SPECIAL  BRANCH  BEITBRIDGE  INCIDENT  LOG  as recorded in the book  “ Ed Bird, SPECIAL BRANCH WAR “, published by Ed Bird in 2013 in Amanzimtoti / KZN

On the 08 July 1978, in the Diti TTL, elements of Guard Force travelling in a vehicle convoy were ambushed by between fifteen and twenty terrorists. The ambush was initiated with RPG-7 rockets, followed by AK-47 and RPD fire. One of the vehicles was disabled by a rocket. One Guard Force member was hit and killed and three others were wounded. All of whom were casevaced to the Messina Hospital.

Behind every incident report there is also a human story involving soldiers. Such a soldier was Comdt Mike Howlett  who remembers 35 years thereafter . “ We were travelling from our GP 8 HQ in Beitbridge  along the road to the PV Chiturapadzi. I was travelling with Nik  Morton [ Intake 160 Llewellin  Barracks ] in a Puma. Somewhere along the road we hit an ambush. A RPG-7 rocket hit our Puma and killed instantly Guard G. Gwatidzo our driver . Small arms fire followed. I was injured by shrapnels. Looking to Nik Morton I saw him returning fire in a cool and determined way , repulsing the attack. His determined action will for ever remain in my mind.We were casevaced and I reported a few days later back for duty. “