Lt Hannes du Toit was second in command of Combat Team 2, operating from Ratel IFV Two Zero Alpha. On 10 June, during the attack on Complex 8 near Chitumba, Angola, as part of Operation Sceptic, the Ratel IFV Two Zero, commanded by the leader of Combat Team 2, Captain Louis Herman, suffered a bent axle. Captain Herman transferred his command to Lt du Toit's Ratel, Two Zero Alpha, leaving du Toit to make his way forward as best he could in the damaged Ratel, Two Zero.
Once the damaged Ratel had been repaired Lt du Toit and his men, plus Captain Piet Botha (attached from 44 Parachute Brigade), made their way forward in an endeavour to catch up with the now much advanced Combat Team Two. While doing so, their Ratel ran into a strongly defended SWAPO position at Complex 8, where they came under intense fire. During this exchange the Ratel suffered jams in both their 20 mm cannon and the 7.62 mm Browning, leaving them only the twin anti-aircraft Brownings at the rear to defend themselves with.
Lt du Toit, manning these Brownings, exposed himself while firing the twin Brownings at the surrounding SWAPO insurgents, while Captain Botha quickly swung the Ratel around in a U-turn and drove out of range of the insurgents' fire. Unfortunately, in the brief exchange Lt du Toit had been mortally wounded, although he continued to give covering fire until he lost consciousness. Despite the best efforts of his men, he died shortly afterwards, but his supreme sacrifice had enabled the rest of his crew to escape unscathed.
For his bravery and self-sacrifice in this engagement, Lt du Toit was posthumously awarded the Honoris Crux.
(information extracted from "Borderstrike" by Willem Steenkamp; Just Done Productions, 2006.)