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Operation Beanbag
Part of the Mozambican Civil War
Location Mozambique
Mozambique location map
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Operation Beanbag (Mozambique)
Objective Destruction of ANC planning and control headquarters
Date 30 January 1981

Operation Beanbag was a military operation conducted by the South African Defence Force (SADF) special forces during the Mozambican Civil War against an ANC headquarters based in the Maputo suburb of Matola.


South African intelligence had discovered what they believed was the planning and control headquarters of the ANC for operations planned and executed in the Transvaal, South Africa.[1]:178 The South African team was made up of members from 1 and 6 Reconnaissance Regiments, the latter being made up of old Rhodesian SAS personnel. The operation occurred on 30 January 1981, the target being three houses in the suburb of Matola which lay 16 km from the centre of Maputo. The Mozambican government claims that the twenty SADF special forces members were driven from the border in vehicles that resembled Mozambican army vehicles.[1]:178 One part of the team maintained a roadblock on the main road between Maputo and Matola.[1]:178 while a second team attacked the three ANC buildings. A firefight broke out between the SADF and the ANC inhabitants. The reconnaissance team took two prisoners during the attack.[1]:178 The reconnaissance teams rejoined and returned to the border with South Africa and were said to have been withdrawn by helicopter.


The SADF lost three reconnaissance soldiers, one of whom could not be found during the withdrawal at the end of the operation and he was left behind.[1]:178 6 Reconnaissance Regiment was disbanded later during the year and the remaining members integrated into the remaining special forces regiments.[2] The ANC lost 30 personnel, a SADF figure, while the Mozambique government claimed eleven dead and one civilian.[1]:178


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Heitman, Helmoed-Romer (1985). South African War Machine. England: Bison Books Ltd. ISBN 094699580X. 
  2. "Special Forces History - SA Special Forces League". Retrieved 2014-02-09. 

Further readingEdit

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