7 South African Infantry Battalion
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|7 South African Infantry Battalion|
7 SAI Emblem
|Active||1 October 1973 to present|
|Branch||South African Army|
|Part of||South African Infantry Formation|
|First Commanding Officer||Commandant Eddie Webb|
|Company level insignia|
|SA Motorised Infantry beret bar circa 1992|
Angola Bush War Deployment
1983: The July intake's training phase was shortened to accommodate a need to deploy a company for Operation Askari and Sector 10. This company would deploy with 101 Battalion in a reaction force role.
1984: a Company was stationed at Rundu for reaction force duties under the command of 202 Battalion for 6 months, whereafter they were posted to Nepara for a further 6-month deployment. After a period of leave they were posted back to Nepara for a third time, spending their 40 celebration on the 17/30 cutline in a fox camp (BF). Members of this company eventually joined the 905/6 reaction force duties. Bravo company was also involved in operations to capture SWAPO radio operators using two modified Ratel's fitted with radio direction-finding equipment named Pointer and Spotter.
1987: August intake of 7 SAI's Alpha Company, was deployed to the operational area of Cuito Cuanavale, Angola in 1988 under the command of a Captain Butler. Alpha Company consisted of five infantry platoons as well as an 81 mm (3.2 in) mortar platoon and was deployed to the eastern side of the Cuito river (a tributary of the Okavango River) for a period of 1 month. During its time of deployment, various platoons were allocated as mechanised infantry (in Ratels) while the remainder formed a base camp sending out roving patrols in the area.
South West Africa / Namibia
1989: during the UNTAG deployment in South West Africa/Namibia, Alpha Company provided base defence for the town of Oshakati with some of its platoons participating in the various counter insurgency operations against the PLAN infiltration that occurred during this time.
7 SAI changed from a training unit to a rear area protection unit when 113 Battalion became part of the unit.
1994: 7 SAI became part of the Rapid Deployment Force during November.
Under the Infantry Formation
The SANDF's Motorised Infantry is transported mostly by Samil trucks, Mamba APC's or other un-protected motor vehicles. Samil 20, 50 and 100 trucks transport soldiers, towing guns, and carrying equipment and supplies. Samil trucks are all-wheel drive, in order to have vehicles that function reliably in extremes of weather and terrain. Motorised infantry have an advantage in mobility allowing them to move to critical sectors of the battlefield faster, allowing better response to enemy movements, as well as the ability to outmaneuver the enemy.
The unit's emblem is a rooikat superimposed on a Maltese cross, which is in memory of two gold crosses commissioned by the ZAR President TF Burgers and presented to two Bourkes Luck ladies for their help in caring for and nursing wounded Boer commandos during the Sekhukhune War.
Previous dress insignia
Current dress insignia
|October 1973||Cmdt Eddie Webb[a]||December 1974|
|January 1975||Cmdt J. van Niekerk[b]||May 1977|
|June 1977||Cmdt J.F. Gouws[b]||December 1978|
|January 1979||Cmdt H.J. Schultz[b]||December 1981|
|January 1982||Cmdt W. Swanepoel[b]||January 1988|
|January 1988||Cmdt J.E. Rabe[b]||April 1988|
|May 1988||Cmdt J.M.P. Wessels||n.d.|
|n.d.||Cmdt Werner Sott||n.d.|
|1994||Lt Col Daan Van Der Merwe||1997|
|n.d.||Lt Col Barnard||n.d.|
|n.d.||Lt Col Tjaart Van Der Walt||n.d.|
|2005||Lt Col Mabotja||n.d.|
|2009||Lt Col Khathutshelo Nethononda||n.d.|
|2013||Lt Col Andrew Matlaila||n.d.|
|2017||Lt Col Tilsetso Sekgobela||n.d.|
|From||Regimental Sergeants Major||To|
|October 1973||WO1 V. Coleman||December 1974|
|January 1975||WO1 A.J. Hattingh||December 1977|
|January 1978||WO1 J.H. Mileham||December 1979|
|January 1980||WO1 J.F. Somers PMM||December 1982|
|January 1983||WO1 J.H. Steenekamp HC PMM||November 1986|
|December 1986||WO1 J.J. Pretorius||July 1988|
|August 1988||WO1 J.J. Quintin Lategan MMM||n.d.|
|n.d.||WO1 James Blom||n.d.|
|1 January 1994||WO1 Dirk Prins||January 1999|
|n.d.||WO1 Jr Raath||n.d.|
- Later Brigadier General
- Later Colonel
- "Fact file: 7 SA Infantry Battalion". defenceWeb. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Griffiths, P.B. Corporal PB Griffiths, 83344937, Alpha Company Mortar Platoon, Aug 1987 intake. unpublished interview.
- SA Soldier, January 2003, p.37