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The Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind

A Southbound Pocket Guide

Author:
David Fleminger

R99.95

The Cradle of Humankind



OUT OF STOCK

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Bob Truda, Indwe. September 2009

Western Gauteng's Cradle of Humankind, or 'place where we once lived' in Setswana, is a complex network of dolomitic limestone caves where at least 40 different fossil sites have been discovered. Only 13 of there are currently being excavated, yet fossil giants such as Taung Child, Mrs. Ples and Little Foot have already emerged from this area. While the scenery may look barren at first glance, the Cradle of Humankind is one of the richest sources of hominid fossils in Africa. David Fleminger, author of five of the eight Southbound Pocket Guides to South Africa's World Heritage Sites, recommends you plan to get to Maropeng Visitors Centre in time for lunch or sundowners, as you can relax on the terrace overlooking the misty Magaliesberg. "Obviously, a tour through the Sterkfontein Caves is a highlight of the Cradle," he adds. "And don't be put off by memories of school trips from years past. Facilities have been upgraded and the new museum is excellent. I have visited Sterkfontein several times and it never gets old."


Journal of Speleon History Jan/Feb 2009

Among the most famous archaeological sites in the world are the many fossil-bearing dolomite caves of South Africa. The region known as The Cradle of Humankind contains a number of sites that are particularly rich in high-quality hominin-fossil remains (i.e., the remains of our distant ancestors), with finds dating to as much as 3.5 million years ago. Among the wealth of fossils unearthed from The Cradle are some of the most important finds ever made, including Raymond Dart's famous Taung child (the first species of Australopithecine-Australopithecus africanus-ever found and, in fact, the first significant hominin fossil to be found in all of Africa), and Robert Broom's outstanding Mrs. Ples (the most compete A. africanus skull ever found in South Africa). Many other luminaries in the field of paleoanthropology have labored in the rich fossil beds of The Cradle and the area is still an active site of excavation. The annals of paleoanthropology duly record the scientific community's initial skepticism of the Australopithecus skull found by Dart. In a time when the smart money centered on an Asian origin of humanity and the scientific world was still in the grip of the infamous Piltdown hoax, Dart was heavily criticized by his peers. However, Broom's discovery-bolstered by yet additional finds-provided valuable support for the ultimate acceptance of the Australopithecines as ancestral hominins and for the inevitable recognition of the African continent as the birthplace of humanity. Because of its tremendous historical significance and continuing importance to ongoing paleoanthropology research, The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The site itself consists of a large number of caves, the most important of which are Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai. Like a number of other archaeo-logically important cave sites-such as Britain's Creswell Crags with its Ice-Age petroglyphs and a variety of painted caves in France and Spain (including several manmade replicas)- many of the numerous caves in The Cradle are open to the public.1 While some can be visited on regularly scheduled guided tours, others require prior arrangements through one of the specially licensed tour-group operators in the area. In this most recent addition to the Southbound Pocket Guides to South Africa's World Heritage Sites, David Fleminger provides a wealth of information for travelers interested in touring this celebrated locale that figures so prominently on the stage of human prehistory. Information provided in this guidebook includes details of guided cave tours (including costs, hours of operation, and contact information for arrangement of special tours of various archaeologically active sites), availability of on-site facilities, and descriptions of the various museums-both in and out of The Cradle-that specialize in human-origins displays. Material is also provided about the numerous other visitor attractions in the region, including contact information, detailed driving directions and road maps, details of room and board, options for area dining, and information about local flora and fauna. A visit to The Cradle of Humankind or to any of the painted caves of Europe is nothing short of a journey of self-discovery, helping travelers to uncover the deepest origins of the human species. For readers who aren't actually planning a South African vacation in the near future, but who are still quite interested in human prehistory, Fleminger also provides a wealth of detailed information about the area's caves and the historical significance of local fossil finds to our understanding of human origins. A detailed discussion of human evolution places these finds into appropriate context for general-interest readers not already versed in the subject. Many of the Cradle's most famous caves are considered from an historical perspective, with information provided on early gold-mining activity, quarrying operations, and fossil excavations. Almost two dozen distinct locations on the overall heritage site are discussed. The Cradle of Humankind is a well-written and interesting book, easily read by the general reader. More than 80 full-color photographs highlight the beauty and diversity of the region, its people, and its wildlife. A useful list of relevant references and websites is also provided. This pocket guide is sure to be an invaluable aid to travelers interested in the story of human origins or spelean history as it unfolded in this part of the world.


www.saexplorer.co.za

This title will take you back to where we came from - The Cradle of Humankind in the Magaliesberg region of the Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa and uncover the myths and intricacies of our species. The Big Bang! and where it all started - Sheesh! Ta-dah! Introducing the ancestral cast - Mrs. Ples (or is that Mr.?), the Taung child, Little Foot and a host of fossil extras and where they hung out - the caves of Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Swartkranz, then digging 'em all up - Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, Ron Clarke, Lee Burger. History of the area and the people, the fauna and flora. Detailed maps, colour photographs, route guides. Listings for travellers of places to go, things to see, and accommodation.


Anita Henning, To Go To December 2008

The Cradle of Humankind is a concise guide on this amazing phenomenon - one of the eight World Heritage sites in South Africa. It highlights the importance of the site, its location, and provides a brief summary on some of the most valuable findings by archaeologists. This booklet is one of a short series on World Heritage Sites of South Africa, a handy Quick reference. It is written for the novice in a relaxed style with enough information to enable the reader to compile a route planner and spend a couple of days in the Cradle. The guide provides reference for accommodation and other places of interest for the convenience of the reader. As indicated above, the book is produced in a nifty pocket size with a soft cover, complete with maps, pictures and indexes.

 
 
The Baronet and the Savage King
The Baronet and the Savage King

The  Intriguing Story of  the Tati Concession

Author:

David Hilton-Barber

 

R165.00

The Baronet and the Savage King

The concession to mine gold at Tati was granted to a British baronet ...

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The Battle for Mozambique
Stephen Emerson, The Battle for Mozambique

The Frelimo–Renamo Struggle, 1977–1992

Author:

Stephen Emerson

 

R250.00

The Battle for Mozambique

The sixteen-year-long war in Mozambique ...

Insight on Africa, 5, 1 (2013): 111-116 Book Review by: Hussein Solomon

Department of Political Studies and Governance University of the Free State, South Africa


Stephen A. Emerson, The Battle for Mozambique: The Frelimo-Renamo Struggle, 1977-1992, 30 Degrees South Publishers, Pinetown, South Africa, 2013. ISBN 978-1-920143-91-6


For 16 years a brutal struggle was fought in the former Portuguese colony between the forces of Front for the Liberation of Mozambique known by its Portuguese acronym FRELIMO and those of the Mozambican National Resistance, more popularly known by the acronym RENAMO. Whilst clearly a national struggle, it also brought in regional players like Rhodesia and South Africa and even Tanzania and Zambia-all of whom had a vested interest in the outcome of this struggle for supremacy. Given the context of the Cold War, and the Marxist ideological orientation of FRELIMO, especially under the leadership of Samora Machel, the struggle being waged also attracted the attention of Washington and Moscow. Ordinary Mozambicans paid dearly for the war-an estimated 1 million dead; millions more made refugees or internally displaced, hundreds of thousands maimed and the economy in ruins. Previous studies of the Mozambican war are problematic at best-having embraced the narrative emanating from one or the other side. In addition, other studies, too, found themselves rather naively deeming the sophisticated propaganda emanating from apartheid South Africa as reflecting the 'truth', and this propaganda soon found its way into mainstream academic literature. In seeking to discover the facts behind the myths Stephen Emerson's latest book on this much misunderstood conflict is a must-read for those seeking to understand this turbulent period of Mozambican and Southern African history. Emerson's work is a veritable tour de force based not merely on the existing academic literature but also on face-to-face interviews with war veterans, extensive email correspondence with former belligerents, field notes, and government and rebel documents which he painstakingly gathered for the past 15 years. What emerges from the pages of this erudite book is the definitive account of the Mozambican civil war. It follows RENAMO's growth from its Rhodesian roots in 1977 as a weapon against Robert Mugabe's nationalist guerrillas operating from Mozambique, through South African patronage in the early 1980s, to RENAMO's evolution as a self-sufficient nationalist insurgency. In the process, the book in the words of Professor Malyn Newitt at King's College, London becomes, '....the most comprehensive account of the civil war in Mozambique that has yet been attempted'. Academics will find the thorough research and the intellectual rigour engaged in praise-worthy, whilst policy-makers will find Emerson's lessons learned from the carnage on the battlefield or the successful mediation which resulted in the signing of the General Peace Agreement on 4 October 1992 and which ended the conflict of interest. Whilst Emerson regards his book as a military history of the conflict waged in Mozambique-it is far more than that. The reader is exposed to the personal rivalries and internal struggles within organisations like RENAMO and Rhodesia's Central Intelligence Organization. The reader is exposed to the strategic calculations of key actors as they have to respond to changing circumstances. Rhodesia, for instance, viewed the loss of Portuguese Mozambique as a military disaster of epic proportion as it now had its entire 1,232 kilometre-long eastern flank of the country exposed to infiltration by guerrilla forces of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). ZANLA guerrillas, with the active support and assistance of their long-standing FRELIMO allies, could now operate from secure bases inside newly independent Mozambique. FRELIMO, meanwhile, had to respond to changes such as the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union-its key supporter and supplier-and under President Joaquim Chissano, had to mend its broken relationship with the West as well as abandon its Marxist orientation. RENAMO, on the other hand, was forced to confront strategic challenges of its own-the death of its leader Andre Matsangaissa in 1979, the loss of Salisbury as independent Zimbabwe and the declining support from Pretoria as the winds of change also found its way into South Africa. The book also contains much new information. Whilst much is known about the Joint Verification Commission which contained members of FRELIMO and RENAMO and served as a confidence-building measure on the path to a final truce between the belligerents, the Mozambican peace process was not merely top-down. Rather, there was a remarkable bottom-up approach. Indeed, it could be argued that the General Peace Agreement merely built on the localised ceasefires which became more generalised as war-weary local FRELIMO and RENAMO commanders engaged in local peace initiatives supported by an increasingly disillusioned and traumatised local population. In addition, for the first time, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe's own pivotal role in the peace process is revealed. Whilst an ardent supporter of FRELIMO, Mugabe connected at a very personal level with Afonso Dhlakama, the RENAMO leader who succeeded Andre Matsangaissa. Both men had very similar backgrounds-guerrilla fighters, Shona-speakers and Catholic educated. At the conclusion of the first round of peace talks, Mugabe walked up to Dhlakama and said, 'You have your dignity and you know what your are fighting for.' The rapport between these two men proved pivotal to realise the successful conclusion of the conflict. The costly lessons from this conflict and the positive lessons derived from mediation should not be lost on the Mozambican people as they stand once more at the precipice in 2013 of further conflict between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Stephen Emerson's thoughtful, incisive and highly readable account of the Mozambican civil war is a must for students, academics and policy-makers who seek to understand Mozambique's past and future.


MOZAMBIQUE 241 - News reports & clippings - 12 February 2014 - 3

Editor: Joseph Hanlon j.hanlon@open.ac.uk. Stephen Emerson, The Battle for Mozambique, Pinetown, South Africa: 30 degrees South, and Solihull, England: Helion. This is a detailed military history of the 1977-92 war, based on interviews with participants and access to some archives.


Author Stephen Emerson has a background in US military intelligence and the book is particularly good on Renamo and on Zimbabwean military involvement, but less good on Mozambique where he did not have access to archives or to senior military people..As a journalist who covered the war, I find it interesting that although the book corrects many details, it also shows that much of what we knew or suspected at the time proves to be true. Emerson stresses that this was a cold war proxy war, and that Renamo was only created and survived because of the support of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. He provides new information on the Rhodesian creation of Renamo. He details the extensive command, logistic, supply and training support by South Africa, which at one point was airlifting 180 tonnes of material a year to Renamo, as well as substantial quantities carried by boats. There were South African training teams in Mozambique, and Renamo was supplied with a radio system more sophisticated than that used by the Zimbabwean and Mozambican government. By the late-1980s Afonso Dhlakama did command a large and surprisingly mobile military force, but it collapsed when South African support was withdrawn. Although the book stops at 1992, it gives important pointers on current issues. Emerson notes that "Renamo insurgents have been blamed for much of the brutality unleashed against civilians during the war. And rightly so." Noting that successful guerrilla warfare is supposed to involve gaining the confidence of the peasants, he asks why there was such consistent and "extreme brutality". He concludes, as many of us did at the time, that Renamo's main goals were military - cutting lines of communication such as road and rail, damaging the economy, and "the destruction of symbols of government power and presence, such as schools, health clinics, police stations, and Frelimo party offices." Emerson notes that as Renamo was purely a military force with no ideology driving it, it concentrated on military goals set by its South African sponsors rather than trying to gain popular support. Nearly all of its soldiers were initially kidnapped rather than joining voluntarily. There is an interesting discussion of South Africa's misguided efforts to keep control of the political side of Renamo, which made it difficult for the Mozambicans to develop a national identity and become a party. Dhlakama was a good operational military commander, but with strategy largely coming from South Africa. He was not a politician and the Renamo was not about organising local support, so it was unable to evolve and never became a proper political party.


Book Review by Alex Vines, Africa Programme, Chatham House. International Affairs - March 2014. The Royal Institute of International Affairs


The battle for Mozambique: the Frelimo-Renamo struggle, 1977-1992. By Stephen A. Emerson. It has been over 20 years since the civil war in Mozambique ended, and a comprehensive history of what was one of Africa's deadliest and most destructive conflicts has been overdue. Stephen Emerson was a defence analyst of southern Africa for the US government during the war years, and The battle for Mozambique reflects such an eye. In broad-brush terms, there are no new dramatic insights into the Mozambican civil war, but Emerson succinctly adds nuance, detail and factual accuracy. This book is mostly about the rebel group Renamo, as an agent of Rhodesian and South African destabilization of Mozambique but morphing into a guerrilla campaign that forced political concessions from the Mozambican government and resulted in the Rome General Peace Accord (GPA) of October 1992. Emerson is detailed about the 1977 creation of Renamo by the Rhodesian Central Intelligence Office (CIO), and shows how critical were Rhodesian training, supplies and support, and a safe haven in the group's first years of existence by drawing upon Rhodesian military records. Without it, Renamo would have quickly disappeared (p. 35) as it started small with some 76 fighters in 1977, growing to just over 20,000 by 1992. Emerson highlights different episodes in Renamo's evolution: the Rhodesian phase 1977-80; the overt South African phase 1980-84; the covert South African phase to 1988; the post-South African phase until 1990, by which time, according to the CIA, Renamo had become a self-sustaining fighting force; and a military stalemate and peace process phase (1990-92) when both sides were exhausted and militarily spent. Emerson argues that Renamo became 'addicted' to Rhodesian and later South African Defence Force support. He concludes that 'Renamo's military effectiveness for much of its existence was largely rooted in its Rhodesian and South African patrimony, adherence to a guerrilla warfare strategy, strong command and control and a steady secure source of war material' (p. 193). A significant insight in this book is that the most important investment in Renamo by South Africa's Directorate of Special Tasks was the provision of an advanced British Racal frequency-hopping system, which the Mozambican and Zimbabwean governments could not intercept. This gave Renamo a command and control advantage until 1988 and helped develop its own identity. However, the batteries and radio equipment degenerated and by 1989 this had a significant impact on Renamo's military effectiveness. Emerson talks about a contest of ideologies as underpinning this conflict and argues that the anti-Frelimo radio station Voz da Africa Livre based in Salisbury (Harare) drew early recruits to Renamo in 1977-80. No doubt radio propaganda attracted some supporters, but a survey of ex-combatants after the war in 1997 showed that 87 per cent of Renamo soldiers had been forced recruits, which is supported by more recent studies. Indeed, even Renamo's number two, Raul Domingos, admits that he was originally forcibly abducted by Renamo but decided to stay. A missing part of the analysis is the question of how good Renamo's commanders were, especially Afonso Dhlakama, who became its leader in 1980: a question worth exploring, given Dhlakama's poor leadership record and paranoia in peacetime. There are hints of answers in this book: 'A weak character', according to Major Dudely Coventry, who led Rhodesian training of Renamo. Although not cited in this book, the published memoirs by ex-Renamo representative Paulo Oliveira also observed that in the early 1980s, Dhlakama was politically green, with a weakness for martial arts films, Coca-Cola and motorcycles. Maybe it was these 'weaknesses' that made Dhlakama attractive for the Rhodesian CIO and South Africa's Centre of Staff Intelligence? They certainly assisted his rise and protected him. Finally, was Renamo successful because the Mozambican military was so inept? Emerson is scathing about Mozambique's armed forces, and especially about their officers. He concludes that it was the Zimbabwean military that was 'bad for Renamo', as in comparison they were well trained and disciplined. There is clearly some truth to this, but some Mozambican units performed better and Emerson is disadvantaged by not having had good access to the Mozambican military. The battle for Mozambique provides important new insights into how guerrilla proxies develop their own agency. It also shows how relatively small amounts of covert support can be decisive in stoking up a proxy war. Some 45 to 60 tons of supplies were airlifted every month by South Africa from 1980 to 1984 and by the mid-1980s Renamo was getting 12-14 million rand in equipment through this Operation Altar/Mila. Yet its addiction to covert support from Rhodesia and South Africa resulted in Renamo only really starting to define its own political identity in the late 1980s, once it had to survive largely on its own. Attempts by the South Africans to hand-pick and manipulate the political leadership stymied 'the natural growth of a strong political leadership within Renamo's guerrilla ranks. It also meant that the insurgents were never effectively able to mobilize and politicize the population' (p. 124). Afonso Dhlakama personifies this handicap.He may have become a successful guerrilla leader by 1992, but his record since 1994 has shown him to be a lousy peacetime politician.

 
 
The Battle Of Colenso 15 December 1899
The Battle Of Colenso 15 December 1899

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
S.B. Bourquin & Gilbert Torlage

R74.95

The Battle Of Colenso 15 December 1899

 

 

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The Battle Of Elandslaagte 21 October 1899
The Battle Of Elandslaagte 21 October 1899

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Pam McFadden

R74.95

The Battle Of Elandslaagte 21 October 1899

 

 

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The Battle Of Spioenkop 23–24 January 1900
The Battle Of Spioenkop 23–24 January 1900

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Gilbert Torlage

R74.95

The Battle Of Spioenkop 23–24 January 1900

 

 

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The Battle Of Modder Spruit And Tchrengula 30 October 1899
The Battle Of Modder Spruit And Tchrengula 30 October 1899

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Steve Watt

R74.95

The Battle Of Modder Spruit And Tchrengula 30 October 1899

 

 

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The Battle Of Talana 20 October 1899
The Battle Of Talana 20 October 1899

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Pam McFadden

R74.95

The Battle Of Talana 20 October 1899

 

 

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The Battle Of Vaalkrans 5-7 February 1900
The Battle Of Vaalkrans 5-7 February 1900

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Steve Watt

R74.95

The Battle Of Vaalkrans 5-7 February 1900

 

 

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The Relief Of Ladysmith Break Through At Thukela Heights 13-28 February 1900
The Relief Of Ladysmith Break Through At Thukela Heights 13-28 February 1900

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Ken Gillings

R74.95

The Relief Of Ladysmith Break Through At Thukela Heights 13-28 February 1900

 

 

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The Siege Of Ladysmith 2 November 1899–28 February 1900

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Steve Watt

R74.95

The Siege Of Ladysmith 2 November 1899–28 February 1900

 

 

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The Anglo Boere War Sites Of Kwazulu Natal
The Anglo Boere War Sites Of Kwazulu Natal

Anglo-Boer War series

Author:
Pam McFadden, Steve Watt, S.B. Bourquin, Gilbert Torlage and Ken Gillings

R595.00

The Anglo Boere War Sites Of Kwazulu Natal

 

 

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The Flechas
The Flechas, John P. Cann, Africa@War vol 11

– Africa@War Vol. 11
Insurgent Hunting in Eastern Angola, 1965–1974

Author:

John P. Cann

 

R195.00

The Flechas, John P. Cann

In 1961, Portugal found itself fighting a war to retain its colonial possessions and preserve the remnants of its empire

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The Greatest Safari
The Greatest Safari

In the Beginning Was Africa: The Story of Evolution Seen from the Savannah

Author:

Søren Rasmussen

 

R295.00

The Greatest Safaris

 

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The Great Trek
The Great Trek

Until the lions are taught to write, history will always be written by the hunters

Author:

Robin Binckes

 

R320.00

The If Man

the Great Trek, the 1836 Boer exodus from the Cape Colony

DESPITE the Great Trek being a hardy annual in the South African school history curriculum for generations, it is surprising that, up till now, there has been no publication that covered the extraordinary breadth of the “Trek”.

Its footprint begins in the prehistoric period of southern Africa and culminates in the story, the conflicts and the settlements of the many people and tribes, often in motion, which have formed the backdrop of our history. In at least one sense this is the story of the mass movement of many here, in our country, in their various quests for survival, some successful and others disastrous. Robin Binckes makes two important points early on, one being that the Trek that began in 1836 has long been seen solely as the story of the Afrikaners. But, he says: “The journey of the Voortrekkers belongs to all South Africans.” One could argue that it has involved every section of our population. Second, he states that no focus on the Great Trek should be divorced from earlier events in southern Africa. While he ends his story in 1852 with the Sand River Convention, he believes its legacy is still unfolding today. The poet Mongane Serote says the book will “engage and complete the unfinished business of reconciliation”. It is a tale full of passion, violence, jealousy, compassion and, above all, courage. We meet not only men but their wives and children: the fierce Susanna Smit, outspoken wife of Erasmus Smit, after whom their muskets, the “Sannas” were named, and Dirkie Uys, brave son of Piet Uys, who died with his father in battling the Zulus. The book begins with the Portuguese searching for “the land of milk and honey”, Jan van Riebeeck and the story of the settlement at the Cape, the “free burghers” and their battle with the indigenous tribes of the San and the Khoikoi, including Autshumato (Harry the Strandloper). These early conflicts set the pattern for the settlers’ battles with the Xhosa, and the other people they encountered on their various treks. It becomes clear early on that the indigenised “Boers” feel unprotected by, first, the Dutch and later the British overlords in their many battles against indigenous Africans. They perceived the British as unsympathetic and siding with their enemies while they were perceived as the “guilty parties”. Binckes delves deeply into the activities of the London Missionary Society and those missionaries who were sent to “save the souls of the heathen and the savages”. He also deals extensively with the growing tensions on the border(s) between the Xhosa groupings and the Boers, as well as the British settlers. All six Frontier Wars are explained, as are the attempts of the governors and local law enforcers to find permanent solutions, to no avail. These include the efforts of Lord Glenelg, Andries Stockenström and Sir Benjamin d’Urban. The economic loss to the Boer economy after the freeing of the slaves bolstered their notion that the Cape colony was “against them”, and so the Boer exodus began. There was not one, butmany “treks”, almost all to the north and east. We read about the battles along the way; Vegkop, Mosega; how the “trickle turns into a flood” as more and more Boers leave to find “freedom”. We accompany the Boers as they enter Natal to the aftermath of the Battle of Blood River, and discover what happened among the Boers themselves, and between the Boers and the British troops, before the women proclaim “barefoot over the mountains to die in freedom” in the Free State and Transvaal. Binckes writes of the Basotho and their king Moshoeshoe, who increased his power by incorporating the broken tribes and small groups of refugees begging him for protection, mainly from Mzilikaze and the Mtabele. At the same time there are counter claims for the “Coloureds” under Carolus Baatje, and the Griqua under Barend Barends and Adam Kok, who all claim protection from the British. By the mid-19th century most of the Boers were settled in localities like Winburg, and an area along the Caledon River, Potchefstroom and Andries Ohrigstad in the northern Transvaal. He discusses their attempts to find common ground over governing themselves as well as deal with the conflict over territory in areas between the mountains of Natal and the Zambesi River. And he writes of the battles between Boer and Brit at Boomplaats in 1848. His final chapter deals with the signing of the Sand River Convention in 1852, which established sovereignty for the Boers beyond the Vaal River. From the seeds of the Great Trek, two new nations of Boers are born, leading eventually to the greatest of Boer conflicts, the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. This is the first time I’ve read a comprehensive account of the Trek in its historical context, with the extraordinary characters and communities who take the stage in a gripping story, engagingly told. Sunday Argus August 25, 2013. Review by VIVIEN HORLER


The Great Trek – Uncut

Robin Binckes - (30° South Publishers). As graphic an account of the Great Trek I have read, told with the verve and flair of a novel.”


CHRIS GIBBONS, journalist, magazine editor & broadcaster

“An easy-to-read modern interpretation of South African history up to the end of the Great Trek in which the author correctly portrays the role players—both men and women, black and white—as staunch, rough and determined pioneers carving out a future for themselves and their descendants in a harsh, hostile environment.”


JACKIE GROBLER, University of Pretoria historian & writer

“Besides the fact that The Great Trek indicates that there is a basis for estimating that organic relations were formed among the indigenous people and the Trekkers in South Africa, in current times it is a call for South Africans, black and white, to engage and complete the unfinished business of reconciliation.”


DR MONGANE SEROTE, poet and writer

“Binckes takes the reader on a blockbuster voyage of one of South Africa’s most epic and heroic historical adventures. A superbly researched and beautifully told story of religious fervour, violent confrontation, disaster, hope, despair, bravery, defeat and victory.”


JACQUES PAUW, writer and investigative journalist

“A wonderful story that spans four hundred years of incredible human endeavour.”

JEREMY MAGGS, TV broadcaster and commentator “Binckes has written a finely crafted personal perspective on events that have shaped and will continue to shape South Africa’s future for many, many years. It is an insightful and fascinating read.”NICK BINEDELL, Professor and Dean of Gordon Institute of Business Science

 
 
The If Man
The If Man

Dr Leander Starr Jameson, the inspiration for Kipling’s masterpiece

Author:
Chris Ash

R250.00

The If Man

A rollicking biography of Dr Leander Starr Jameson - hero, rogue and rascal

"If there was a famous isles son it was surely Jameson" - The Shetland Times, Friday, 24th August 2012. The If Man by Chris Ash - Review by Geoffrey Hay

When it comes to naming famous sons of Shetland, Arthur Anderson is usually the first name that springs to mind. After that it's not so obvious. Norman Lamont perhaps? One name that probably won't crop up in the conversation is Dr Leander Starr Jameson. "Dr Jim", as he was more commonly known, was born in Edinburgh in 1853 (his great-grandfather came from Shetland) and is arguably the most remarkable descendant from these isles. One-time Cunningsburgh resident Christopher Ash has just released a meticulously researched biography of Dr Jim called The If Man. As it happens Rudyard Kipling's famous poem If was inspired by Jameson. Ash's book focuses largely on Jameson's time spent in South Africa and recounts his adventures chronologically, from setting up a medical practice to diamond mining, from meeting Cecil Rhodes (the two become close friends) to negotiating mining rights in what is now known as Rhodesia, leading the first Pioneers there and then leading the doomed raid on the Boer Transvaal that infamously become known as the "Jameson Raid". Jameson was made scapegoat for this and it is his stoic reinvention that inspired Kipling - he would later enter politics becoming Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in 1904 and being heavily involved in the Union of South Africa in 1910. As takes a "glass half full" approach to British colonialism in Southern Africa and robustly defends Jameson and Rhodes, in contrast to other biographers. The book is much more than a biography - there is extensive history of southern Africa to be gleaned here, with many maps and illustrations. In all, Jameson's life was so extraordinary it could read like a Wilbur Smith novel, which is no bad thing. It may be hard to view Jameson as a hero in these politically correct times, but Chris has done a great job making his work and entertaining read and I heartily recommend it.


Andrew Roberts, bestselling author of "The History of the English-Speaking Peoples" and "The Storm of War"

"Dr Jameson was a very remarkable man-an unashamed creator and risk-taker who understood the true meaning of loyalty-and in Chris Ash he has found his ideal biographer"


The Mercury, 15 June 2012 Review: Mark Levine - The If Man

It is a little-know fact that Rudyard Kipling's famous poem, If, was inspired by his admiration for Dr Jameson. While the poem (published in 1910) remains popular, there are those who dismiss it as outdated jingoism. Jameson's reputation has also been re-evaluated - and not always to his advantage. Chris Ash admires Jameson as much as Kipling did, and sets out to prove that "the magnificent If is a suitable tribute to the equally remarkable Jameson." Ash thumbs his nose at the politically correct "revisionist-history nonsense," but with such disdain and barbed generalisations that he comes across as intolerant as those he criticises. A substantial part of the book concentrates on Jameson's role during the early years of Rhodesia. Ash's re-examination of this period offers a counterweight to Jameson's critics. The hardships, danger and tensions Jameson faced were met with vigour, dynamism and courage. If one event remains linked to his name, it is the Jameson Raid. Ill-advised, Jameson himself called it a bad blunder. He could have implicated some powerful politicians, but chose not to. Such a low point might have ended the career of a lesser man, but Jameson rose to become prime minister of the Cape (1904-08) and was a prime mover behind the creation of the Union of South Africa. This part of his career has rarely received much attention. Ash, too, devotes insufficient detail to it. Surprisingly, there is even less on the friendship between Jameson and Kipling, a curious omission considering Ash's interest in the topic. Nevertheless, Jameson led a fascinating life, which Ash conveys in his forthright style.

 
 
The Kevin Woods Story
The Kevin Woods Story

Autobiography/ History

Author:
Kevin J Woods,

R250.00

The Kevin Woods Story

In the Shadow of Mugabe's Gallows

Leisure Options 19 February 2008

In the mood for a meaty read? In his autobiography, The Kevin Woods Story - In the Shadow of Mugabe's Gallows, Woods tells a chilling tale of murder, genocide, cruelty and torture. He spent almost 20 years in Harare's notorious Chikurubi prison - five of them on death row, naked and alone. Woods, a senior member of Mugabe's Central Intelligence Organisation, was jailed for spying for South Africa's apartheid government. It's a story of hopelessness ... but also of hope.


The Zimbabwean 1-7 November 2007

"This book will inspire you to take an introspective look at your own life, your careers, your aspirations and ambitions. His story, unlike so many others has a happy ending with him hugging his now-adult children and meeting former President Nelson Mandela being the highlights."


Brendan Seery, the Star 06 November 2007

I had Mugabe's life in my hands. After 18 years hi Robert Mugabe's hellhole Zimbabwean prisons - on Death Row - you'd expect Kevin Woods to be angry and bitter. But he's introspective and thoughtful. I'm surprised he agrees to see me, because I'm one of the few journalists in South Africa who challenged Woods' claim that he was a "prisoner of conscience", locked up by Mugabe for acts carried out in the name of stopping the ANC from using Zimbabwe as a springboard for attacks into South Africa. Woods, though, took money from South African Military Intelligence to help other agents carry out acts of violence on the soil of the country of his birth. Which, arguably, puts his acts closer to treason than anything else. And, as we sit in a Pretoria coffee shop on a Saturday morning, the issue of betrayal runs through the conversation. As someone who covered the evolving Zimbabwe story in the 1980s and then later saw the country implode under Mugabe's misrule, it frustrates me that many South Africans refuse to see events north of the border in a broader historical context. Part of that history is people like Kevin Woods. He and a host of other white Zimbabweans seemingly spurned the hand of reconciliation offered by Mugabe and took money from the South African military and intelligence services to carry out a Pretoria-devised campaign of destabilisation against the newly independent country. The question I have been wanting to put to Woods for years is: Did you and others like you poison the well of trust between Mugabe and Zimbabwe's whites? Did Mugabe's feelings (right or wrong) that he had been betrayed by his white countrymen make it easier for him to carry out his later programme of kicking white farmers off their land? Woods, bald-headed with a greying beard, doesn't answer immediately. That could be. Who knows? He is the kind of person who carries grudges. But what he did was years later and he went completely overboard in getting rid of the farmers and destroying commercial agriculture." Yet, Woods does admit that Mugabe would have been "devastated, absolutely shattered" in January 1988, when Woods was arrested for his role in a car bomb attack on an ANC safe house in the suburb of Trenance in Bulawayo. Woods provided false number plates for the car, which was packed with 100kg of high explosives. An unemployed man, Obert Mwanza, was hired by Woods' co-conspirators Michael Smith and Phillip Conjwayo to drive the car to the safe house. Mwanza was still in the car when the bomb was detonated and was blown to pieces. A number of ANC people at the house were injured. At the time of his arrest, Woods was one of the top officers in Mugabe's feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) but had also been working for a number of years for South African Military Intelligence as a double agent, getting what he says was "a mere R400 a month" for providing information on the ANC and its operatives in Zimbabwe. "I was one of the whites that Mugabe trusted the most. Whenever he came down to Matabeleland, I was in charge of his close security -1 literally had his life in my hands."Woods' arrest led to the dismissal of a number of other white CIO operatives and, Woods admits: "Whites never had the same place again in the CIO."Mugabe's anger at Woods' betrayal stayed white hot for many years - and many attempts to secure Woods' release (even by people like Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma) were rebuffed by the Zimbabwean president. "It was only when Mugabe's confessor, Father Fidelis Mukonori (a Catholic priest), intervened, that something happened. Father Mukonori came to chat to me in prison and told me about the president's wish to see me rot in jail. But then he must have also told Mugabe that you can't have forgiveness unless you learn to forgive others. But I think Mugabe still hates me and will to the day he dies ..." Woods' detention was not an isolated instance of whites involved in acts of terrorism or sabotage in the years following Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. There were a number of incidents that rocked the Mugabe government and for which they blamed South Africa and its Zimbabwean "fifth columnists". These included:
. The blowing up of the Inkomo Barracks armoury outside Harare.
. The bombing of the Zanu-PF headquarters in central Harare, in which more than 20 people died.
. The destruction of most of the frontline fighter aircraft of the Air Force of Zimbabwe in a sabotage raid on Thornhill ah- base. . An attempted raid in southwestern Zimbabwe in which three SADF soldiers died in what was later described as an "unauthorised mission".

In his book The Kevin Woods Story (30° South publishers), which is being launched this week, Woods gives corroboration for the first tune, from someone involved on the inside, of SA support for armed dissidents operating in the troubled province of Matabeleland. Woods details how these former guerrillas, loyal to Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo, were trained, armed, financed and deployed back into Zimbabwe from camps in the then Northern Transvaal. "We could tell who the South African-sponsored dissidents were. It was easy - the weapons they carried were all part of a shipment bought by the South Africans after Zimbabwe independence in 1980. The weapons included AKs, machine guns, rocket launchers and landmines - although thank God they never used the landmines." The SA-backed dissidents were known as "Super Zapu"and their role was to sow panic and fear, and keep the destabilisation pot boiling. In the turmoil that was Matabeleland in the 1980s, dissidents - both Super Zapu and those loyal to Nkomo - were responsible for scores of killings, including those of a number of white farmers. But, and Woods is adamant on this, "my understanding was that there were no orders to Super Zapu dissidents to kill white farmers, at least not from the top. Maybe this happened lower down the chain of command, but I doubt it because a lot of the okes running these "gooks" were ex-Rhodesian policemen, who would have known these farmers." Yet, the reality is, sadly, that if you're going to destabilise a country like Zimbabwe, you don't do it by killing ordinary peasants, you do it by ratcheting up the shock value in having white bodies in the newspapers. Not so? "I suppose that is true," Woods concedes. After 18 years behind bars, Woods has had a lot of time to think. On balance, he says, he would probably do it again, "only next time I wouldn't get caught..." If he had his life to live over again, he might well not turn down the approach from his South African handlers to assassinate Mugabe.
"I could have done it easily and would have been above suspicion. But I said no. Boy, there were many, many times in jail when I regretted that."In his book, Woods says that the South icans nevertheless went ahead with a plan to kill Mugabe - but that this was vetoed by then President PW Botha.What his time inside has done, he says, is knock a lot of the arrogance out of him. In conversation, as in the book, he is brutally honest: "I was a self-centred sono-fabitch, didn't give a shit about anyone except myself."He believed he was one of the Masters of the Universe: a boozer, a womaniser, getting his adrenalin fix playing spy games."I had everything a man could want. Then my world came crashing down when they arrested me. I had 18 years to regret my choices."What hurts the most is that he wasn't there to watch his son and two daughters grow up. Even now, "just thinking about that is a trigger" he says as his eyes well with tears. "My daughter," he starts and chokes, "remembers two things about me: that I used to carry her on my shoulders and that the bad men came and put chains on me..."He's rebuilt the bridges with his family, although his marriage will never be revived, he says."I've learned never to take anything for granted. You never know when it can be snatched away from you."And any message for South Africans? "Hell I don't know. What can I say? I just think this is an amazing country with so much potential. People have got to work together, forget about the little things like the street renaming. So what? These okes won the war, that's what happens. The street is still going to be the same." Woods is grateful for the intervention of people like Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma although, ultimately, they didn't get him released. He's trying to do the same for convicted Vlakplaas killer Eugene de Kt) 6k. "We're the same, us two, because we did what we did for a cause, however wrong that may have been." Woods gets serious: "There is nothing worse than being forgotten as a prisoner. You people mustn't forget Eugene de Kock. He's confessed, he's told the full story. He's done his time. Let him out." Woods and De Kock both come from another time, a crazy time. Their stories must be heard and they must be part of our history.

 
 
The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War
The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War

Military History / African Studies

Author:
Peter Polack

R265.00

The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War

OUT OF STOCK

South Africa vs. Cuba

The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War

Polack, a criminal lawyer, is an avid scholar of Cuba's role in Africa's Cold War-era conflicts. He has dedicated years of his life to the study of the war in Angola, a fact clearly evident in the depth and detail of his research. Despite a dearth of primary source materials from the Cuban and Angolan governments, Polack has crafted a fluent and captivating narrative of a pivotal battle that will advance the sparse existing scholarship on the events that took place between late 1987 and early 1988. No one book can be all things to all readers. Military histories, in particular, attract a variety of readers for many different reasons. While not the definitive history of Angola's place in the Cold War, The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War does offer a detailed examination of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale that will assist military historians concerned to understand the value of specific armaments in determining the outcomes of proxy wars in the Cold War era.

 
 
The Saints
The Saints

The Rhodesian Light Infantry

Author: Alexandre Binda & Chris Cocks

R450.00

The Saints

A tribute to one of the most effective counter-insurgency units of all time

Nigel Norkolf, Scale Military Modelcraft International In December issue

The book chronicles the 19 year history from 1961-1980 of the RLI a force of battalion strength and broken down into small units or operations. The RLI had over 20 nationalities in its ranks and was as diverse as the word itself, truly a 'Foreign Legion' in every sense of the word. Dubbed 'the Killing Machine', the RLI fought a very bitter war against overwhelming odds against communist-trained guerrillas in the Zimbabwean bush. Allied to the Rhodesian Air Force and Selous Scouts, the RLI developed and mastered combat techniques carried out with ruthless efficiency and devastating effect against the forces of Robert Mugabe's African National Union. It is estimated that the RLI was responsible for the death of between 12000 and 15000 enemy guerrillas for the loss of only 135 of their own men. Although kill rates don't win wars the psychological effect to the detriment of opposing forces is a weapon in itself. The majority of operations were undertaken from the air, mostly lowlevel jumps under 500 feet, one trooper is accredited with an impressive 73 operational jumps. They killed the enemy where they thought were safe; ambush, hit-and-run and shock tactics are all well presented in this pictorial format, hundreds of colour photos and images, maps, accounts, awards, and roll of honours etc., combine with personal testimony to recreate the violent conflict in the Zimbabwean bush. The contents and layout suggest a professionally formatted scrap book with a classic feel to capture the conflict as it really was putting the reader with the unit. If your subject is small combat units in action with a passion for detail, equipment, tactics etc, then you need to read this book. A highly recommend read and source of reference for everyone interested in this highly topical subject.


Lt-Col Peter Benson, Special Warfare

"No unit fought more valiantly in this struggle than the 1st Battalion, Rhodesian Light Infantry Regiment, or RLI . The Saints is a tremendous contribution to the history of this conflict, filling a gap in the record of the Bush War . The Bush War was, in essence, a campaign of small-unit actions. It was fought by the RLI in section- and troop-sized elements led by junior leaders. By telling the story of the 1st Battalion using the troops' own words, The Saints has a personal and realistic texture. Accompanied by a fantastic array of personal contemporary photographs, most never before published, this book becomes a vivid testament to the fitting pride and outstanding valour of this fighting unit"


Msasa Mail April /May 2007

IN HONOUR OF "THE SAINTS" An Introduction to The Saints Book Launch. When a book can touch an individual in a way that no other person can understand; when it can bring old friends together and encourages people to travel halfway across the world to participate in its launch - when a book acts as the catalyst to the formation of a vital association and unlocks old memories of dark days in a warm and entertaining way - when it can stimulate and foster reconciliation - then surely it becomes more than just a book? On behalf of 30° South Publishers (Pty) Ltd., we would like to warmly welcome you to this evening's event, Enjoy, reminisce and reflect.


James Mitchell, the Star 19 July 2007

This short-lived (from 1961 to 1980) regiment packed more info into its history than many renowned units: old sweats and former opponents alike will find much of interest in this heavily pictorial, yet fact-filled record. Opponents? Read former RLI stick leader Chris Cocks' account of a 1995 encounter with ex-Zanla combatants. Development of the Fireforce concept is described, likewise the even speedier vertical envelopment made possible by retraining as parachutists. Repeated combat jumps in one day were not unusual, while one trooper, Des Archer, completed jumps, surely a world record. Bonus with this already hefty offering is a DVD containing amazing archival footage, some shot in the heat of battle, and interviews.


The British Army Review Spring 2008

".this is a significant book. A clear labour of love by the author and compiler to chronicle the history of a remarkable regiment, the book is skillfully written and very well illustrated. It also represents the most detailed account yet of the RLI's significant contribution to Rhodesia's ill-fated fight for survival. The publication of The Saints now allows the RLI's story to be far more accessible to the wider reading public. The book is a welcome addition to one's bookshelf. this book comes with a 90 minute DVD about the Rhodesian Light Infantry. If you are interested in adding this book to your library, the DVD will serve to enhance your knowledge of this now long-gone regiment."

 
 
The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape - incl. Namaqualand
The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape - incl. Namaqualand

A SouthboundPocket Guide

Author:
David Fleminger

R69.95

The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape - incl. Namaqualand

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Review in: Gorilla Journal 42, June 2011 Editor: Dr. Angela Meder Stuttgart, Germany

Tamar Ron, the biologist who has been working on the conservation of the Maiombe Forest, and Tamar Golan, the first Israelian ambassador in Angola, wrote a book on their experiences in this difficult and exciting country. The fascinating stories of each author are printed in a certain type, and the different themes they cover comple ment each other very nicely.

 
 
The Search for Puma 164
The Search for Puma 164

Operation Uric and the Assault on Mapai

Author:
Neill Jackson, & Rick van Malsen

R195.00

The Search for Puma 164
OUT OF STOCK

The battle for Mapai … and the final closure

African Armed Forces Journal - October 2011

Operation Uric, a joint Rhodesian/South African military operation in Mozambique launched in September 1979 during the waning days of Zimbabwe Rhodesia was one of the largest external operations, conducted during the entire war. Known to its South African Defence Force (SADF) participants as Operation Bootlace in order to obfuscate their participation, it was also one of the bloodiest from a security perspective. The Zimbabwe Rhodesians suffered fifteen deaths (fourteen from Puma 164 and one from Paxton's Cheetah), with their South African allies incurring another three deaths. For an army used to bulling its way around the battlefield this was an unprecedented setback. For the first time they had to abandon their dead on the battlefield. The book under review The Search for Puma 164 by authors Rick van Malsen and Neill Jackson, deals extensively with this military operation and the pivotal effect it had on those involved. In the introduction Rick van Malsen BCR, briefly mentions his experiences at the RLI tactical HQ at Chipinda Pools on that fatal day. According to him, he vowed to return to the crash site one day and pay homage to his fallen comrades whose bodies were left behind. This book, published 32 years later, is an account of that battle and a promise kept. As the most comprehensive account yet to emerge of Operation Uric, The Search for Puma 164 is a more than satisfying read. The first six chapters deal extensively with the historical context, planning and reconstruction of the operation as well as incorporating numerous accounts of individual experiences by key players. Both authors, Malsen and Jackson, served as commissioned officers during the height of the conflict. It is, in this reviewer's opinion, their intimate knowledge of the Rhodesian armed forces in general and the RLI in particular that makes the operational account of Operation Uric such a compelling read. With a foreword by the late Lt Gen Peter Walls and contributions by individuals such as Pat Armstrong and Jack Dutton, the unfolding events have a ring of undisputed authenticity. Puma 164 was a South African Air Force (SAAF) Aérospatiale Puma helicopter on detached service along with 12 other SAAF Pumas, 2 SAAF Super Frelons, 4 SAAF Dakotas, 3 SAAF Canberra bombers, their SAAF crews as well as elements of South Africa's Special Forces. Their participation - known as Operation Bootlace - was to be top secret. Skimming above the tree line on their final approach to preselected landing zones close to Mapai, a lone Frelimo soldier downed Puma 164 with a direct hit from an RPG-7 rocket launcher. Within seconds of being hit, the aircraft pitched into the ground and disintegrated, killing its crew and passengers instantaneously. In all three South Africans and fourteen Rhodesians were killed. A rescue helicopter was dispatched with a stick from 1 Commando (RLI) but no survivors were found. All seventeen bodies were accounted for in the smoking wreckage of which only the Puma's two turbines could be identified. A decision was taken to return to the crash site once Mapai had been neutralised to pick up the charred remains of the men and the aircraft. When this proved impossible it was decided to bomb the crash site in order to destroy the bodies and the remains of the SAAF aircraft. A Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) Hawker Hunter dropped a Golf bomb on the wreckage. The casualties were then attributed to a RhAF Cheetah helicopter which had been shot down with a single fatality the day before. This was done in order to conceal South Africa's involvement, and the families of the three SAAF crew men were simply told that the men had been killed in the operational area. As we now know, Operation Uric, and soon the war, petered out. The Lancaster House Conference brought an end to hostilities but what remained, was a sense of obligation to the fallen. Nowhere was this more keenly felt thank among the veterans of Operation Uric for the comrades they had left behind. On 11 April 2009 a search team consisting of both authors and friends located the graves of the war dead at Mapai, some thirty years after the event. The second part of the book deals with their experiences and those of the victim's families and friends as they sought closure to what was a very traumatic event in their lives. The book is well written and well researched. It should prove of interest to all students of the Rhodesian conflict. The assistance and understanding garnered from both the local population and officials in Mozambique during the search for the remains of their comrades, also reveals just how much Southern Africa has changed over the last three decades.


Charles D. Melson, chief historian, HD/MCU USA Marine Corps Gazette 12 October 2011

On 6 September 1979 a South African military helicopter was shot down by a rocket propelled grenade during the course of fighting near Mapai, Mozambique. There were no survivors of the 17 South Africans and Rhodesians on board. While confirmed dead, with ongoing security concerns and international sanctions, the families of these servicemen were not given the details of the action and their bodies were not recovered. Thirty years later the authors succeeded in reaching the crash site. Both Jackson and van Malsen served in the Rhodesian security forces during that country's transition to Zimbabwe, between 1965 and 1980. They were participants in the events depicted which motivated the search for the lost aircraft and men. Their book sets the record straight. This is an eclectic and personal book-why then should it be read? Military professionals are made by going beyond their own subjective experience by being able to be taught from the objective experience of others. This ability to learn from the past in order to apply the lessons to the future is essential to modern professional military education for desired "transformation" or even a more vaunted "revolution in military affairs." The narrative reviewed takes place during the Cold War conflict in southern Africa that was part of a series of struggles for independence and confrontation throughout the sub-continent. These retain significance because the same population and terrain are being engaged today by U.S. Africa Command. But it also addressed is a broader theme of war, narrative, memory, reconciliation, and memorialization. This should resonate with Americans who are still haunted by their own experience from Southeast Asia in the twentieth century. The resulting account is a collective memoir rather than history. This book has three distinct parts: the story of the joint Rhodesian and South African military incursion (Operation Uric to the Rhodesians, Operation Bootlace to the South Africans) in 1979; the subsequent efforts by veterans to locate aircraft crash sites and remains; and the impact these efforts would have on the families that survived but had to deal with "missing in action/body not recovered" circumstances that were unresolved long after the conflict had ended. These distinct narratives are packaged in an attractive form that allows each to be dealt with separately depending on the reader's interest. There are 180 or so operational graphics, maps, diagrams, clippings, and photographs of the events depicted including original documents. Richard Wood's cartography is appreciated as well as the end papers detailing the actual bridge number and target locations. Fewer photographs in something other than a postage stamp size would have been an improvement for those of us needing help with aging eyesight. Another valid concern is whether text consists of direct quotes or is derivative and this is not always clear from the layout and punctuation. The military reader will appreciate the some 187 pages devoted to detailing the planning and execution of this spoiling attack. The effort involved the complex attempt to destroy a series of bridges and mine roads from Rhodesia's border to the outskirts of Maputo. The object was to disrupt the infrastructure supporting Zimbabwean guerillas, including substantial logistic efforts by the armed forces of Marxist Mozambique, including a well armed brigade at Mapai. The political intent was to influence the negotiated settlement at Lancaster House in London by depriving Zimbabwe African National Union's Robert Mugabe of his ally Frelimo's Samora Machel (Similar efforts were also directed at Patriotic Front forces in Zambia). Previously direct attacks on Mozambique forces were avoided or incidental, during this operation it would not be the case although hoped to be conducted by air rather than ground attacks. The run up to the incursion is presented from intelligence and operations briefing material analyzing the targets and the threat with opposing courses of action. The number of targets, area to be covered, and timing called for the Rhodesians to be reinforced by their South African allies with aircraft and troops. This participation was to be kept from the public and the outside world. A complex arrangement of forward basing, aircraft staging, and airborne command and control was put in to place, including a fuel and rearming point established in Mozambique. Ground forces were from the Rhodesian Light Infantry, the Rhodesian Special Air Service, and the South African Reconnaissance Commandos. But combat engineers were present for the demolitions role. The intent was to drop bridges and mine and ambush avenues of approach. As most military plans, the actual operations went in another direction. Early on an enemy patrol stumbled on the fuel and rearming point, one of the main bridges was built with more concrete and rebar than expected, and the overall enemy resistance was greater than expected particularly from the force at Mapai. A decision to conduct a deliberate attack of this location by lightly armed infantry support from the air was called off with the loss of two helicopters to ground fire and the potential for heavy casualties that could not be justified by the commanders. Despite the mixed results on the ground, the political aim was obtained in pressuring the nationalists to continue negotiating or loose there support from Mozambique. The remainder of the book is the human interest of the search and discovery of what happened and the expanding impact this had on the variety of survivors' families. Some of which took expected and unexpected terms. All aided by social networking on the internet to some extent and the continued bonds of those who had served in the war. Of note was the interest and support of their former enemies who knew all along who they had been fighting and where the bodies were buried. One community actually had a war memorial made from aircraft wreckage. After decades of conflict and suffering in Mozambique, there is also some peace for this part of Africa.


Families learn the truth after 30 years Written by: Laetitia Velleman

For the first time in 33 years family members were able to visit the grave site of their loved ones who died in a helicopter crash in 1979. On 4 July 2012 the Osborne and Velleman family went to Mapai in Mozambique to visit the grave of Lieutenant Nigel Osborne, Captain Paul Velleman, Sergeant Dirk Retief and fourteen Rhodesian soldiers who died after the Puma 164 was shot down by a Frelimo soldier on 6 September 1979. It was an emotional day for these families and their companions to witness the actual place where their loved ones were laid to rest for the first time in 33 long years. Until 2009 they did not know the true circumstances of this incident nor the actual location. They were told that the men died "somewhere in the area of the operation." These families at long last have closure about what had happen on that fateful day. Neill Jackson, together with former RLI (Rhodesian Light Infantry) officer Rick van Malsen and other members of a team, took it upon themselves to reveal the truth. It was important to them to tell the men's next of kin what had happened. And they did. What meant the most to Neill was being able to go to the families around the country and telling them in person that their loved ones did not suffer and are regarded as heroes. "They were not allowed to tell us anything," Pat Osborne said, the mother of Lieutenant Nigel Osborne. All four the sisters of Nigel (Debbie, Sally, Diann and Ingrid) were all at home when they heard the news. They were not even allowed to tell the media that they were contacted. No one knew or would say anything about the situation. Greg said that when he received the news from his brother Errol that Paul had been killed in action he was devastated as he and his family had seen Paul two weeks previously in Umghlanga, Durban. The hardest part was not knowing that facts. "When I saw the actual site where my brother had died, the emotions were indescribable," Greg explained. "Although I have found a certain measure of closure, the missing is still as strong as ever." Delia Forbes (formerly Duberly) lost her brother-in-law, Corporal Leroy Duberly, who was an engineer on this flight. She told the story of when she had received a phone call from former 1 Engineer Squadron Captain Terry Griffin on the Friday, the day after the incident. He asked to speak to her husband, Jeff. She immediately knew it had something to do with Leroy. She kept asking him to tell her what it was about, but he insisted that he talk to her husband first. She asked if it is about Leroy and he asked: "How did you know?" The conversation ended without her knowing exactly what had happen. In 2009 she went on the expedition led by Rick and Neill to visit the crash site for the first time in thirty years and again in 2012 with the Osborne and Velleman families. The South African Air Force Puma 164 was shot down on 6th September 1979 during Operation Ulric by a Frelimo soldier with an RPG-7 (rocket propelled grenade) rocket launcher. Since all the events happening during the operation and especially on the 6th September were top secret, no or few information was available. Neill and Rick, however, took it upon themselves to write a thoroughly researched book, called In Search of Puma 164. In this book he explains the circumstances surrounding these events and finally what had really happened on that fateful day. Capt. Paul Velleman, Lieutenant Nigel Osborne and Sergeant Dirk Retief were part of Operation Ulric. Lieutenant- General G.P. Walls wrote in Neill's book that Operation Ulric formed part of their (Rhodesia's) military effort in 1979 against terrorist attacks by ZAPLA and active Frelimo forces. Operation Ulric, along with other operations was sent out to bomb all communication networks of the Frelimo during the war between Rhodesia and Mozambique. By doing this they hoped to keep Samora Machel at the negotiating table with Robert Mugabe and to weaken their military strength. This operation was also sent out to bomb bridges in the Gaza (Mozambique) district to isolate the Frelimo and ZAPLA positions from their main supply in Maputo and Inhambane on the Mozambique coast. Rhodesia asked for South Africa's assistance during this operation. Due to the political climate in South Africa, government was reluctant to give them support. They did, however, unofficially, provided aircraft and a battalion on standby for this specific operation. By making it public that South Africa was involved, South Africa would have become an international outcry. On that fateful day, 6th September 1979, a squadron of Bells and the Puma 164 flew out to Mapai to bomb the Frelimo 2 Brigade Headquarters and bridges in the area. The Puma was only assisting in transporting troops to their assigned location - it was not intended to participate in the warfare itself. Neill wrote in his book that they flew over a small satellite air-defence base which was supposedly abandoned earlier that morning. However, a lone Frelimo soldier fired his RPG-7 rocket launcher at Puma 164 from the ground. The aircraft was immediately shot down. Witnesses from the other helicopters said that everything happened fast and they only saw thick black smoke coming up from where the Puma had plunged into the ground. In light of these casualties, General Walls ordered his men to withdraw from the attacks and halt the operation. He had realized that the Frelimo forces outnumbered his own in artillery and he was not prepared to let more men die. The operation did not continue and it was not successful, but the team did manage to cause severe damage. According to Rick the operation was unsuccessful because fourteen Rhodesians and three South Africans had lost their lives. "This was the single biggest loss of Security Force lives," Rick said. As Rick felt it is his duty as a soldier to find the remains of his fallen brothers-in-arms, he vowed that he would one day return to identify the actual crash site and let their families know what really had happened. In 2009 Rick and Neill led a team into Mozambique in search for Puma 164. By this time they had done enough research on the possible location of where the incident had taken place and could obtain permission from Frelimo authority to access the site. With the help of locals who witnessed the aircraft plummeting to the earth, Rick and Neill found the exact location where the remains of the Puma 164 lies. There are two heaps of ground where the fuselage and the cockpit individually dove into the ground. After the helicopter had crashed and the Frelimo and ZANLA troops had withdrawn from the area, the local headman buried the bodies where they were. For thirty years these graves were left untouched and undisturbed. Small pieces of scrap metal from the aircraft can still be on the site. The two families, along with Neill and his wife Johanna, Rick and his wife Val and a group of other people, took on another pilgrimage in early July 2012. Due to the lack of accommodation, the team had to camp at the Mamba campsite in the Parque Nacional do Limpopo (Limpopo National Park). The campsite was very primitive, with only two open showers and a toilet in each. A very friendly man named Gabrielle gave his assistance by making fire each night and he made sure that the donkey (which provided warm water) was always working. The first group arrived on Sunday, 1st July, to set up camp. This group included, Neill and Johanna, Rick and Val, Sergio, Rui, Keith and their sons. Sergio is the son of the founder of Mapai, Orlando Pais Mamede. He started Mapai from scratch. The centre of the village was a cattle farm with approximately 27 000 heads of cattle. The village also had a bus company, supermarket, workshop and other businesses. There was also a school Rui had attended. Today the children don't even have desks to write on, they sit on the ground with their books on their laps. The war did not leave much behind and the government have done nothing yet to improve the situation of the people who still live in this area. Sergio took the group the next day, Monday, to visit his old town. According to papers in his possession he still owns the ground, as well as the National Park. But according to the state, he owns nothing. When walking through the old Mapai, people still recognized him as "boss." One man came up to him and told Sergio that he was hungry. Sergio asked, "why are your hungry?" Without saying anything, the man turned and walked away. In the days of Sergio's father, the area of Mapai was known for its hunting grounds. Prominent leaders from South Africa, such as Ben Schoeman and Jan Smuts, often came to this region. Orlando's home was welcoming and he would often have these men over for dinner. However, in 1973 Orlando had to flee from Mapai. He was wanted for arrest and was accused of being an economic saboteur because of his wealth and prominence. These past few years was the first time in almost thirty years that Sergio and his nephew, Rui, could go back to visit Mapai. Just west of Mapai, near the railway, a new village of Mapai had been built. This is where the Frelimo Headquarters are. A new gas station has recently been built with a supply of petrol and diesel. The prices, however, are much higher than in South Africa, more than R12 a litre. The Velleman family arrived Monday afternoon at the campsite while Neill and his party were out exploring the area. The Velleman family included, Greg (Paul's older brother), Hermien (Paul's sister-in-law), Hermien's son and daughter, Jacques and Laetitia. They had some interesting encounters during their trip to the campsite. As they drove through the boom gates that divide South Africa from Mozambique, they did not know what to expect. After they got the stamp of approval of the immigration officers, Jacques had to go and register his vehicle. After filling out all the forms and got their approval, the officer told him that it will cost him R300. Jacques was a bit doubtful but paid the amount nether the less. He saw the man putting the money in his pocket. When he insisted on a receipt, they told him that they don't give receipts. They definitely knew that he was a "rookie", as there are no fees to be paid at the border. Jacques only found that out later that evening, when he told the others about the incident. He was really disappointed that he was not aware of being extorted. It took the Vellemans six hours to drive the 100 km from the border to Mamba camp. The roads are in a terrible condition and there are no road signs. They had to stop a few times to ask for directions because sometimes not even the GPS could not tell them where they were. In broken English, they tried to understand what the locals were saying. They did not recognize the name Mamba Camp, but all of them could show the way to Mapai. However, that was not the exact direction, the family later found out. Just before the village there was a right turn that they had missed. Never the less they did find their way to the National Park. At the entrance of the park, the watchman had to confirm that their reservations were legitimate. He took Hermien and Jacques for a one kilometre walk through the bushes and up a hill to get cellular signal so that he could phone the authorities and confirm their reservation. Jacques was sceptical about the situation and wondered if it was not some sort of scheme to rob them. Eventually they arrived safely at the camp site, even though it was deserted. When the others had joined them later that night and the following day, they told the Vellemans how their trips had gone smoothly. The Vellemans then learned that they should rather have travelled in a convoy - which is essential in Mozambique. Wednesday was the big day. Everyone gathered around at 8h30 to be briefed about the day. Everyone knew that this was going to be a difficult day, physically and emotionally. For the first time the two families will see where their loved ones were buried. The road to the crash site was also quite rough as it is in the most rural of rural areas in Mozambique. No maintenance on the roads has been done since the war in the 1970's. The group travelled with five 4x4 vehicles and drew quite a bit of attention from the locals. The people came running out of their huts to the roads and held their hand out begging for food. They've stopped in Mapai were Rui told the group the story of how his family hadbuilt Mapai and how he grew up in the village. He reminisced about the good old days when the town was vibrant and friendly. After the unrest, Frelimo took over and since the end of the war everything had been in ruins. Around 10h30 the group arrived at the crash site. Everyone became quiet as if not to disturb the dead. Neill started digging a hole where the metal cross donated by SAAF (South African Air Force) Assosiation would be planted. The families looked around the area and they picked up small pieces of the aircraft that were still laying around. This gave them a sense of reality - that this is the actual place where the helicopter had crashed. After digging in the hard earth of this dry area, Neill planted the shiny cross and started to fill in the hole again. They then took time to have a small memorial service and Keith ended it off with a prayer. One could hear the silence broken by soft sobbing from the mothers, sisters and brothers who had lost their loved ones in this tragic event. The Osbourne and Velleman families both brought gravestones which were placed on the graves and each family member individually paid their respect, at long last, to their lost loved ones. As they were about to climb in their cars, two motorcycles appeared from a cloud of dust. As they passed by, one could recognize the official green clothing of Frelimo soldiers. Each motorcycle had two riders. One of the men was carrying an AK-47. After they had passed the group, they turned and came back. The men dismounted from the motorcycles and Rick, Neill and Rui approached them. These three men had the most experience with Mozambican authorities and knew their way around. One of the Mozambicans was a headman who wanted to know whether the group had permission to be at the site. Luckily, Sergio had received permission from the local officials. After they phoned for confirmation, they got back on their motorcycles and drove away, leaving another cloud of dust behind them. The group was relieved to see the intimidating officers leaving. While the families huddled around the campfire after a very emotional day, Debbie Vaughan (Osborne) said that after thirty three years "the boys brought us all together."

 
 
Troepie Snapshots
Troepie Snapshots

Pictorial Recollections of the South African Border War

Author:
Cameron Blake

R150.00

Troepie Snapshots

A photographic slice of conscript life in the South African Defence Force

Patricia McCracken Farmer's Weekly - 10th June 2011

Troepie Snapshots by Cameron Blake Times change and these once illegal shots snatched by troepies can now be published. As well as being useful historical documents, they will be nostalgic to some and are heartbreaking in several ways - what they say of the times, the young men in this system, and its effect on their lives. Moving and fascinating...


Brenton Geach, Cape Times

"If you were a white male forced to do national service in the SA Defence Force, then this is a book to keep on your shelves to show your children, grandchildren or friends. Hazy, familiar and evocative snapshots by the troepies themselves bring back uncomfortable memories of verbal abuse and extensive physical training - intensified if you were English. As young boys straight out of school we were brainwashed by the NP government into believing how dangerous "black terrorists" were and that it was our duty to defend the borders. A vivid reminder of a very strange time."


African Armed Forces Journal April 2011

Troepie Snapshots: Pictorial Recollections of the South African Border War is Cameron Blake's third book on the conscript experience of some of those who underwent National Service in the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the Apartheid era. The first two, Troepie: From Call Up to Camps and From Soldier to Civvy, both published by Zebra, are anecdotal catalogues of experiences recounted to him by former members of the SADF while visiting his militaria shop in Cape Town's CBD. In Cameron's own words, if his first two books constituted their "voice", this pictorial is to serve as "their eyes". It is then, the final volume in a trilogy. The book is structured around the various individual photographs and photographic collections that have crossed Blake's counter while buying and selling militaria to the public. Opening the publication with a brief introduction his first pictorial essay is "Police patrol", no doubt because prior to the SADF's involvement, the initial counterinsurgency campaign was handled by the South African Police (SAP). The photographs, some of which are understandably blurred due to their being taken surreptitiously in contravention of existing security laws, form a fascinating record of the time. While the majority are indeed "troepie snapshots" i.e. taken by conscripts, there is at least one official record, that being a series of photographs taken by an official photographer during Operation Protea. Overall, however, the selection of photographs would interest anyone who served in the SADF during the period. While some photographs are outstanding, such as the one of an Alouette III Gunship hovering dangerously close to a Buffel on pg 146, others, such as those on pg 95 are of little interest except to those featured directly. Covering the Border War in three sections, Blake gives 'The townships", "Base life", "Clearing out" and "Camps" (terms instantly recognisable to former national servicemen) each their own section. It is also interesting to note that under the heading "The Parabats" the airborne forces are the only individual unit to get a section of their own. In a nice touch Blake closes the book with a section on the End Conscription Campaign (ECC). These are by no means the only sections. Interspersed among these chapters are a number of additional chapters covering subjects such as Medals and Border campaign memorial services. In some ways, the anecdotal genre is the least demanding historical approach. Its major drawback, however, is that the author often has to rely completely on the memory of a single source. Troepie Snapshots does possess some annoying faults. While not wanting to appear pedantic this reviewer will discuss just two examples of sloppy research. The first is the 127mm FV1 Valkiri multiple rocket launcher (MRL). On pg 18 Blake states that it was introduced in 1980. This is incorrect. It was introduced in 1981, just in time for Operation Protea. A cursory look in one of the books mentioned in his bibliography, South African Arms & Armour by Helmoed Romer Heitman, would have given him this information. He then compounds the error on pg 37 by referring to the old chestnut that the Valkiri was built as a response to, and based on, the Soviet BM 21. This is incorrect. Project Furrow, the development of the Valkiri, began in 1974, well before the start of the conflict and the SADF's first exposure to the BM 21 on the Angolan battlefield. In designing the Valkiri, Kentron used as its basis the V3 air-to-air missile it had previously developed for the Mirage F1CZ. A simple conversation with Clive Wilsworth, another writer in the 30 Degrees South stable, would have cleared this up. The second example is what Blake refers to as a "medical Casspir" (pg 174). The vehicle in question is the "Flossie", the first monocoque mine-protected vehicle to deploy with the SADF. It was a one-off prototype designed as an armoured ambulance. Deployed on Operation Protea, it was the forerunner of the Rinkhals and later Mfezi armoured mine-protected ambulances. It was not derived from the Casspir, nor was it a class of Casspir but, like the Casspir, derived from the two Hippo Mk II prototype vehicles. On pg 61 Blake exacerbates his error by referring to a photograph of the front of the Flossie as a de facto Casspir. A brief conversation with the vehicle curator at the South African National Museum of Military History (incorrectly identified in the caption as the "Johannesburg Military Museum") where the photographs were taken, would have cleared this up. As Blake has chosen to write a number of books on this subject, he should take greater care in fact-checking the facts that he is able to. Failure to do so detracts much from an otherwise interesting book. Despite these reservations this reviewer would recommend that anyone interested in the conflict should purchase the book as, in themselves, the photographs tell a most interesting story.

 
 
The War Story of Soldier 124280
The war Story of Soldier 124280

Military History / African Studies / Memoir

Author:
Mike Sadler

R320.00

The war Story of Soldier 124280

South Africa's entire coastline

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The Whale Trail of South Africa
The Whale Trail of South Africa

A Southbound Pocket Guide

Author:
Allen Davie

R69.95

The Whale Trail of South Africa

South Africa's entire coastline

Beeld 7 September 2008

Tyd weer vir walvis kyk Roetes, webtuistes tot kontaknommers van die beste bly- en kykplekke en walvistoere/staptogte ter land en see. Dié 176-bladsy-juffer met haar 55 kleurfoto's en 10 kaarte is deel van 30° South se oulike Southbound-sakgidsreeks. Dit is nou prima tyd om te sien hoe die walvisse paar, baljaar en kalf. Ons walvisroete is langer as 2 500 km, van Paternoster tot net suid van Mosambiek.


Garth Johnstone, The ridge/ The Crest December 2008

A handily sized pocket book, The Whale Trail offers whale enthusiasts all the information they need to plan a day out or holiday to view the beautiful, gentle giants of the ocean. With the South African whale trail stretching from Kosi Bay to Donngbaai, southeast of Cape Town, and the West coast to Lambert's Bay, there's plenty of coastline to explore-but for local enthusiasts the good news is that from June to November, Durban is a recognised hot spot for sea life charters. So, although Hermanus is obviously the gold standard of whale spotting in SA, when the time is right, a viewing of these wondrous beasts is close at hand. Handy features of this guide include quick facts (did you know that Hector's dolphin is probably the world's smallest cetacean, reaching only 1.2m in length when fully grown, or the male humpback whale sings songs lasting 30 minutes that can be heard underwater hundreds of kilometers away), whales of the whale trail, colourful sections on the Southern Cape whale trail, West coast whale trail and East coast whale trail, and a fascinating section on Cetacean intelligence. Crammed full of useful info - including accommodation and national parks - and with multiple maps, The Whale Trail will encourage novices and experts alike to take the plunge and hit the road.


Caroline Hurry, Saturday Star 20 September 2008

Whale-watching? It's all in this book!. Whales and dolphins are central to the ancient myths of many nations, both as tribal folklore and mainstream classics such as Herman Melville's Moby Dick. The slaughtering of cetaceans is a trust betrayed and we should ask ourselves why we revere whales and dolphins, yet slaughter them in their thousands. The Whale Trail of South Africa quotes a figure of 36 390 whales slaughtered in Antarctic waters in one year alone. New England whalers killed around 100 000 Southern Right whales during the 19th century and by the late 1930s barely 100 grey whales remained from an estimated population of 25 000 in 1840. Durban ran one of the largest land-based whaling stations in the world until it was shut down in 1975. Whaling ceased in South Africa in 1976, mainly due to the collapse in whale populations and the soaring cost of fuel rather due to any change of heart. Indeed South Africa continued to oppose a moratorium on commercial whaling for years afterwards until it finally bowed to pressure from the Dolphin Action and Protection Group in 2001. Today Southern Right whales are a common sight around Hermanus, often approaching to within 50m of land. Whale-watchers descend on the town every year amid a carnival atmosphere. A "whale-crier" blows on a horn and brandishes a placard with details of recent sightings. And it's not just in Hermanus that you can enjoy these magnificent sentient creatures either. I spent many a happy afternoon watching whales from my parents' balcony in Fish Hoek. Indeed the Whale Route stretches from Paternos-ter/Saldanha Bay on the West Coast (Atlantic), south around the Cape of Good Hope, and some2500 kilometres northeast to Kosi Bay in the iSi-mangaliso Wetland Park (St Lucia), a World Heritage Site, just south of the Mozambican border. The Southern Right whales leave Antarctica in May/June, and swim thousands of kilometres to mate and calve. When they leave, the humpbacks arrive with their calves. Enthusiasts can see them in the Cape's Stilbaai, Witsand, De Kelders near Gansbaai, as well as along the Garden Route at Mossel Bay, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and northeast up through the Wild Coast and finally to the Dolphin Coast of northern Zululand. Boat-based expeditions are also growing in popularity and offer whale-watchers a chance to get up-close and personal with these wondrous denizens of the deep. This book offers you all you need to know to plan a whale-watching trip and will teach you all about blowing, breaching, lobtailing, spy-hopping and grunting!


Paul Winter, Out There Travel December 2008

It's the smallness of this book that makes it appealing - it is compact enough to stuff into a daypack with a pair of binoculars and some snacks for a day's worth of whale-watching. The Whale Trail of South Africa offers all you need to know to plan a whale-watching trip - anywhere from Paternoster/Saldanha Bay on the West Coast and south around the Cape of Good Hope up to some 2 500 kilometres north-east to Kosi Bay in the St Lucia Wetlands Park. It'll also teach you about blowing, breaching, lob-tailing, spy-hopping and grunting!


Longevity November 2008

Now that suntans are so last season, ditch your beach holiday and book a trip with a purpose instead. If you're looking to skip the mid-December mayhem, why not go whale spotting instead? It'll take you to some of the most beautiful spots South Africa has to offer (Cape Town, the Garden Route, the Wild Coast and the Dolphin Coast), and, using this guide, you'll learn all you could imagine about these gentle giants. Packed with beautiful photos, practical information and a host of whale factoids (did you know that the blue whale eats up to four tons of krill a day?), this pocket-sized guide makes for the ultimate travelling companion.

 
 
Tucker's Deadline

A True Story

Author:
Robin Binckes

R250.00


South Africa's entire coastline

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Tumult in the Clouds
Tumult in the Clouds

Stories from the South African Air Force, 1920–2010

Author:
Dean Wingrin

R320.00

Tumult in the Clouds

The South African Air Force (SAAF)...

Ninety years of memories of the SAAF captured in new book Saturday 2 February 2013 Janet Szabo - SABC NEWS

A new book on the South African Air Force has captured the personal history and many of the previously untold tales and experiences of dozens of airmen who served in both war and peace-time during the Air Force's first ninety years. At the launch of his book, "Tumult in the Clouds" at the first public flying day at the Air Force Museum at Swartkops, aviation enthusiast and journalist Dean Wingrin said he started recording the "lost and forgotten" stories about four years ago because he realised that the stories were being lost when the people passed on. Wingrin runs the unofficial website of the SAAF, www.saairforce.co.za. He said: "These people, their stories and what they go through and the sacrifices they make should never be forgotten and should not be ignored. "I have been humbled listening to their stories. Some of them have won medals for bravery. It was not some dry history of dates and facts written by people who weren't there," he said. Looking back at the stories that were not included, he said: "I started collecting five years too late. The guys are getting old now.The fact that spurred me was the very first person that I interviewed, I interviewed him and a week and a half later he passed away. You can't delay writing down history." He said if you look at the book, the print is very small. This is because he had so many stories and each one deserved to be included. He said if the book was successful, he had more than enough material for another volume. The first-hand accounts document the Air Force's significant contribution to some of the major conflicts and struggles of the last century. These cover the Second World War, the Berlin Air Lift, the Korean War of the 1950s, through to the border wars, the transition to democracy and the more recent role in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions on the African continent. One of the post-democracy accounts is that of General Tsoku Khumalo, a member of MK and currently Director, Force Preparation. He had an interesting route into the Air Force, learning to fly in Russia. General Khumalo said he hoped that the accounts of the different experiences would add to the knowledge of the Air Force. Lieutenant General Denis Earp, a former chief of the SAAF and distinguished veteran of Korea, who wrote the foreword to the book, commended this project and encouraged others to record the stories of serving members in the Air Force saying: "It doesn't have to be about the obvious heroes, it's about the people of the Air Force. They all, in their own ways, are heroes". He said that is where the true history is. On a personal note, General Earp lamented the tales that died with his uncle who had served in the South African commandos during the campaign in South West Africa in the First World War. "Wonderful stories. Every time I visited him I would say: Please Uncle, tell us some more. Then one day he passed on. Those stories are gone. What's left in my mind is probably inaccurate. If only he had written them down."The book also includes a lighter side to duty: a collection of squadron pub songs from all the major conflicts in which the Air Force served. Significantly, the book was launched at the Air Force Museum, which is the custodian of the service's history and tradition, the day after the annual Air Force Day parade. The first of February marks the founding of the SAAF in 1920, making it the world second-oldest air force. Wingrin drew attention to another Air Force milestone in 2013 - the 40th anniversary of the Museum.


SAAF personnel welcome new book Written by defenceWeb Monday, 04 February 2013

Long-time military aviation enthusiast Dean Wingrin's first foray into book publishing has been welcomed by retired and serving members of the South African Air Force (SAAF). "Tumult in the Clouds" is a compilation of personal memories of those who have served in the second oldest air force in the Commonwealth. "The SAAF is not just about aircraft and ordnance; it is made up of people and my compilation gives voice to these people, be they airmen, ground crew or the backroom boys and girls. These are their stories, told in the first person as unvarnished, unabbreviated and intensely immediate and personal recollections," he said at the public launch of Tumult in the Clouds during Saturday's SAAF Museum flying training day at Air Force Base Swartkop. Retired SAAF Chief Lieutenant General Dennis Earp said Wingrin deserved to be congratulated for his effort in producing a valuable addition to South African military aviation literature. "I have often been told stories about the SAAF by people over a period of many years and I always urge them to write down their personal memories because, sadly, one day they will not be around to personally tell them," said the man whose life has been put down on paper by long-time friend and retired SAAF Brigadier General "Crow" Stannard. In its various guises the airborne arm of today's South African National Defence Force assisted the Allied victory in World War Two, made a major contribution to the Berlin Airlift, took part in the Korean War, assisted the then Rhodesia in the 1960s and 70s and was a mainstay of the Bush War in Angola and what was South West Africa. Since democracy the SAAF has continuously supported peacekeeping missions in Africa and been part of countless search and rescue operations, the most recent of which is still underway in Mozambique. What really prompted Wingrin to, as he puts it "get a move on with the project" was the death of one of his interviewees just days after he captured "Porky" Rich's reminiscences on tape and paper. "That was when I realised many of those who had stories to tell wouldn't be around forever," he said. Publishing constraints have meant many of the recollections and tales he gathered could not be included in "Tumult". "This means I have a head start on Volume Two," he said only half-jokingly at Saturday's launch. Another who has welcomed the book is SAAF Museum Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Mike O'Connor. "The Museum library and research section is now the proud owner of a copy of 'Tumult' and I'm sure it will find wide use, but only after I've finished reading it," he said. It can be purchased online from The Air Force Shop at www.saairforce.co.za

 
 

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uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

A Southbound Pocket Guide

Author:
Philip Briggs

R69.95

uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Beeld - Naweek 27 January 2007

Sakgidse ideaal vir almal wat land verken Suid-Afrika se sewe Werelderfenisterreine word in 'n nuwe reeks Southbound-sakgidse saamgevat. Dit sluit in gidse oor Robbeneiland, Groter St Lucia Vleilandpark, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg-park, die Mapungubwe-kultuurlandskap, Kaapse blomstreke se beskermde gebiede, die Wieg van die Mens en die Vredefort-koepel. Die klein gidse is nommerpas vir plaaslike vakansiegangers wat hul eie land wil verken, rugsakstappers, toeriste, leerlinge en onderwysers, studente en toergidse en toeroperateurs. Dit is gebruikersvriendelik, nuttig en omvattend en het 'n groot opvoedkundige waarde. Lesers leer wat dit beteken om as 'n wêrelderfenisterrein verklaar te word; meer omtrent Unesco en sy Wêrelderfenislys; hoogtepunte van die Unesco-konvensie; hoe die gebiede kwalifiseer; meer omtrent die geskiedenis van die gebied; die plante en diere van die gebied; hoe die gebied ontwikkel word en hoe die gemeenskap daarby betrek is. Die reisafdeling bevat plekke waar 'n mens kan oornag en aktiwiteite wat 'n mens kan onderneem. Philip Briggs (skrywer van gidse oor die Groter St Lucia Vleilandpark en die uKhahlamba-Drakens-berg-park) skryf oor reis en bewaring in Afrika. Sy eerste boek is in 1991 gepubliseer en sedertdien het hy Bradt-gidse geskryf oor Oos- en Suider-Afrika, Tanzanië, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mosambiek, Ghana en Rwanda. Sy artikels verskyn gereeld in plaaslike tydskrifte en koerante.


Upfront Magazine November 2008

This pocket guide takes you to a place of wonder and beauty that sprawls in breathtaking splendour between the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and the ice-capped peaks of the Kingdom of Lesotho. The AmaZulu-'People of Heaven'- who live in the long eastern shadow of the mountains call them uKhahlamba, the 'Barrier of spears'. The first Boer settlers to trail their ox-wagons into the foothills dubbed them the Drakensberg, the 'Dragon's mountain'. Both names are in official use today, but South Africans, in unconscious recognition of its singularity, tend simply to refer to the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg as The Berg-'The Mountain'.


Bruce Dennill - The Citizen 23 November 2006

The rich natural heritage of our country is well worth exploring. Not only are the sites involved important and historically vibrant, but they're also all beautiful to travel through. Visiting a World Heritage Site need not be some educational chore, although children might benefit more from a trip to one of these locations than from another morning bus ride to the zoo or the Voortrekker Monument, or where ever. This is a series of guides that make visiting - and understanding the locations easy, safe and convenient. Literally pocket-sized (as opposed to the many publications described as such that you would battle to fit into a briefcase), each book - there is one title devoted exclusively to each heritage site -breaks the attractions and points of interest down into bite-sized fact files. The different authors involved (Philip Briggs, Fiona Mclntosh and David Fleminger) each have slightly different styles, but each pays exquisite attention to detail. Such need-to-know things as the best routes to take and where to stay once you arrive are well handled, and the authors have taken the sensible step of only including the details of the parties in involved, rather than specific details regarding pricing and so on. The latter may change, and budgeting around a guide book and arriving to a different scenario is incredibly frustrating. Other subjects covered explain why the different locations were declared World Heritage Sites, what steps have been taken to conserve the irreplaceable resources there, what is most interesting to see and what times of the are best to each place. These booklets reveal fascinating parts of our country that many of us aren't properly aware of. They'd make excellent gifts, singly or collectively, and are great primers for planning a holiday.

 
 

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Vlamgat
Vlamgat

The Story of the Mirage F1 in the South African Air Force

Author:
Dick Lord (Deceased)

R250.00

Vlamgat

Their hands are shaking ever so slightly. They will be flying again in the morning

I had been "eyeing" Vlamgat at a bookshop for some time and finally bought it this weekend. I started reading it last night before going to bed and ended up staying up until 2 am - just couldn't stop. It's a fantastic book. I am fascinated by anything that flies - especially in military applications. Vlamgat is definitely on my highly recommended list for any aircraft/war/history nut. Well done! Carl Zietsman.


Kollig 22 January 2009

"Vlamgat" was die troetelnaam wat die Suid-Afrikaanse lugmag vir die Mirage F1 gegee het - die weermag se fomidabele vegvliegtuig tydens Suid-Afrika se grensoorloë in Suidwes-Afrika (Namibië) en Angola. In die stryd teen Russiese MiG-21s, het die Vlammies - soos die Mirage loodse bekend was - hulself oor en oor bewys. Vlamgat is die aangrypende verhale van hierdie loodse. Hul ondervindings word op gesaghebbende wyse oorgedra met akkuraatheid, humor en patos, deur die skrywer wat self 'n Vlammie was.


Ray Ball, SAM publications September 2009

This is the story of an aircraft, its pilots, the men and women who cared for them and the impact that aircraft made during a critical time in South Africa's history. The story starts in the early 1970s with the Mirage F1 being chosen by South Africa as the best aircraft to meet the needs of its Air Force. Two derivatives were chosen: The Mirage F1AZ was a true South African variant, with enhanced navigation and ground attack capabilities. It differed from standard Mirage F1s having a revised nose cone, housing a retractable in flight refuelling probe, laser rangefinder and differed in appearance by being narrower with an under-slung pitot tube. This version would serve with 1 Squadron SAAF. The Mirage F1CZ was very similar to the Mirage F1C of the Armee de l'Air and in 1975 these were delivered to 3 Squadron SAAF at Waterkloof. They would specialise in air combat. As the Border war intensified, both squadrons were drawn into the conflict. The Author, at the age of 42 and having already had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm flying Sea Venoms, Sea Vixens, Phantoms and Hunters, found himself appointed Commander of 1 Squadron and in the thick of the action. That is another plus to the book. It is part biographical and the points are illustrated by personal experience and not just a list of historical events. The book introduces us to the characters of the Mirage force, pilots like Major Johan Rankin who scored the first MiG kill, shooting down an MiG 21 with his Mirage F1CZ cannons, in November 1981. He was to repeat his success in October the following year. Ample detail is devoted to the aircraft itself, colour schemes and markings, weapon types and loads, with lots of photographs including an excellent colour section. At the beginning of the book the author writes " Both the AZ and the CZ derivatives of the Mirage F1 were beautiful aircraft " He is right and this book is ample testament to its capabilities. Highly recommended - it has certainly given me a new modelling subject.

 
 
Vredefort Dome
Vredefort Dome

A Southbound Pocket Guide

Author:
David Fleminger

R69.95

Vredefort Dome

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Bob Truda, Indwe September 2009

Lying 120 km southwest of Johannesburg, Vredefort Dome is part of a massive meteorite impact that dates back an astonishing 2.023 million years. It is unique in that it is the largest, most deeply eroded and oldest meteorite impact site yet found on Earth. "Hire a guide for the day to take you through the Dome, as many of the best attractions are tucked away on private farms," recommends Fleminger. He also suggests doing an outdoor activity such as kayaking on the Vaal River, to truly appreciate the beauty of the landscape.

Kim Shaw - Style Magazine December 2006

Proud heritage. With the recent declaration of the Vredefort Dome near Parys as a UNESCO Heritage Site, South Africa is now home to seven such sites, the others being Robben Island, Cradle of Humankind, Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas. For those wanting to know more, the seven handy pocket guides are perfect for exploring each site. Packed with information, the guides vary from 144 to 208 pages and include maps and full colour photographs.they're easy to slip into your luggage and will make you even keener to travel locally.


Melanie Reeder, Longevity December 2008

These guides will make handy travel companions if you're anywhere near one of South Africa's official UNESCO World Heritage sites this holiday. There are seven guides available, written by expert travel authors and photo-journalists, including Robben Island, St. Lucia Wetland Park, uKhahlamba-Drakensburg Park and the Cradle of Humankind to name a few. The guides may be small, but they're literally jam-packed with information, from the fauna and flora and history of the area, to where to stay and useful websites to visit. There are also beautiful photographs and useful detailed maps, making these guides holiday must-haves for an informed and more enjoyable trip.

 
 

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Watershed
Watershed

Angola and Mozambique: A Photo-History:

Author:
Wilf Nussey

R250.00

Watershed

The Portuguese Collapse in Africa, 1974–1975

Watershed:

A superb record of an important and watershed period in the history of Southern Africa. Anyone who wants a "snap-shot" of "The Portuguese Collapse in Africa," that is accompanied by uncensored photographs then this is the book to get.

A photographic record by journalists of the ground-breaking Argus Africa News Service, and commentary by Wilf Nussy, editor of the AANS. This is a powerful record through the lens of these journalists who risked their lives to record the moments that changed the political landscape of Southern Africa. Review by The Balsak (Renato Palmi)


Watershed:

Angola and Mozambique - A Photo-History: The Portuguese Collapse in Africa, 1974-1975

Review: Mark Levin

The Mercury - 12 September 2014

The liberation wars in Angola and Mozambique were dramatically changed on April 25, 1974, when coup d'état in Portugal toppled the dictatorship of Marcello Caetano. Overnight, the wars in Portuguese Africa ended as the new government prepared to grant independence to its colonies. Indirectly, the collapse of the Portuguese empire had a marked impact on the struggle for majority rule in Rhodesia and South Africa. The end of Portuguese rule did not bring peace; rather bitter civil wars erupted in both former colonies. Whites fled in their thousands, some to Brazil, but most came to South Africa. This pivotal period is covered in Watershed. The author Wilf Nussey, was head of the Argus Africa News Service (AANS), which was at the forefront of the news coverage for nearly two years. He has written a highly readable text which accompanies a treasure trove of black and white photographs. If only the publishers had met same standards. Look beyond a weak cover; photos which awkwardly straddle part of a second page, an a text with insufficient margins. Nussey and the AANS photographers evoke the loss, vulnerability, horror and human tragedy of the period as never before. Initially, the Polana Hotel's famous buffet lunches went on unchanged (while corpses lay in city streets). But "within weeks it was as starved shadow of its former self". Such was the standard of the AANS, that the haunting quality of many of the photographs will remain with the reader long after the book has been closed.


The beginning of the end of white rule in southern Africa

Trevor Grundy

15 June 2015

Trevor Grundy reviews Wilf Nussey's 'Watershed: Angola and Mozambique -The Portuguese Collapse in Africa'

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING

Watershed: Angola and Mozambique - The Portuguese Collapse in Africa, 1974-1975

By Wilf Nussey (30 degrees South Publishers, South Africa/ Helion and Company UK)

Soon it will be the 40th anniversary of Mozambique's Independence (June 25). A few months later comes the 40th anniversary of Angola's (November 11) and the 50thanniversary of Ian Smith's UDI (same day but 10 years earlier). Expect a tsunami of books telling you what it was like to be there written by people who weren't. It's a new century but still we can't get enough about the Cold War years in Africa. Even if you've read Fred Bridgland's 'Jonas Savimbi - A Key to Africa' (Mainstream Publishing, 1986), devoured the writings of Michael Wolfers and Jane Bergerol in 'Angola in the Front Line' (Zed Books, 1983), flicked through the pages of' 'The Battle for Mozambique' by Stephen A. Emerson (30 Degrees South) or 'The Struggle for Mozambique' by Eduardo Mondlane, 'Portugal's Fifty Years of Dictatorship' by Antonio de Figueiredo and 'Portuguese Africa and the West' by William Minter (the last three all published by Penguin Books in 1969, 1975 and 1972 respectively) and waded your way through 'The Cuban Intervention in Angola 1965-1991: from Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale' by Edward George (Frank Cass, 2005) and Victoria Brittain's 'Death of Dignity' (Pluto Press, 1998) there remains an insatiable desire to know more. Much more. Why do we know so little? Robin Hallett (he worked on the staff of the University of Cape Town and before that was at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at Oxford University) hit the nail on the head when he spoke about official cover-ups. Take for on example a subject that continues to intrigue readers of Politicsweb and other media outlets - South Africa's intervention in Angola 1975-1976. Hallet says that there still hangs around this earthquake of a moment "an official smoke screen, a deliberately created miasma, the product partly of stringent censorship, partly of government denials - or, to put the matter more bluntly and starkly, simple lies - about actions well authenticated by reliable observers." In an article published in 'African Affairs' ( Volume 77, Issue 308) on the South African Intervention in Angola 1975-1976 Hallett writes: "The process of deliberate obfuscation was not confined to one side. If no correspondents were ever permitted to see the South Africans in action, it was equally true that no journalists, however sympathetic their reports, were ever allowed to visit the front-line of the Cubans and the MPLA, and indeed for a long time the government in Luanda described the Cubans, even when the number of troops was well known to have swollen to several thousands, as being present only in the capacity of 'advisors.' " An editorial ( January 27, 1976) in 'The Guardian' said that "the British newspaper reader still knows far more about the South African involvement in Angola than do the South African families whose men have been fighting there." Commented James Macmanus, that paper's Africa correspondent about the South African invasion of Angola in October 1975 - "No Western journalist has yet seen a shot fired in anger in this extraordinary campaign. The presence of regular troops from South Africa and Cuba . . . has prevented any objective journalist from making an on the spot assessment of the military situation." So expect a round of applause for Wilf Nussey, a writer better known in South Africa than Britain. He has shed a little more light rather than a great deal more heat on a perplexing subject that simply won't go away. Nussey is the well-respected former editor of Argus Africa News Service (AANS). He points readers towards a maze far more complicated than the one Henry V111 chased his various wives around at Hampton Court. Here is an African maze where the entrances are monitored by little men with big guns who usurped the roles of European chiefs and bwanas following the collapse of the long-established Portuguese Empire in Africa so soon after the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon on April 25, 1975. The author became a household name in South Africa and since his retirement after being in the field for over 40 years- all but four of those spent in Africa - is recognized as a disinterested observer of Africa as it was then, as it is now. The book makes no attempt to tell stories about the early days of Portugal's colonial adventures in Africa. For those, you must look elsewhere. A thorough knowledge of the Portuguese language is advisable. Instead, he starts at what Winston Churchill would have called the beginning of the end - April 25, 1974 and, in the author's words, "the military coup that toppled the dictatorship in Portugal and with it, the world's last colonial empire. This single event would result in 16 years of mounting strife that would wreck much of southern Africa, ruin entire countries, stain it with the blood of hundreds of thousands, create widespread hunger, poverty and anger and leave a legacy of problems that hang still like a hail cloud over the future stability of the sub-continent." It saw the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Europeans to Portugal, South America, countries in the Commonwealth, the then Rhodesia and, of course, Angola's giant neighbor and one time protector, South Africa. Nussey tells how a collection of ultra-conservative Portuguese politicians, generals, landowners and business people tried to hold back a wave of Uhuru that rolled down from West Africa towards Central and Eastern Africa in the 1960s. Ian Smith attempted to block the wave's advance with his UDI in November 1965. In those days there were very few -even in the ANC - who believed South Africa would ever fall. South Africa's strength lay in its gold and with its soldiers, sailors and airmen not to mention its secret agents - there were tens of thousands of them, some of them not all that secret, either. April 25 so utterly changed the situation for Portugal, its African colonies, Rhodesia, South West Africa and South Africa. Portugal was broke. Its soldiers angry, confused, ready to stick a carnation down the barrels of their guns and anything else they could lay their hands on up the backsides of their out of touch political and military leaders. "In early 1974," Nussey writes, "I was able to write in several South African newspapers that the Portuguese forces in Mozambique were showing distinct symptoms of despondency, alarm and a severe version of morale." By the 1970s, the wars in their colonies were swallowing about 40 percent of their national budget. But as we all know, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, especially when there's millions of dollars to be made in the armaments industry. As for human lives - Africans or Europeans -who much cares? Nussey remembers: "I once saw a Boeing 737 offload conscripts arriving at Porto Amelia (Pemba) in the far north in dark, mottled-green camouflage uniforms, still so new and unwashed they were stiff. The boys, for that's what they were, had been flown up from Lourenco Marques or Beira, where they had arrived direct from Lisbon and did not know which end of the world was where. They were transferred straight into battered Nord Atlas transport, so heavily loaded many had to sit atop their luggage, and were flown into the hot, humid, armed bush camp of Mueda, whose airstrip had been mortared only the night before. The change from the placid cities and villages of Portugal must have been mind-numbing." In what seemed to be for those who lived there at the time a matter of moments, the acceptable face of Portuguese colonialism in Africa changed, with Samora Machel (FRELIMO) taking power, almost un-opposed, in June 1975. As much as he personally detested Robert Mugabe, Machel allowed the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) to operate inside his country and launch guerrilla strikes against Rhodesia. But Mozambique's independence on June 25 (1975) didn't signal peace. Soon after Mozambique's independence, South Africa was covertly supporting a serious challenge to FRELIMO in the shape of the Rhodesia-initiated Mozambique National Resistance Movement (RENAMO). That war went on for 15 years with South Africa helping (economically) and harming (militarily) Portugal's freshly liberated quasi-Marxist states. In Angola, three warring "freedom" movements, Augustino Neto's MPLA, Holden Robert's FNLA and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA fought one another like so many rival Mafia-led gangs in New York street fights. The MPLA was backed by the Soviet Union and the Cubans: the FNLA originally by the Chinese and then the Americans and finally Savimbi who was supported by a most unlikely coalition of interests, the CIA in USA, by Kaunda in Zambia and by the South African military when P.W. Botha was President - a man clearly disliked (very much) by the author. The Cold War was raging hot in southern Africa. During this time, Nussey and his team were trying to make sense of it all from their temporary bases in Luanda, Lorenco Marques, Salisbury, Lusaka and Johannesburg. Two days before Angolan's Independence he had to leave Luanda in a hurry. "I had been marked outside the Tropico Hotel by a group of MPLA youth. 'That's the South African,' one said in Portuguese, pointing at me. The message was obvious: get the hell out of here. This was no place for South Africans while their countrymen were attacking. I left that afternoon." A wise move. It was hard in those days to tell who would and who would not tolerate the presence of white observers. Says Nussey: "You never knew who you might bump into on a Luanda street at this time. UNITA, MPLA or FNLA. They all wore similar or sometimes the same uniforms and some had Portuguese kit given to them by the troops. Their weapons were the same - almost all from the Eastern bloc, though UNITA had some NATO firearms. " Part of the particular value of Nussey's book is the way he describes the mood of the departing Portuguese. They left in their thousands. The pictures show in this book lost and lonely men, women and children, some of them weeping in doorways, looking with fear at planes while their children sit numb by suitcases as officials search their parents' luggage for hidden knives, hidden guns. Nussey writes: "Many Portuguese had already packed up their bags and gone. The wealthier suburbs were shrinking as residents left with all their moveable possessions they could ship out and locked their doors behind them with no hope of selling their homes. Those remaining made a show of going about their business and the city-centre shops and sidewalk cafes were busy, There was only one subject or discussion over the coffee cups: how to escape the collapsing world around them . . . So jittery were Luanda whites that when two Africans entered a Portuguese carpenter's shop and asked to see the owner, the owner excused himself, fetched a shotgun and shot both men dead." And this: "Angola was seeing the biggest human evacuation by air, sea and road in African history. Portuguese civilians were feeling en masse. Abandoning their homes, people streamed into Luanda from outlying villages and farms in trucks, cars, tractors and trailers heaped with luggage - caravans of fear. They ran the gauntlet of trigger-happy rebels for hundreds of kilometers. Many people further away from Luanda headed for their nearest border." Those who want to see the speedy departure of South Africa's remaining whites should remember that when Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980, Samora Machel told him not to make the mistake he'd made and the mistake Agostinho Neto had made. He told Mugabe to keep his white population. If he did not, the country - he called it the 'Jewel of Africa' - would fall to pieces. Political power means little unless it walks hand in hand with economic power and when countries abandon their own currencies - Zimbabwe the latest - and adopt the currencies of former enemies then the independence racket is over. "Give me the power to issue a nation's money, then I do not care who makes the law," said the financier Anselm Rothschild. One of the best parts of this intriguing book deals with how the South African public was treated by the South African Government as South African troops stormed into Angola with the approval of not only the President of America, the CIA and the Congo's Mobutu but also Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Nussey says that Newsweek's Andy Jaffe was the first Western reporter to have it confirmed that the South African Army was inside Angola. "He spoke to Portuguese soldiers evacuated to Luanda from the south. They said that the men who seized Sa da Bandeira were South African regular troops, men in armoured cars backed by infantry who, within days, captured the ports of Mocamedes, Lobito and Benguela and some inland centres." When Nussey and his team reported this astonishing and spectacular intervention "not a word of it appeared in our newspapers, unknown to those of us in Luanda because no-one had told us about the censorship, They used our reports but carefully omitted direct mention of South African involvement." Silence ruled then. To a large extent it rules now, especially in Zambia where Kenneth Kaunda and his secretive political adviser Mark Chona have not yet uttered a word to explain why they supported Savimbi for so long and why they gave their full approval for the South African invasion of Angola. The deal was discussed in detail between Prime Minister John Vorster and Kenneth Kaunda on the train parked in the middle of the Victoria Falls Bridge on August 25, 1975. Talks about Zimbabwe's independence on that train- full of cynical whites at one end and drunken blacks at the other - was so much waffle, to keep the world's press chasing yet another red herring cured in Pretoria and Lusaka. Their explanation is needed. Kaunda and Chona owe it to themselves, they owe it to Zambians and they owe it to history. Towards the end of this excellent book there's a striking picture (taken by an AANS photographer but who exactly, Nussey does not say) of a straight-backed African child sitting on a chair. He is alone. He is dignified. He is poor. There is a gun across his lap. The caption reads: "He has a pellet gun, he has cartridges although they are for a shotgun. He has pride. That was all the MPLA gave this young man: no future." If still alive, that boy -now a man- is an Angolan citizen. Maybe he climbed the greasy pole and is today an oil millionaire But without relatives (The African Law of Relativity) I doubt it. He's more than likely to be one of Angola's out of work, angry and frightened povo for whom hundreds of thousands of men and women were slaughtered between the 1960s and the end of February 2002 when the CIA killed Jonas Savimbi. He was no longer useful to the Americans or the men behind the government of South Africa. .The MPLA serves their purposes well enough. When you're tired and hungry and frightened, there's little time to reflect on dreams ("I have spread my dreams under your feet/ Tread softly because you tread on my dreams" wrote the Irish poet WB Yeats) or be mesmerized by the ins and out, the squabbles, the intrigues and the murders of a long gone and, for the young of Africa, unlamented epoch. But for those who have time and the money to remember and to dream - here's a book for you.

 
 
West of the Moon
West of the Moon

Early Zululand and a game ranger at war in Rhodesia

Author:
Ron Selley

R250.00

West of the Moon

From colonial northern Zululand to ...

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Weep for Africa

A Rhodesian Light Infantry Paratrooper’s Farewell to Innocence

Author:
Jeremy Hall

R250.00

Weep for Africa

 

-Don Kevilus

(ex-US Army and -French Foreign Legion)"Amazing . a brilliant storyteller who touches the essence of being a line trooper from someone that has been there and back . a rare individual that can put that experience into the written word. I tip my hat."

Weep For Africa By Jeremy Hall

Review by Shelagh Nation

The author, leaving Africa finally and returning to his adoptive home in Canada, weeps angry tears for "what it had been, could have been, what it is now; its future so unknown, what it should be and is not." The tale of Jeremy Hall's early years in Africa is told harshly and with no holds barred, in a style so direct that he seems to be simply telling his story to a friend, probably over a beer. The author, leaving Africa finally and returning to his adoptive home in Canada, weeps angry tears for "what it had been, could have been, what it is now; its future so unknown, what it should be and is not." The tale of Jeremy Hall's early years in Africa is told harshly and with no holds barred, in a style so direct that he seems to be simply telling his story to a friend, probably over a beer. Hall was a privileged child of a well-to-do family dominated by a short-tempered father, given to political ranting, who showed little affection for his son, and was outspokenly contemptuous of the local Zulus and other blacks. Born in 1954, Hall spent most of his childhood in the farming Midlands of Natal, first near Mooi River and then in the sugarcane growing area of Eshowe, finally completing his schooling at Kearsney College in Durban. Of this establishment he writes "Despite the bullying, I have nothing but admiration for Kearsney College." And then, at eighteen, 'still skinny and beardless,' he faced compulsory conscription into the South African military service, to the Danie Theron Combat School. His description of the contempt for the 'Engelsmanne' by the Afrikaans speaking instructors and trainees at the School, of the foul language of the instructors, of their clear aim to break down the morale of the trainees, and of the minimal actual combat training provided, may raise some eyebrows; but as the mother of four sons who were conscripts in the mid-seventies, I can vouch for the absolute accuracy of his detailed description, almost word for word. He survived the course largely because of his determination to endure whatever came his way but also because of his fitness; he had since childhood run long distances every day. In the last three days of the course, coincidentally on his nineteenth birthday, he established that he had also become an outstanding shot, the top dog of his group - but until this was disclosed in this book, he told nobody of his achievement. After abandoning a course in Graphic Design in the second year of study, and persuaded by a Rhodesian friend, the disillusioned and unsettled young man signed up in 1976 for a three-year stint with 2 Commando The Rhodesian Light Infantry, (RLI) as a paratrooper with this crack airborne unit. For the next three years he would see almost continuous service on Fire Force operations and cross-border raids, including the 1977 Rhodesian attack on ZANLA's Chimoio base. It is, understandably, his time with the RLI that forms the major part of the book. His experiences in the RLI, including some gut-wrenching episodes, and some hilarious ones, are set down with clarity and honesty, leaving judgement to the reader.On the last of his visits to South Africa to attend the memorial service for his mother, in 2013, he was subjected to a typical South African burglary, and now he says he will never return. A loner by nature, his sensitive appreciation of his surroundings is evident in his writing, in spite of often hostile circumstances. From his Natal-based almost colonial lifestyle through his many life-changing experiences in Africa, he has been able to stand back, to remember, to consider and to set down in writing a host of these memories - and to set aside others. This is an extremely well written book that 'tells it like it is' and as a result it is difficult to put down and impossible to forget.


Weep For Africa By Jeremy Hall


Jeremy Hall's book traverses the 1960s family life style on Natal, the exploits at a prestigious private boarding school steeped in British ways to his army experience in South Africa and eventually Rhodesia. His memories of the family farm, coastal holiday cottage in Natal and how whites lived, treated blacks and were influenced by the ruling party and the fear of the Red Tide provides a very personal insight into this historical period of South Africa's history. From a somewhat sheltered environment he is dramatically catapulted into a new world, the world of the South African Defence Force, where the Afrikaner rules. His experience is typical of many English privileged South Africans, who enjoyed the rules and systems of Apartheid, but, when it came to give ones duty to that very system they contested it. Aimless, Hall, ends-up in Rhodesia where a family friend suggests he join the army and it here that the foundations and character-building take place that will shape and influence him throughout his life. From close combat, aliens on the Zambezi River, to a close encounter with a leopard and troop of monkeys, Hall has many adventures in the bush and whist on R & R. His reconstruction of the colloquial forms of conversations of the soldiers he fights with provides an insightful perceptive that those who fought were just ordinary young men thrown into a brutal environment. The book ends with Hall experiencing crime in post 1994 South Africa. However, he is able to escape the reality that many South Africans both black and white experience and returns to his new homeland- Canada. The title of his book alludes to the feeling that Hall maybe misses the old ways of Africa. A personal account, Weep for Africa is just one of many biographies that recount the Rhodesian war. He was not an officer, general, or gallant solider, just a corporal doing his duty.


Ed Coey

Dear Mr. Hall: I have just finished reading Weep for Africa and wanted to let you know how deeply moving the experience was. Some books are way more than just literature--they speak to the soul and are carried in our memories. Such is your book. Surely, for this cause you were born. Not for nothing did God have you survive so many brushes with death. I consider it a privilege to have been able to meet you (back in 2008), especially now that I know so much more about your life and those three years of gut-wrenching sacrifice. Of course, I was only in Rhodesia one time, for my brother's funeral. I remember my father and I were taken for a visit to a Tribal Trust Land as a guest of the local TTL official (forget his title). Several thousand tribesmen were gathered on a plain with numerous makeshift booths surrounding an open rectangle where a furious soccer game was in progress. We were the only Whites around, and it felt a bit overwhelming, boomboxes booming etc. Our host was unarmed; he carried only a swagger stick. It seems impossible that within five years from that time the country would be handed over on a plate to its enemies in a process that cancelled out every sacrifice that the troopies had made over the years. Maybe that is why one of the great highlights of your story is the account of the Braveheart-like mooning of the pimps of the press by the runway. That needs to be told and retold! (By the way, I am glad you included humor in your work. Who can forget the story of farting the national anthem?!) Someone said, I forget who, that the epitaph for the Americans who fought in Vietnam should be, "We were never defeated. We were always betrayed." The same is true for the Rhodesian Veterans. At least by writing their story you have preserved for them a living and fitting memorial which I hope will always be preserved for future generations to appreciate.

 
 
What a Boykie

The John Berks Story

Author:
Robin Binckes

R295.00

What

 

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Winds of Destruction
Winds of Destruction

The  autobiography of a Rhodesian combat pilot

Author:
P.J.H. Petter-Bowyer

R350.00

Winds of Destruction

OUT OF STOCK

Winds of Destruction is a unique account of one man’s service in the Rhodesian Air Force

 

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Wings Over Ogaden
Wings Over Ogaden

Africa @ War Series

- Volume 18

Author:
Tom Cooper

R195.00

 

Military History / African Studies

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Z

 
Zambezi Valley Insurgency
Zambezi Valley Insurgency

Early Rhodesian Bush War Operations Africa@War Volume 5

Author:
Dr JRT
Wood

R195.00

Zambesi Valley Insurgency

Across Africa in the post-1956 era, the aspirations of African nationalists to ...

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world. Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s. Keep up the good work. Best regards Russell A. Burgos

 
 
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This page contains information about Books published by 30 Degrees South Publishing Company, South Africa history, South African memoirs

 

Books published by 30 Degrees South Publishing Company, South Africa history, South African memoirs

 

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