South Africa: The South African Air Force (SAAF), in partnership with the South African Air Force Association (SAAFA), hosted a memorial service on 20 May 2023 at the Bays Hill Memorial site in Swartkop.
The memorial service was hosted in order to commemorate the fallen heroes of the SA Air Force. “The memorial aimed to strengthen the bond between the deceased families and the SA Air Force. We remember their efforts and their might while serving in the SA Air Force,” said the Chief of Air Force, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo.
Chaplain Thibedi Ndala of SA Air Force Headquarters led the procedure of the memorial service. “The SA Air Force will forever remember these soldiers who have perished in the line of duty. They have fought a fight of survival no one has fought before,” said Chaplain Ndala.
The SA Air Force choir graced the audience with songs while the wreaths were laid. The following members laid wreaths in no particular order:
• Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo – Chief of the South African Air Force;
• Colonel (ret) Mike Louw – The National President Of the South African Air Force Association;
• Family members of the Late Major Ntokozo Ntshangase and Sergeant Vusimuzi Mabena;
• Commander Chu Woo Park – Defence Attache Of The Republic Of Korea On Behalf Of The Korean People;
• Lieutenant Colonel Anton le Roux – The South African Military Intelligence Association;
• Wing Commander Harrison – Area Vice President Of The Royal Air Force Association, Gauteng;
• Mr Martin Urry – Chairman Of The Warsaw Flights Commemoration Committee and Chairman Of The Alpine 44 Group;
• Mrs Debra de Billot – National Secretary Of The South African Legion Of Military Veterans, On Behalf Of The South African Legion Of Military Veterans;
• Dr Charl Schmahl – Representative of SAMVOZA;
• Mr Maloba – On Behalf Of Old Mutual
• Colonel Palazzi – Defence Attaché Of Italy
• Lieutenant Colonel Omur Tshelik – Representative Of Turkish Armed Forces and
• Members Of The Spousal Forum.
Speaking to Colonel (ret) Mike Louw, the National President of the South African Air Force Association, he mentioned, “Such memorabilia of our fallen heroes make the new fresh ones and us in the organisation aware of the sacrifices they have encountered. It does not matter how they lost their lives; what matters is that they served for the love of their country.”