|Class and type:||Tanker|
|Builder:||Nakskov Skibsværft, Nakskov, Denmark|
|Launched:||20 June 1958|
|Fate:||Sold to Safmarine in 1965|
|Renamed:||SAS Tafelberg (1965)|
|Operator:||South African Navy|
|Commissioned:||19 August 1967|
|Nickname(s):||'Mama Tafies' or 'Tafies'|
|Fate:||Scrapped in 1993|
|Length:||170.5 m (559 ft 5 in)|
|Beam:||21.9 m (71 ft 10 in)|
|Draught:||8.3 m (27 ft 3 in)|
|Propulsion:||10,000 hp (7,500 kW) 8-cylinder turbo-charged diesel|
|Speed:||16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)|
|Boats & landing |
|6 Delta fast assault craft|
|Complement:||9 officers and 118 ratings|
|Aircraft carried:||2 × Atlas Oryx helicopters|
SAS Tafelberg started life in 1958 as the Danish tanker Annam:244 in the service of the East Asiatic Company in Copenhagen. She was one of four similar ships commissioned at the time, and was named by the local Thai ambassador's daughter Vasna Virajakar. British Petroleum leased her for five years.
She was purchased in 1965 by Safmarine before being reconfigured in Durban as the replenishment ship SAS Tafelberg and sold to the South African Navy (SAN). At this time, she had five refuelling points, one astern and two solid stores transfer stations,.
In 1971 Tafelberg acted as official guardship for the Cape-to-Rio yacht race. Because of apartheid South Africa's political isolation at the time, the ship could not enter Rio de Janeiro and instead travelled up the River Plate to Buenos Aires.
In November 1975 at the end of Operation Savannah, she provided logistical support to President Kruger and President Steyn during the Ambrizete Incident, and also subsequently went to Zaire to retrieve the guns that the army left behind in Angola.
In 1980, Tafelberg had a small flight deck that was fitted to the stern of the ship behind the funnel deck for use of the Wasp helicopter, but had no hangar or refueling points and was used solely for transporting persons from Tafelberg to the frigates and vice versa
In 1983–1984, Tafelberg underwent significant changes. The rear refuelling points were removed and an additional landing deck with two hangars was fitted aft. The vessel was configured to carry two Puma or Atlas Oryx helicopters, although the larger Super Frelon helicopter was also used until they were removed from service. Helicopter operations were particularly risky, for these helicopters, not being designed for marine use, were unable to apply negative pitch to their main rotors, therefore making them vulnerable to rolling off the flight deck in heavy seas.
The 1983 changes also included accommodation and messing facilities for 300 marines under the flight deck, a hospital and davits for six Delta fast landing craft. Each of these craft was able to carry and put ashore a short wheel-base Land Rover and an infantry section with all equipment.
She participated in numerous exercises and operations during her lifespan, She earning her the affectionate nickname "Mama Tafies" (Afrikaans for "Mother Tafies") on her "maiden" voyage from Durban to Simonstown.
- Wessels, Andre (20 April 2007). "The South African Navy During The Years of Conflict In Southern Africa, 1966–1989" (PDF). Sabinet Online Ltd. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- Du Toit, A (1992). South Africa's Fighting Ships Past and Present. Ashanti Publishing. ISBN 1 874800 50 2.
- "History of the SA Navy". South African Navy. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- Bennett, Rear Admiral Chris (June 2006). Three Frigates – The South African Navy comes of Age. Just Done Productions Publishing. ISBN 1-920169-02-4.
- "History of the SA Navy". South African Navy.