MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 27
Article views: 4
Latest Badges:

View all ZION's badges.

A war story

08 October 2012, 07:27

Somewhere hidden in the mysteries of the late seventies (someone will tell me it was the late sixties) while working for the Department of water affairs I was called up by the dam construction team in Ombalantu, Ovamboland, as know then, to assist with the wiring of a large store and workshop. DWA had a refugee working for them on a casual basis. But the guy was unqualified to do electrical wiring. I was given a mini-bus and spare fuel and told to report to the foreman the coming Monday. I left Swakopmund on the Sunday morning and after tar roads, gravel roads, and sand roads eventually reached Ombalantu that evening. I was lodged in a house used by other workers. The house was empty due to those workers going home on weekends.      

The empty room was mine and I could see the construction work outside and some distance away.     

After supper which consisted of  polony sandwiches hard from the heat. .I checked out the lay of the land and noticed a huge Baobab tree about 5 metres from the back door. Its girth was at least 8 metres. Beyond the tree stood about 5 small RDP type houses which were built to accommodate some of the workers.     

While working for water affairs it was common practice to carry fire-arms  with one.  In this case I went about armed with my R1 military rifle.     

After sunset I went to bed only to be woken up by a war on my stoop.SADF personnel were tracking insurgents in the area. They stopped over and we bartered tea or coffee for R1 magazines and live rounds. I was questioned as to what I was doing in a war zone. Being told that does not make your life a bit easier but more uneasily.  The weekend passed uneventful and when the workers returned on the Monday I discovered that no tools or material was supplied to do the job. Promises were made that it would be on site in a fortnight. Much of my time was spent hanging around in a war zone.     

After working hours the Portuguese contingent would do some target practice in their back yards, not a bad idea. The Portuguese were refugees who fled over the border and obtained  unskilled work on the DWA.     

Not a bad idea I thought and  found an old circuit breaker to use as a target. The breaker was tied to the baobab tree, a bit to the one side to line it up with the kitchen. On the second shot the breaker disintegrated and a second later shouts of rage from the Portuguese.  A few came around to my side to see what was going on.. The R1’s bullet travels with a high velocity and the Baobab is a pulpy type of tree.. The bullet passed through the tree and hit the outside wall of one of the RDP houses. When that happens it sounds worse than the dagga brigade on NEWS 24: 12 people on the same spot instantly.     

Eventually the job was completed and I remained in the DWA camp for the rest of the week. On that particular weekend a full-blown war played itself out in the camp as insurgents used it as a shortcut. The patrol paid a visit to see if all was ok. I returned to Swakopmund the following Monday.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Mohammed Parak
Zero Gravity

It's not everyday that a thought comes up, highlighting something you didn't know before. Read more...

0 comments 49 views
Submitted by
Could Glencore be wiped out?

Glencore is a stock that everyone’s talking about, but the mining giant has collapsed again. Read more...

0 comments 2477 views
Submitted by
The Scribe
In Defence of Dianne Kohler-Barna...

The media, especially social media is all agog about THAT Facebook share by Dianne Kohler-Barnard. Read more...

0 comments 2311 views
Submitted by
Michael Ernest Meder
Crime entitlement

Entitlement is a major underlying cause of crime.

0 comments 204 views
Submitted by
Mike Van Wyk
Should big banks offer more unsec...

Since the crisis of 2008, the major banks have gone back to providing their fundamental function, but have been slow to keep pace with the growing demand for loans by South Africans. Read more...

0 comments 915 views
Submitted by
Stishera Khumalo
Corruption - Enough is Enough

Corruption has gone too far now.

0 comments 2054 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.