstone to be made.
“With the kind support of Naval Base Durban, an unveiling and dedication ceremony took place on April 21 at Redhill in the presence of some of Maphumulo’s serving Navy colleagues,” he said.