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G5 Unit

The Order of Mendi for Bravery in

G5 Unit Awarded for:
Displaying acts of bravery and valour during the struggle for the liberation of the people of South Africa.

Profile of G5 Unit

This is one of the units that made the late president of the African National Congress, Oliver Tambo, so proud that he is known to have said that this would be one of the first units that recognition should be given to when banned organisations and freedom fighters return from exile. This is the first Umkhonto we Sizwe unit that conducted assaults on police stations throughout Soweto in the late 1970s and 1980s.

The unit consisted of the following distinguished freedom fighters:

•Nelson Hlongwane: Commander (Ntsizwa Johannes Maduke)

•Solly Zacharia Shoke: Commissar-Commander (Jabulani Lukhele)

•Marus Motaung (Abel Lesolang)

•Simon Thelle Mogoerane (Seiso Moletsane).


Later, the unit was expanded to include the following:

•Bobby Tsotsobe

•Sidima Dlodlo (Viva Zenge)

•Leon Tume

•Linda Jabane (The Lion of Chiawelo).

The unit carried out courageous attacks on police stations throughout what was later to become the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (PWV) area, including on the Moroka, Booysens and Orlando police stations. The G5 Unit stood up at a time when the police launched an onslaught against unarmed civilians. It managed to liberate many people from the fear and terror that were visited upon them by the regime and championed by the police. The G5 was the first unit to apply survival tactics in urban settings, an important tactic of guerilla warfare. They lived in dugouts and endeavoured to shield the masses from police brutality and not expose them to further rough treatment. Lt-General Solly Shoke, currently the Chief of the South African Army, was one of the members of this unit. Commissioner Len Rasegatla was the coordinator of this unit and was part of the external command.