Navy bestows honours

2003-10-03 11:12

Cape Town - Members of the South African navy who distinguished themselves through their efforts, bravery and unselfish loyal service were presented with military medals by the Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Johan Retief, in Simon's Town on Friday.

One of the recipients, Lieutenant Michael Schoeman, was honoured with the Navy Cross, the highest military medal bestowed on any sailor who has performed an act of courage and bravery.

Schoeman, 31, rescued a Zambian general who fell overboard off the navy's strike craft, SAS Galeshewe, at Seal Island, near Cape Point, in 2001.

The lieutenant, without hesitating, removed his shoes, jumped into the water and helped save the general who had knocked his head against the bulk of the ship and lost consciousness when he fell overboard.

Other high-profile military medal recipients were Flag Officer Fleet, Rear-Admiral Eric Green, for 40 years distinguished and loyal service to the SA National Defence Force, and Shadrack Kabelo Ganda, of Metropolitan Asset Managers, who received three medals in recognition of the role he played in the former African National Congress former liberation army Umkhonto we Sizwe.