A number of ex-Rhodesian soldiers, now serving with the SADF since Zimbabwean independence, were located in camps in the Northern Transvaal. The SADF recruited and trained these men, primarily for sabotage operations designed to destroy infrastructure, damage the economy and undermine the military capacity of Zimbabwe's armed forces.
This series of planned operations, called Operation Drama, had the objective of ensuring that the new Zimbabwe government did not provide concrete support to the ANC and PAC in their armed struggles.
Sgt Robert Trevor Beech was a member of a team of 18 SADF soldiers, sent into Zimbabwe on a clandestine mission. They were ambushed by the Zimbabwean army 40 miles inside Matabeleland, and three men, including Sgt Beech, were killed in the ensuing fire fight.