SANAE 47 Overwintering Team

The overwintering team is the core group responsible for scientific research and maintenance of the base throughout the year.  Each team arrives in Antarctica in December, takes over the responsibilities at the base during the brief summer, and is left behind in February as the weather starts to deteriorate.  Throughout the dark and cold winter, the small group lives in isolation until the next December, finally returning to South Africa in February of the following year.  It’s a daunting prospect to spend such a long time away from home in severe conditions with only a few other people – one psychiatrist-colleague quipped that one would need to be a ‘benign psychopath’ to want to do it.  Meet then, the ‘crazies’ of SANAE 47:

 Daleen Koch  Daleen Koch â?? IPY Scientist/Engineer 

Daleen is â??as Gauteng as they come,â? being born and raised in Bronkhorstspruit.  She attended school in Pretoria and studied at what is now the University of Johannesburg, completing Electric and Electronic Engineering â??in her spare timeâ? between movies, swimming, diving, hockey, outdoor stuff, scheming and socializing.   Prior to the expedition, she worked at Mondi in Richards Bay and then moved to the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory for her training and familiarisation with the systems she is responsible for here in Antarctica.  Her work at SANAE IV is focussed on measuring fluctuations in the Earthâ??s magnetic field, using sensitive magnetometers.  For more info about Daleen, check out her profile on Facebook.  To find out more about IPY, see   

Morgan Oâ??Kennedy 

Morgan Oâ??Kennedy â?? Cosmic Ray Physicist/Engineer 

Morgan grew up in Bellville, Cape Town before moving to Porterville, a small town in the Western Cape (well known for its paragliding, I might add).  He studied Electric and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University, where he discovered the opportunity to go to Antarctica.  Morgan loves the outdoors, especially mountaineering and river rafting.  Other hobbies include astronomy, photography, playing guitar and tennis.  Before commencing the expedition, he went through an intensive training phase at North-West University in Potchefstroom to help him understand the operation of the scientific instruments at SANAE IV, and learn the â??basicsâ?? of space physics, which he finds very interesting as an engineer.  Morganâ??s work centres upon the aurora as a window upon space weather.  Llewellyn Kriedemann  

Llewellyn Kriedemann â?? Radar Engineer  

 â??Leeu,â?? as he is known on the team, was born and raised on SAâ??s West Coast in the town of Vredenburg.  He too studied Electronic and Electrical engineering at Stellenbosch University and then underwent intensive training in Hermanus at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory.  His hobbies include blacksmithing and spending time outdoors, braaing and driving fast cars and cars fast.  Llewellyn is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the massive HF radar array, which forms part of an international collaborative network of polar radar systems which monitor changes in the Earthâ??s ionosphere.       Santjie du Toit   

Santjie du Toit – Meteorologist  


Santjie was born and raised in Pretoria (Tshwane) and completed her degree in meteorological forecasting at the University of Pretoria.  She was the only member of the overwintering team to have visited SANAE IV before, making the journey during the 2004 takeover season.  After another year of study, she took the post of meteorologist (aka â??metkassieâ??) to the 63rd expedition to Marion Island in the Southern Ocean (see for a year.  Antarctica, however, has always been â??the ultimate,â?? so she couldnâ??t wait to return.



Richard Duncan 


 Richard Duncan â?? Diesel Mechanic Richard hails from Benoni, Gauteng, but is possibly the most avid Sharks supporter alive.  He has worked in many weird and wonderful places including Tanzania, Zambia and Ireland, and enjoys the outdoors in his spare time, with hobbies including angling and collecting and restoring Morris Minor motor cars.  Richard and Neels together are responsible for maintaining and fixing the baseâ??s collection of engines â?? our three massive diesel generators, the huge Caterpillar Challengers and bulldozers, the skidoos, uncountable pumps, motors, ducts, fansâ?¦ you name it, they can fix it.            Neels Fourie   Neels Fouire â?? Diesel Mechanic   A native of the small town of Baberton â?? famed for its flowers – Neels is married with a teenage daughter, and has the grey hairs to prove it.  Having risen to the top of his profession, he found the next exciting challenge â?? Antarctica!  Specialising in diesel power generation, along with Richard, Anton Saz and Gerhard he forms a vital part of the technical team which keeps SANAE IV and thus the research projects running.  In addition, he is also the deputy team leader and keeps Ross on the straight and narrow.  Back home he enjoys hiking, birding and fishing; at SANAE youâ??re likely to find him sketching or building a puzzle when not up to his elbows in engine oil.


 Saziso Nginda      Saziso Nginda â?? Electrical Engineer   

Saziso comes from eZagwityi in Butterworth.  He attended a local junior school, then went to Kentane (Macibe) for his high school and studied Electrical Engineering in NMMU.  His a member of the technical team and heâ??s responsible for power generation, base control & automation system, water generation system, fire alarm and base electrical system.  He enjoys watching movies, listening to music, reading and travelling.  Heâ??d love to visit the following African countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Uganda then the Island of Mauritius.  One thing that he misses a lot is a Sunday morning church service. 



 Anton van Zyl      

 Anton van Zyl â?? Mechanical Engineer 

Married with two children in Cape Town, Anton is a great family man but could not refuse the opportunity for adventure.  He graduated from the Cape Technicon and draws on his strong background in mechanical engineering projects to meet his responsibility for the baseâ??s myriad systems â?? power and water generation, temperature management, waste processing, etc.  Back home he enjoys spending time with his children outdoors, and his lesser-known other talents include baking a mean loaf of bread â?? a very welcome skill at SANAE!                 Gerhard Laubscher

Gerhard Laubscher â?? Electronic Engineer   

Gerhard was born in Montagu, matriculated and studied in the Cape and has been successfully employed in his own electronics development and design firm in Tableview, Cape Town.  He learnt about the Antarctic Expedition when contracted to undertake work at the new Marion Island base â?? once the seed was planted, the lure of Antarctica was too great to be ignored.  Gerhard takes pleasure in the unique opportunities on the white continent â?? the 24-day or night; a drink with pure blue ice; the rigors of the worldâ??s worst weather; the camaraderie of the isolated team.  Here at SANAE, he is responsible for the electronic systems â?? communications, computers, command-and-control network, telephones, radio and satellite systems.         Ross Hofmeyr     

Ross Hofmeyr â?? Expedition Leader & Doctor 

An avid outdoorsman, Ross grew up in and around Cape Town and studied medicine at the University of Stellenbosch.  A youthful love of mountaineering lead to many years service with the mountain and wilderness rescue services and keen interest in expedition medicine.  In â??realâ?? life, he pursued experience in trauma and emergency medicine before joining the SANAE team as doctor â?? responsible for all preventative, curative and emergency response, dental work, radiography, laboratory investigations, etc.  In addition to the physical and mental health of the team, as expedition leader he is responsible for the administrative and logistic requirements as well.  Antarctica is the culmination of lifetime dreams, but Ross quips that it proves that no matter how far you go, you can never escape the paperwork.