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'Operation Savannah


bullet History
bullet Rowley Medlin
bulletArmy Rotte
bullet 1st Trip
bullet2nd Trip 
bullet3rd Trip
bulletOperation Savanna
bulletInfantry memoirs
bullet Returning Home   
bullet Artwork and poems
bulletToday the men.
bullet Reference works
bulletKilled in action

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"Do not rejoice in war's defeat, you men.
For though the bastard is dead,

The bitch that bore him is in heat again

 Bertolt Brecht

  6th July 2012- finally we have a victory! The men who died in action and were buried in Angola, are to be returned home. Three bodies have been found and the authorities are following promising leads to reclaim Neil Lombard's remains. Unfortunately Rowley is no longer with us on this plane, to rejoice on mission accomplished. I believe he is giving us a salute from the afterlife. David and I have agreed to keep the site as is for historical reasons and as a tribute to Rowley Medlin, who never gave up.

 Bertolt Brecht

 The history: South African Authorities  emphatically denied that South African troops were in any way involved in Angolan territory while threatening the conscripted men with jail who were sent up there.  Some were not to return.

1975 The families were informed, " Your son is missing presumed dead." No further action or information has been forthcoming since then. 
1977 Captain Taljaard's father went on a long hard task of convincing the army to give him the information to have his son's status changed to "killed in action."
1980 Eric's parents applied to have their son declared dead at the Supreme Court. Keith’s status of death was changed then as well.  His parents devastated after the loss of two sons and a daughter never applied to the courts.

Captain Taljaard’s father, on his deathbed, gave his brother, Christo , the instruction “Keep looking for him and bring his body back and have him buried in South African soil."

Thirty one years after their death, Christo asked Rowley Medlin for help and nine months later the burial site was found, with no government assistance, despite a South African government force situated kilometres away from the graves. Papatroop's lost  Neil Lombard burial site is also located.

 Are you asking if the race or political affiliation  of these people were different the response from government would have been too?

If this situation upsets you, please help by contacting the Minister of Defence, at :

Department of Defence
Private Bag X161

Tel: (012) 355 6321
Fax: (012) 355 6398

or email the depart with your comments at

Rowley has a fund going for the costs to help the families if you would like to contribute contact him on  the full story is on the Rowley Medlin's page and Some men did not return home

Copyright © 2003 Gail Gibson
Last modified: 01/07/08