Almost immediately after independence, civil war broke out between the three main factions—the MPLA, UNITA and the FNLA. Cuban forces had already begun moving into Angola during April 1975 on the invitation of the communist-oriented MPLA in order to support them in the fighting and South Africa thus faced the prospect of communist state bordering its de facto "fifth province" of (the then) South-West Africa (SWA). Consequently South Africa, with the covert assistance of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, began assisting UNITA and the FNLA in a bid to ensure that a pro-Western government prevailed.
At this point, South Africa made an alliance with the anti-communist UNITA movement, and together with the CIA, began supplying weapons and training. The SADF subsequently invaded Angola in force on the 2 October 1975 during Operation Savannah. South African forces covered 3,159 km in 33 days, temporarily capturing the ports of Namibe, Lobito and Ngunza.
Attempts were made to open the Benguela railway, but the SADF was forced to withdraw when covert Western support was withdrawn. Helicopters, light aircraft and transports were used, while jets flew photo reconnaissance missions. UNITA was supported to the extent of ensuring that SWAPO did not establish springboards in southern Angola.
South African sappers successfully rebuilt the bridge under heavy fire, allowing the amoured column to advance and route the enemy on the opposite bank.
Danny Roxo famously single-handedly killed twelve Cuban and MPLA soldiers during a reconnaissance of the bridge, an action for which he was awarded the Honoris Crux. Several other Honoris Crux medals were awarded for bravery during this battle, some posthumously.
In 1976, the SADF made a short propaganda film depicting the battle called 'Brug 14' (Afrikaans for 'Bridge 14') which was widely screened in South Africa when the first television station started broadcasting that year. The day Tommy lotze was killed,M.Goller ,lt Heyns,2 recces another troop went to the river to rescue the section trapped on the other side,marais was carried to safety,died later thet night.
According to General Constand Viljoen, who had grave concerns at the time about the safety of both his men and abandoned field guns:
I can honestly say that was the most difficult night ever in my operational career. The guns in Ambriz were towed to Zaire, then eventually picked up by the SAS Tafelberg and taken to Walvis Bay.
The success of this operation was exceptionally fortuitous, given that the South African Navy had been penetrated by the spy Dieter Gerhardt.
The MPLA subsequently declared itself to be the de facto government of the country and Agostinho Neto was sworn in as its first President. However, South Africa continued to support UNITA in an attempt to ensure that SWAPO did not establish any bases in southern Angola.
The 49 South African casualties during the conflict were never acknowledged by the SADF, who were operating covertly in the country. These soldiers were simply listing as 'missing' rather than 'killed in action', resulting in a number of Supreme Court cases afterwards to change their status.
Report Au 06 Mai De L'examen Du Proces Du President Du Conseil Municipal De Sidi Yahya El Gharb, Poursuivi Pour Corruption
Apr 22, 2013; Rabat - La Chambre criminelle (1er degre) chargee des crimes financiers pres la Cour d'appel de Rabat a decide, lundi, de...