DRAFT MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY VETERANS ON THE OCCASION OF THE MEMORIAL SERVICE OF THE BATTLE FOR SQUARE HILL:16 SEPTEMBER 2012
Once ever so often, our history is re-told with battles of atrition. A year after the Russian Revoltuion of 1917, the same year of the birth of our first Commander in Chief in the Democratic dispensation, Nelson Mandela, a war cry sounded the emptiness of the Square Hill. What led to the sprawled dead enemy who laid folded as casualties with blistered limbs and scorched flesh lying amongst the blazing rocks of the Square Hill, offers us a vital opportunity for us to honour and memorialise them that fought and made the enemy run and hide in frenzied style. The battle of the Square Hill was a good and commendable outcome for the South African legion on the 20th September 1918, which we remember today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are referring to the 1st Battalion Cape Corps (ICC) of Megiddo which was assigned in July 1918 to the 160th Infantry Brigade of the 53rd Welsh Division under General Edmund Allenby, (who later became the Filed Marshall Viscount) which was deployed across the Judean Hills that lay between the coastal Plain of Sharon and the hot Jordan River Valley. Their marching orders for the battle zone were to fight. In the words of Hart , “this operation wa one of the most quickly decisive and most completely decisive battles in all history”.Within a few days the Turkish armies in Palestine had practically ceased to exist.
The unit entered the line on the night of August 19 and, as Difford recalled, "curiously enough" faced the 53rd Division of Turkish 20th Corps! "The country was very rough, stony, and hilly, even precipitous in places. Trenches could not be dug and the defenses consisted of stone and sandbag parapets and barbed wire.
“The battalion came under artillery fire from daylight on August 19 and would remain so for the next month. It was ineffectual so far as we were concerned, chiefly owing to strict attention to order to keep out of sight during daylight hours," Difford wrote. The arrival of the Spanish flu a few days later forced a change in dispositions. Here Ladies and Gentlemen, was the true face of war fought under a remorseless, unrelenting sun and disease in which men endued for days and nights, and willing to endure they were.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Orders for the September offensive came on the 4th of that month. On the 16th the brigade's battalions thinned out the front lines and concentrated in their attack positions. On the 17th final preparations were made for the attack, scheduled for the night of the 18th/19th. Allenby's main offensive was scheduled for the early hours of the 19th. The operations order of 160 Bde read as follows: "The brigade will make a night march and break through the enemy works on Wye Hill and advance along the watershed east of the Wady Samieh to Dhib and Square Hills with the object of entering the enemy's main line defenses at Valley View and about El Mugheir from the rear of those works." The 1/17th (Loyal) Indian Infantry was designated the advance guard. Their objective was to seize a bridgehead across the Wady Samieh for the troops following. The artillery would then bombard Sh-el-Azier and Valley View. The 1/17th would closely follow the bombardment and when it lifted would assault Wye Hill. They would then go into reserve and establish pickets.
The 1CC’s involvement had, however, been completed.Their casualties in the period 18 to 20 September 1918 were 51 killed and 101 wounded.From the time the 1CC was established on 25 October 1915 until it was demobilized on 8 September 1919, 117 officers and 6578 other ranks saw service.17 officers were killed and 450 other ranks died in service.
The battle for Square Hill is commemorated as the units’ greatest achievement which is one that any troop may envy, where they covered themselves with glory, displaying bravery and determination that has never been surpassed.
Today we celebrate our fallen heroes and forefathers and lay wreaths to their honour, we should not forget the hardship that these exceptional men and martys had to endure, and during those hard times made the supreme sacrifice in the bloodiest war of all time, in the service of their country. They fought for kin and country. In their memory we must agree with Lord Tennyson who said and I qoute:
Something it is which thou hast lost
Some pleasure from thine early years
Break, thou deep vase of chilling tears
That grief hath shaken into frost
Such clouds of namesless trouble cross
All night below the darkest eyes
With morning wakes the will, and cries
Thou shall not be the fool of loss”
The sun beam will continue to rise in the East and set in the West, the heat of the day will give place to the cool breeze of that Middle Eastern Hill; the “Square Hill”, but the strides of the silent boots carried but the 1st Battalion Cape Corps must blossom and glow eternally like crimsonabove them here and everywhere, now and always.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE LATE LINDA MATYEBA
Comrade Linda Matyeba commonly known as “Mahe, was born on the 30th November 1967 in Cape Town.
In the early eighties, as a young teenager, he broke his political tooth within the Black Consciousness student movement, AZASM and later, inspired by June 16 of 1976 generation, he decided to take up arms and left the country to undergo military training in Zimbabwe under the command of Cde. Nkutsoeu “Skaap” Motsau who is the current National Chairperson of AZANLA-MVA (AZAPO Military Wing).He was part of the last group that came back in the country from Zimbabwe in 1993.
He was deployed in the Western Cape as a Provincial Commander in charge of internal training and recruitment of young cadres into the political fold of the broader Black Consciousness structures under the umbrella of AZAPO. He was part of VIP Security of AZANLA-MVA providing protection to the current President of AZAPO and his predecessors Comrades Mosibudi Mangena, Phandelani Nefolovhodwe and Itumeleng Jerry Mosala as well as senior members of the organization.
On the 2nd February 2012 he succumbed to death The Booth Memorial Hospital in Cape Town after a long battle with ill health.AZAPO has once again lost one of its most disciplined, dedicated and selfless fighters who have always put the total liberation of the Black masses at the forefront.
In his memory, AZAPO Western Cape and his family will hold a Memorial Service to Honor his immeasurable contribution to the liberation struggle of this country, AZANIA, on Thursday 9th February 2012 at Luyolo Centre in Guguletu from 18h00 till 20h00.The funeral will be on Sunday 12 February 2012.Amongst those will be attending the funeral include our Honorable Member of Parliament AZAPO President Jake Dikobo, AZANLA-MVA NationalChairperson Nkutsoeu “Skaap” Motsau and others.Cde “Mahe” will be laid to rest at Khayelitsha cemetery.
LONG LIVE THE SPIRIT OF COMRADE MAHE LONG LIVE!
Director General of the Department of Military Veterans announces the passing away of Mr. Edgar Motau who passed away on the15 October 2011
Director General of the Department of Military Veterans announces the passing away of Brigadier General Cyril Bafana Themba Dlamini (retired)
Director General Tsepe Motumi regrets to announce the passing on of Brigadier General (retired) Cyril Bafana Themba Dlamini (aka Edwin Ndlovu) who passed away on 17 September 2011.
General Dlamini was born in eThekwini on 10 October 1936
He was recruited into the African National Congress by his late father and former President of SACTU (South African Congress of Trade Unions) Stephen Dlamini in the early 1960s.His father, Stephen Dlamini was also a member of the ANC NEC and Central Committee member of the SACP. In 1967 he participated in the Wankie campaign which fought alongside the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) against the Rhodesian and South African forces.
Upon the retreat of the MK combatants, he was arrested alongside his other comrades in Botswana for his MK activities and was released after 21 months in jail. His release was on compassionate ground due to ill health and received medical care at the Princess Marina hospital in Botswana. He was later deployed to serve in various capacities in Mozambique and Swaziland, chiefly in the ordinance section of Umkhonto we Sizwe. In the spirit of loyalty and comradeship to one another, Cyril Dlamini and the late Chris Hani both entered a pact that whosoever passes on first, will look after the family of the other.
In 1994 Brig Gen Dlamini integrated into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were he was conferred the rank of Brigadier General and was tasked with the responsibility of dealing with logistics.
Brig Gen Dlamini's funeral with full military honours will be held on Sunday 25 September 2011 at 20 Bublin Avenue, Morningside. Durban.
Director General Tsepe Motumi would like to send his sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
Department of Military Veterans (Communications Section)
Commander Rapitse Montsho 082 335 8979
Remembering Mama Sisulu...
Chief of the South African National Defence Force announces the passing on of Major General (retired) Mongameli Johnson Tshali
Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) General Solly Shoke regrets to announce the passing on of Major General (Maj Gen) Mongameli Johnson Tshali who passed away on 07 September 2011.
Gen Tshali was born at Alexandria in Port Elizabeth on 16 October 1938 and did his primary and senior secondary school levels at Upper United Mission School and Newell High School in New Brighton respectively.
He joined the African National Congress (ANC) and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961 where he served in various capacities until his return in 1992 where he was deployed in the Eastern Cape. He was an MK commander in the following countries serving in different capacities: former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. He served as the ANC Chief Representative in Mozambique between 1975 and 1983.
In 1967-1968, Gen Tshali was the deputy commander of the Luthuli Contingent which was fighting alongside Zimbabwean People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) forces in the Wankie Sipollilo campaign.
In 1994, Maj Gen Tshali integrated into the SANDF where he obtained the same rank and served the South African Army as the project leader of Project Juggernaut which was mainly dealing with issues pertaining to discipline.
A memorial service in respect of the General will be held at Thaba Tshwane Town Hall in Pretoria on 15 September 2011, at 14:00 and a funeral with full military honours will be held at the same venue on 17 September 2011, at 08:00.
General Solly Shoke would like to send his sincerest condolences to the friends and family of the deceased.
General Tshali is survived by his two sons and a daughter.
Memorial of Mr Johannes Moabi
The Moabi family wishes to announce with sadness the passing of their beloved Father and Husband to Stella Moabi nee Zabala.
Mr Johannes Moabi, affectionately known as Bra Joe, died of Heart and other ailments on 07 September, 2011 after undergoing an Angiogram at Sunward Park Hospital as a result of a third heart attack that he had suffered a week earlier.
Mr Moabi was a dedicated member of the Pan Africanist Congress and after numerous harassments by the Security Police in South Africa, went into exile to Swaziland in 1968 where he lead a number of operations for the PAC in collaboration with his long time friend Mr Joe Mkhwanazi. As a result of their activities in Swaziland, Mr Moabi was incarcerated at Matsapa Prison in Manzini for a lengthy period of time and was subsequently, at the instruction of the South African Government to the Swazi Government expelled from Swaziland and found asylum for himself and his family in England where they resided for a period of 16 years. Whilst in England, he studied and obtained a BA degree in Education and Humanities from the University of Birmingham. This he did without sacrificing his work in pursuit of the struggle for the liberation of our Country.
Bra Joe spent most of his exile years mobilizing resources as Treasurer General of the PAC at the PAC Headquarters in Dar es Salaam and looking after PAC Cadres in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and other African states. On his return to South Africa in 1993 he joined the University of South Africa, Centre for Peace Action and worked with the troubled youth in Eldorado Park until his retirement in 2003.
“Upati Awuna Mali”, as he was commonly referred to by the APLA Cadres, was a strict and thrifty person, who ensured that every cent that he had raised was spent in the interest of the Party for its operations and the provision of clothes and food for the Cadres. He counted the pennies and saved the pounds. This character, which earned him the nickname “Upati Awuna Mali”, was a defining streak of his life which characterised all of his operations and how he managed his home.
The family and friends mourn his death, but celebrate his life. He was an example of dedication, commitment, honesty, thrift and a person who held the primacy of the family as a dictum that we all can learn from. He is survived by his Wife, Stella, his daughter Nana and her husband, his two sons, Gibson and Khotso and their wives and five Grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Holy Family Church, Spruitview 980 uMbhaba Str, Spruitview
Home to Church Departure:
08:30 – 10:00
10:00 – 11:00
Holy Family Church, Spruitview 980 Mbhaba Str, Spruitview
Church to Rondebult Cemetery:
No. 6 Matopo Street, Rondebult, Germiston
17:00 – 18:00
Monday - thursday:
19:00 – 20:00
15:00 – 15:30 19:00 – 20:00
For further enquiries, please contact Griffith Zabala on 082 803 4841 or Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Papi we must say;
His soul through mighty wings now flew, To him who we trusted and laboured with, Of upright discipline his statue was erected, On earthly oceans and river flows, Our cruel doubt now judged, Our burning lust a fear unknown, To shape our hope in democracy let us now rise, Through the hissing depth of the ocean path - abide with him as he cruises through the mystery of the deep dance of our ocean storms, Let his soul now slide throw the mighty dust and breeze of our ocean so deep. The grown man that he was. Now standing still through the river streets, His fine soul painted in white through the labyrinths of the dark ocean mountains, Was so ill, there he can not fare worse. Let the thoughts of praise cultivate our teenage democracy. Whom when we lived with we refrained from revering. Slide now Moloto, to gently take your salute…