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    South African Divers awarded Bravery Medals

    Chris Boonzaier

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    From the SA Legion page...sadivers.thumb.jpg.8885fec087f1691c93623


    The Naval signal BZ "Bravo Zulu" is highly appropriate here - meaning "congratulations in the highest order" in signal terminology.

    "BZ" to these South African Heroes. CPO N C Smith, left; CPO Ivor du Plessis, centre and WO J van Nieuwholtz,

    3 South African Navy Divers who were awarded the SANDF's bravery decoration - the Bronze Leopard for Bravery - The Nkwe ya Boronse. The third higest bravery award in the country.

    The three divers recieved this decoration for thier role in clearing unexploded live ordiance on Operation Bapisa from 26 March to 27 April 2007.

    Operation Bapisa was South Africa (and the Defence Force)'s contribution to the aftermath of the massive ammunition depot explosion at Malhazine outside Maputo, Mozambique on 22 March 2007.

    It involved the process of the recovery and sweeping operation to clear the communities around the depot where rockets, artillery shells and other projectiles which had rained down as a result of the massive detonations over several hours.

    53 SANDF and 6 SAPS members participated in the operation from 26 March to 15 July 2007.

    Many Mozambicans, and one SANDF member was killed in June of that year during the operation. Altogether 1213 tonnes of ordnance was made safe.

    The Nkwe ya Boronse can be awarded to all ranks of the South African National Defence Force and of any Auxiliary Service of the SANDF, and of any Armed Forces attached to or serving with or rendering any service to the SANDF who have distinguished themselves by performing acts of bravery on a single occasion or over a period of time during military operations, or for exceptional combat leadership

    Story for the South African Legion by Peter Dickens with thanks to Jacques de Vries for the caption content and research.

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