News24

Dealing with SA's 'Vietnam war'

2012-03-26 14:38

Johannesburg - Many white South Africans conscripted to fight for the apartheid military in Angola still struggle to swallow the bitter pill that their battle landed on the wrong side of history.

Known here as the Border War, apartheid South Africa sent troops to support Angola's Unita rebels, backed by the US against the then-Marxist MPLA government and its Cuban allies.

The Cold War conflict was depicted at the time as a battle to stave off communism and black liberation, and until recently few veterans dared talk about their experiences for fear of upsetting South Africa's ruling black majority.

In the past year there has been a surge in dialogue about the Border War, including a raft of self-published soldiers' memoirs, some deemed insensitively nostalgic, or even racist.

Award-winning film

But there have been some more considered accounts, and several film documentaries, including Marius van Niekerk's award-winning My Heart of Darkness which follows four ex-conscripts, black and white, on an emotional journey back into Angola.

"I am trying to raise awareness of what happened in Angola and film is a good way to do that," said Van Niekerk, himself a Border War veteran.

"There is a lot of unresolved trauma, a misunderstanding between different sides, we haven't talked enough about how we feel and we need to."

Also adding to the discourse is the re-staging of Anthony Akerman's controversial and hard-hitting play Somewhere on the Border which was banned under apartheid due to its brutal language and its depiction of the South African Defence Force.

Akerman wrote the play in the 1980s while in exile in Holland, having fled South Africa to avoid the draft.

Fighting on the wrong side


"When the play was first done 25 years ago, kids who couldn't talk about their experiences of war took their parents to see the play, and afterwards, they were able to talk," Akerman told AFP.

"So now, maybe it's the other way round, the guys who were the kids at the border, now have their own kids who want to know what happened and that can facilitate an inter-generational dialogue again."

Paul Morris, 45, saw the new production as part of his own journey of re-examining his experiences as an 18-year-old conscript.

"The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is that I fought on the wrong side. As a teenager I didn't really see the choices but now on an emotional level, I feel deeply saddened," he said.

Morris plans a journey back to southern Angola later this year to revisit the battlefields where he once fought.
He plans to travel by road with a group of veterans from Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the former military wing of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, which fought with the MPLA. He then plans to cycle back home alone.

"I remember Angola was a beautiful country so I would like to go there and travel as a tourist," he said.

"Angola in my mind is still a battlefield, I would like to come back with a different memory of the country, I suppose you could say it is part of my healing journey."

War museum

Leading the Angolan road trip is Colonel Patrick Ricketts, who joined MK at age 20 and spent eight months at ANC camps in Angola.

Ricketts has already made several visits back to Angola and is working to create a war museum and memorial at Cuito Cuanavale, home to the 1988 battle that turned the tide of war and the fight against apartheid.

"We were all separated by history, by a very vicious system, but we are adults now in a new South Africa and we have the chance to get together and talk about our experiences," said Ricketts, who is now part of South Africa's modern military.

"It was traumatic for everybody, regardless of which side they were on," he said.

"Our trips are as mixed as possible. It is nice that everybody is there together because it gives us a chance to talk about our experiences of the system from our own sides and see how we were all victims in different ways."

Healthy engagement

Theresa Edlmann, a Rhodes University researcher who is documenting the war, said bringing ex-enemies together is an important way of re-examining the conflict.

She compared South Africa's border war to America's Vietnam, including the time it took for people to speak openly about their conscription experiences.

"The trauma of a war experience is so intense that you almost need that period of silence before people are ready to talk," she said.

"It is also a time in South Africa's own history when the honeymoon of democracy is over and our political process has reached a point where these kinds of conversations are possible in ways that they might not have been in the past."

"What we need is a healthy engagement, with people from all sides coming together to listen to each other so we can make new meanings about what it is to be South African.

- Were you in the war or do you have a relative who was? Send us your story

Comments
  • mlvwk - 2012-03-26 15:14

    Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind. John F. Kennedy Bush war vet.

      Shaun - 2012-03-26 16:11

      My own Father was a Bush War Vet and the stories he told me of his experiences there were terrible. I need not harp on the fact that he was never the same and definately suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. After the war was over the then National Party offered no counciling or post war debriefing much like their US counterparts after Vietnam. It just did not make sense. Thousands of young Men lost their lives for a Government who insisted Apartheid had to stay and then after all those lives were lost on both sides of the war the country was handed over? Only for those very same politicians to get "golden handshakes" and freedom after all of their Human rights violations? Walking off with how many millions in "stolen" resources? Them and their families all moving into fancy houses in Cape Town and from behind high walls they lived out their days. Their children going to the best schools and now either living in luxury still in South Africa or overseas. I though was the son of one of their soldiers who risked his life for their dream. Their war and their greed. My question is why must I pay for the sins of my Father and those of his wicked leaders of the day? Transformation, BEE and quotas are all new systems of "change" which do not affect those who once ordered these poor Men to war. Why should they affect me? My Father did not get a "golden handshake" after he risked his life on the border. He did not even get his old R! Rifle to defend his family!

      Wim - 2012-03-26 22:18

      "Thousands of young Men lost their lives for a Government who insisted Apartheid had to stay ..." Obviously your daddy didn't teach you history, and clearly you don't have any concept of numbers. You should be old enough not to believe in fairy tales.

      Shaun - 2012-03-27 07:10

      Wim firstly I never called my Father "Daddy". Dont assume things in order to try and insult me or his memory please. Condescending sheep! Secondly you were brainwashed if you believe all the RA RA rubbish that was pumped into your heads when on the border. While you guys were bleeding, your "fearless leaders" were hiding back home with their families raping the natural resources and planning their "great escape". Making deals behind closed doors with the people they taught you were the enemy. Let me tell you the reasons you were fighting was a "fairy tale". Today those "enemies" are the heroes and the old SADF soldiers who died for their "fearless leaders" are not. It is that simple as history is always written by the victor and sir your enemy was the victor no matter how you look at it. Just ask all the Vietnam Vets who had limbs blown off and did not receive much in return while their Government made Trillions on weapon and ammunition sales.

  • Hans - 2012-03-26 15:17

    Never considered myself as fighting on the wrong side in the war. It was a war on terror waged against an enemy that was as ruthless as it was cowardly. The merits of the war can be debated endlessly, but in my opinion it was just at the time and the enemy at he time, cubans, fapla and swapo, was commiting atrocities against their own people that never gets reported on. More civilians died at the hands of these socalled freedom fighters than ever at the hands of the SADF and SWAGM. In fact I would go sofar as to say that in many, many instances the local population was protected by the defence forces.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-26 15:27

      That's true, we did - the "terrs" were rampaging through villages raping, looting and killing as we chased them further North..

      Mark - 2012-03-26 15:48

      @Piwa, so you know of a just war do you my friend? Which one would that be?

      dylanswanie - 2012-03-26 16:10

      @ Piwa you understand what conscription is, right? You dont get a choice, you go to war and you fight.

      Andrew - 2012-03-26 16:32

      What happened in Angola was ugly,and it can be debated whether it was just or not considering the "rooi gevaar". However,the troops going into the townships, in my opinion, were definitely on the wrong side of history.

      infijar.ken - 2012-03-26 18:05

      What about the ex-FNLA fighters who came down with the SADF forces from the north of Angola, and then were formed into 32 Battalion? Now dumped on the side of the road between Rustenburg and Lobatse.

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-03-26 15:19

    I remember coming back from those days so desensitised and without feeling that when my Dad dropped dead of a heart attack and I found his body the cops questioned me because I showed no sign of grief or shock... And to be honest, I didn't, I couldn't, it wasn't in me. Only 2 years later did I suddenly weep for my father.

      Jason - 2012-03-26 16:18

      Thank you for sharing that, I can never understand what it means but from your words i can get a small glimpse.

      4man1 - 2012-03-26 17:26

      I empathise China. By necessity one becomes unfeeling as a survival mechanism. It is only now 30 years after seeing combat for the first time that I am beginning to show human emotions again and that after a move away from my homeland. All the memories come flooding back. I who am normally eloquent in expressing myself still cannot talk to those closest to me about those times and only now do I again feel discomfort at seeing dead bodies in newsreels. You aren't alone....take comfort in that.

      Leon - 2012-03-27 05:48

      Luckily nothing happened to my family during my National service; but I do remember coming home on pass and not being able to stay in city crowds for more than a few moments. Everything seemed so overwhelming. To this day; I can not stand being in a shopping center for long. Before the army I absolutely loved being in crowds, after; I do not seem to trust people, save for a select few close to me.

      Riebens - 2012-08-06 01:39

      @4man1 - I am after 22 years starting to feel empathy again for others, although I still have very little memory of that time and still struggle with remembering things even today.

  • jim.dickson2 - 2012-03-26 15:20

    The SADF was not fighting on the wrong side. This is another attempt to rewrite history. The SADF won the war. The politicians gave it away in Kempton Park. That a political settlement was needed I agree. Don't run down the SADF!

      Riebens - 2012-08-06 01:45

      Jim - Actually, we were starting to loose - badly. We started loosing when the CIA withdrew their support with South Africa within range of Luanda. After that things went downhill and we were holding on for a few years - and i am proud of the fact that we held out as long as we did. We proved to the rest of the world we are capable - extremely so. My generation inherited a situation we tried to make the best of -the best we knew how to at the time with the information at our disposal. Even today I am amazed at things that happened in the world during that time, things i never knew anything about.

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-26 15:26

    Sounds like days were really dark back then, darker than today.

  • Guy - 2012-03-26 15:28

    Actually I didn't understand much of what was going on. I was conscripted and served as a radio technician in Pretoria. I was only when I recently saw the musical "Tree Aan" that the reality if the war that I "served" in really hit home. "Sides"? I didn't pick sides; one side picked me. I was too young and naive to understand fully what was going on. I just wanted to get my 2 years over and get back to my life.

  • Frank - 2012-03-26 15:29

    Once upon a time there was a place. RHODESIA, lest we forget

  • 4man1 - 2012-03-26 15:38

    The SADF weren't fighting on the wrong side. To say that would indicate that Soviet/Cuban expansionism was the right side to be on. The SADF fought these harbingers of evil to a standstill and when international communism collapsed SA came to the negotiating table to negotiate the cessation of hostilities in Angola. No question apartheid had to go and the contributions of black soldiers in 121 Btn, 101 Btn, 32 Btn and others like them showed the high quality of South African people of all shades and hue's. The subsequent insistence by the ANC that they "won" the war is pure imagination and nothing else. The shoddy way in which the aforementioned soldiers were dealt with by the ANC unfortunately shows their true colours which are unfortunately those of elitism, victimisation and vindictiveness against former adversaries despite the excellent job that Mr Mandela did in setting the scene for true reconciliation in our benighted country. Sides have again been taken and no lessons have been learned. The brain drain continues, service delivery ineptitudes just keep growing while the political elite line their pockets as much as they can while they have their turn at the trough. If there is a judgement day some awkward questions are going to be asked of our "leaders". Power to the people and all the politicians can kiss my backside. 1971 to 1994 Veteran.

      Ben - 2012-03-26 22:39

      Thank you for saying what I couldn't...

      Michael - 2012-03-27 08:47

      Thank 4man1, I was an officer in a mostly black and coloured unit for over a year, 2 SWA Spes., 86-89. There I had the privilege to serve with men of the highest calibre who just happened to be non-white. I deeply resent the ANC and people who obviously do not know better, dishonouring those who never came home with us, both black and white.

  • Mark - 2012-03-26 15:39

    We were not on the wrong side, it was a war on terrorism and we didn't lose a battle, ever, against anybody. The war was finally lost by the politicians but this Col Ricketts, whoever he is, is on the wrong side of history himself if he, or his MK buddies, believe that Cuito Cuinavale can serve as a monument to the 1988 battle that "turned the tide". Neither Swapo not MK ever fought a battle and I defy anyone to prove otherwise, they were murdering scum who killed women & children, planted land mines, and bombs in Wimpey's.

      Anthony Wilcox - 2012-03-26 15:58

      @Mark,well said buddy.

      Stuart - 2012-03-26 17:09

      Well said, what a stupid bloody article! No proper research needs to be done these days?

      Leon - 2012-03-27 05:51

      I agree with Stuart, the PC propaganda is just being repeated while the truth is suppress. It is easier being a repeater of memes than to research the truth. This reporter did just that.

  • dion.mostert - 2012-03-26 15:50

    Let history be history, let sleeping dogs sleep

  • Warwick - 2012-03-26 15:53

    I don’t recall fighting APLA & MK in Angola…………..they were too scared to face the SADF & rightly so, they would have had their backsides handed to them. The Cubans & Angolans saw their noughts in many battles throughout the war years. I’m sick of hearing of the brave MK vets and their over inflated stories, they were cowards, hiding in camps killing their own with gusto and a real ‘Brave’ one would plant a limpet mine and kill some innocent woman & children in a Wimpy bar. The Cubans executed their brave General after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale………..so much for a great victory?? I never felt on the wrong side…………never.

      Michael - 2012-03-26 19:54

      Agreed, came across a few SWAPO units (mostly made up of Ovambo people), but never MK. Unless MK were recruiting from Ovamboland of course.

  • Grant - 2012-03-26 16:01

    I may have only been very young at the time, but I still remember watching the news and seeing the pictures of the aftermath of bombs in the cities and the location violence of the late 80s and early 90s. How do you justify acts like that and call yourself a "freedom fighter"? Rational people call those acts of terrorism......

      Leon - 2012-03-27 05:56

      Thanks you Grant; sometimes it takes someone very young to remind us to call something what it is. Those were barbarous acts of terrorism, nothing more glorious than that. It takes a particular brand of coward to plant a bomb and walk away knowing innocent women and children will be killed and maimed. It takes and even more callous coward to order it done.

  • Gerhard - 2012-03-26 16:02

    The real truth of cause is that there was never a war at Cuito Cuanavale, the war took place much further south at a river crossing,dont remember its name, where the SADF beat the hell out of FAPLA, the Cubans and the USSR (at the time).The only thing at Cuito Cuanavale was that our first prototype G 5's (not production models yet) knocked the hell out of them from 40 Km away. Of cause the biggest secret was that we had only about 3000 troops there, while they had several divisions. Ouch, that hurts!!

      Johan - 2012-03-26 16:15

      Lomba Rivier vir die wat weet en daar was.

  • denis.coyne - 2012-03-26 16:05

    The battle at Cuito Cuenavale was not the turning point in the war against communism , it was a stalemate if anything. The South African forces gave Fapla an absolute hiding and there are more than enough statistics to prove it.I was there as a camper in 1988 and the politicians had already decided on the way forward. The SA Artillery left them in tatters.

      vantonder1 - 2012-03-26 21:45

      @denis.coyne. There was no battle of Quito Cuenavale my friend go read about it and get your facts straigh. FAPLA was dealt a crushing blow in September 1987 when the FAPLA 47th Brigade was effectively destroyed and they started to fall back. The so called "Battle of Cuito Cuanavale is a myth in the minds of the ANC and Cubans. The ANC were never involved. The Cubans and MPLA got their arses kicked. That is the real story.

  • eddie.rocher - 2012-03-26 16:11

    I fought in that border war and i fought for my country and the threat of Communisim and is proud of it. I have no problem with fighting there and if i was proud to be part of the SADF at that time. I don't see it as fighting on the wrong side, We defended our Country against the Communist. If i had to do that over again i would be first in line to inlist. Don't try and distraught history to by saying we fought on the wrong side.

  • Stephen - 2012-03-26 16:18

    18yrs old and fresh out of school - it was what you did - go to the army, and get some discipline and serve your time. It was 1976 & Soweto riots time as well. Most of the time the conscripts served in support roles only and did not see any action so to speak. But I had conscript friends in Angola, those that were in Infantry Battalions. It seems to me that there are a lot of ex-soldiers still clinging to that era. There also seems to be a lot of anguish about PTS in anything that happens in the world these days - I have seen shell shocked WW2 veterans and I have met Vietnam and Recce vets and I have seen the American films and books on Iraq 1 & 2. Afghanistan stories will only come out in a few years time. My point is that there seems to be a sudden increase in the publishing of memoirs and such... I only hope that they are genuine attempts at reconciliation and understanding and not an attempt to cash in on the current sentiments. Caprivi 76,77.

  • Mark - 2012-03-26 16:27

    This article served no purpose but to open old wounds and to disparage the SADF, or us, was unnecessary. If our history is now going to be rewritten by MK, the ANC and such then let us be and leave us out of it. We did not kill women & children, we did not rape & plunder and we certainly were not the killers we have been made out to be. We were soldiers doing what we believed to be our duty whilst others, just like the attackers of farms in SA today, were doing the same in South West. Nothing has changed, the farm attackers are still cowards and the only difference now is that the government won't stop them.

  • Trevor - 2012-03-26 16:43

    I was there in 1977....and I don't like talking about it...it just opens memories. We had to go...we had to do.

      michael.vanderwatt1 - 2012-03-26 19:20

      I agree Trevor.....I was there in '77 and '78.......and I also agree on your statement about not wanting to talk about what we went through....we must never forget the past, but cant we learn from those lessons and get on with life.....we did what we had to do.....and many lives were lost ......sorry to say it...all in vain!!

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-03-26 16:47

    My husband committed suicide in 1990. He was never given the opportunity to come to terms with the bush war - he was "bossies" from the time I met him in 1977 to the time of his death 13 years later. How I wish he'd had the opportunity to deal with whatever it was that was haunting him. All those young lives were just cannon fodder - fighting someone else's war.

      Shaun - 2012-03-26 20:32

      I am really sorry about this Bless :( As the saying goes..."Rich Mans War, Poor Mans Blood". Always was and always will be as long as we allow our sons to go off and fight these stupid wars for fat greedy politicians who feel they have devine right to allow murder to occur.

      Rodney - 2012-03-26 22:15

      Too many like Bless. when I was there, '80-'82, the term used was "Bossies" but the medics also talked about "ward 13" for the guys who had lost it. When people refer to file 13, they mean the dustbin, hence ward 13. I don't regret serving my country, there was a threat and we did our best to hold it back, what i do regret is having done it so young, i was only 17 yrs and 2 months when i went in. As for MK, they were too busy killing their own and bombing innocents to pick a fight with us. I was in a military bus on Schoeman Street in Pretoria when the bomb went off. MY RSM was a bomb disposal member, when i saw him go into the building about 30 minutes after, i went to give him a hand. Never want to see scenes like that again.

      Riebens - 2012-08-06 01:53

      I am very sorry for your loss. I have also lost mates 'going bossies', even as late as 1996 when I finally left the Defence Force (permanent member). There was never anything done for guys coming back, other than making sure they were ok to send back.

  • Rob - 2012-03-26 16:50

    The SADF was a real army in those days & the war was just. Not for one moment did I ever get the feeling that by being a participant that I was oppressing south african blacks. The expansion of communism on our borders was a real threat to our ( albeit divided ) country & way of life. Hard times for many youngsters like myself, but we are better for it. Unfortunately in any war there are casualties & hundreds came home in body bags & it is a disgrace that there ais no day of rememberance for those that lived & died fighting an enemy that had greater numbers & kicking their @sses as well.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-03-26 17:01

      You are certainly right about that. Our boys were so proud to be doing their bit. But when they came home, broken and severely distressed, no-one even tried to assist. It was a difficult and lonely time. How I wish there was some recognition of their efforts and sacrifices.

      michael.vanderwatt1 - 2012-03-26 19:25

      Rob....it is truly a sad state of affairs that the "powers that be" refuse to recognise the names of our fallen brothers on their "rememberance wall" near Pretoria, yet they splash the names of those yellow bellied sewer rats scum who dared to call themselves freedom fighters for all to see....totally biased........we must never forget our fallen brothers in arms......they fought for a cause which they scarcely understood, and as Bless Boswell stated that the young men of that era were mere cannon fodder....fighting someone else's war.....

  • Len - 2012-03-26 16:54

    http://www.rhodesia.nl/cuito.htm

  • Cornie - 2012-03-26 16:56

    Hy beplan om saam met MK Angola toe te gaan om wat te gaan maak ?, die klomp slapgatte was nooit eers daar nie hulle het hulle opgehou om bomme in eetplekke en kerke te stel en dan weg te hardloop voor die bom afgaan en vroue en kinder dood is.

  • Dave - 2012-03-26 17:04

    Only those who were there know the whole story, war is war and all the sh1t that comes with it. I must admit though in my time in the army we did not blow up any wimpy's or bars or randomly kill civilains. The "bitter pill" so to say is that these people who did are now referred to as freedom fighters. In anyones book that was wrong and in most places i the world these people would have been brought to book not given high ranking positions in the police force etc..

      michael.vanderwatt1 - 2012-03-26 19:29

      it is a sad state of affairs indeed Dave.....but I must welcome you to the banana republic that once upon a time housed and nurtured the best bush fighters in the world.....not the "freedom fighter wannabes" that scurried around like rats, planting their limpet mines and bombs to take the lives of innocent women and children......due to the clearly documented fact that they didnt have the balls to stand up to us.....the conscripts....the young men who were just doing their job, and who now have to suffer in silence.....

  • Stuart - 2012-03-26 17:05

    Unlike a lot of other conscripts I had a "good" bush war as I fired few shots in anger and my border sector was quiet. I would argue though about being labled as being on the wrong side as the SADF never lost a battle, we fought with honour for our country and families, endured much hardship and could probably teach the current SANDF rubbish a thing or two.

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-03-26 17:10

    Many men that saw action on the border developed that "thousand yard stare". It was dead pan, empty and devoid of emotion. So many of our men came back looking like that.

  • Nel - 2012-03-26 17:22

    Reading all the comments of all the guys who have actually been there and believing they were not on the "wrong side", I know there is alot we don't know. From my side, I want to Thank You for what you did and Thank You for fighting for the right side. Thank You.

  • Raymondavalon - 2012-03-26 18:00

    Your article states: "Ricketts has already made several visits back to Angola and is working to create a war museum and memorial at Cuito Cuanavale, home to the 1988 battle that turned the tide of war and the fight against apartheid" Well, the best quote on the Cuito Cuanavale reads as follows: "If defeat for South Africa meant the loss of 31 men, three tanks, five armoured vehicles and three aircraft, then we'd lost. If victory for FAPLA and the Cubans meant the loss of 4600 men, 94 tanks, 100 armoured vehicles, 9 aircraft and other Soviet equipment valued at more than a billion rand, then they'd won." Colonel Dean Ferreira, CDR SADF in Angola

  • Michael - 2012-03-26 19:42

    I spent my time in this war, and drank like a fish for over a decade so I could sleep without nightmares. I still think it was necessary as communism was a real evil in those days, even though me and my family did not care much for the nats. I am ashamed of actions by certain then police units, but was always proud to serve with the guys that I did. I still feel a huge surge of anger come over me when I hear people berate those who never came back home with us, and I served with both white and black incredible people.

      Michael - 2012-03-26 19:46

      Last comment, to be honest, while I appreciate the concern of people, it was over twenty years ago for me now, and I prefer it to be left there. No interest in re-living it. Though I do still meet with friends who were there with me, and we always toast our fallen.

      Shaun - 2012-03-27 07:16

      My Father had the same problem sir. I fear most Men who saw action returned with something broken inside. Much love and light to you and your family for admitting that.

  • cdgreathead - 2012-03-26 20:26

    I was in Angola and South west africa in 1983 till the end of 1984 ..I did some camps there also.. NEVER was it a case of WHITES against BLACKS..It was a case of us against communism / cuba / russia.. If South Africa did not put the effort in like we did ..The world would be a worse off to day for it ..I do not Feel bad in any way what I did or took part in doing ..BUT there are always bad pennies in every packet

  • Ben - 2012-03-26 23:03

    74, Ruacana. Ops Savannah - 75-76 artillery, Katofe(bridge 14) Not against MK or SWAPO, but Cubans and Fapla/Mpla. Thank you Cpl. Diederichs(op) infantry...

  • Paul - 2012-03-27 04:31

    I was a submariner an spent most of 1984 and 1985 off the coast of either Angola or Mozambique. I would really love to visit these places again. From what I saw, at night while on the surface Luanda is a beautiful city. I have 'flown' to some of these locations with Google Earth but would love to travel there in the flesh. I have only just recently started speaking about my experiances with people other than my wife and kids. I'm also a member of a Fb group called Ex SA Navy Submarniers, this is by invite only. I find that fellow members only mention in passing some of the "patrols" we went.

  • Leon - 2012-03-27 05:39

    I honor my fallen SADF (makkers) brothers, I honor the bravery of those who live and died and I also honor those who came back changed and could not function in society as they would have otherwise. We did nothing wrong guys. Remember that the "victor" (politically only in this case) writes the history and they are lying through their teeth.

  • Andrew - 2012-03-27 10:54

    Please read the following article. It gives some really interesting insite into the so called Battle of Cuito Cuanavale - http://www.nshr.org.na/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=1351

      mklerck - 2012-03-27 20:57

      Hi Andrew. Could you pls make this link clickable, or perhaps msg it to me, can't seem to copy it and know that writing it down would only result in frustration!

  • mklerck - 2012-03-27 20:16

    Thanks for the article. Have been trying to source the movie mentioned, My Heart Of Darkness, where can I buy this?

      Andrew - 2012-03-28 15:51

      http://www.nshr.org.na/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=1351 Not sure why it does not show up as a hyperlink. I have managed to copy and paste it though.

  • Kooskamo - 2012-03-29 18:06

    It seems this article have raised the issue about the Border War to a higher level. What is interesting for me is the comments and attitude of people who have either heard about or read about the Border War but did not participate in it. It seems the arm chair warriors and academics now what to tell us who have been there what we must feel and how we must react to their twisted views. All I can say is that after 28 years service (yes in the SADF and SANDF)I am proud to call these Border War Veterans Brothers in Arms and that I am proud to have serve with them irrespective of what these so called arm chair warriors or academics say. Men I salute you and I am still proud to wear our South African uniform!!!!

      Riebens - 2012-08-06 01:57

      Amen

  • Deon - 2012-03-30 16:12

    I served with 101 Owambo batallion in 1981 and 1982. Black and white fought to keep South Africa free from communism. But also free from corrupted politicians, nepotism, a decay in infrastructure and a slack immigration policy. Although we won every battle, we lost out to the politicians and the human rights groups. The end result is exacly what we were fighting against. Like most of Africa, we have a currupt goverment who hates opposition parties. We have a president who can not retire his position for fear of prosecution. Our infrastructure is diminishing very fast. We have lost all confidence in our police service and rely on private companies like ADT. We are overrun by elligal immigrants from Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Rhodesia, and Mozambique who are mostly involved in crime. We fought not to become another Afrcan dictatership. (Somalia, Sierre Leone, Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe etc, etch, etch. Look what happened when Zimbabwe lost the struggle. Are South Africa the next Zimbabwe?

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