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I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


SA army gave intelligence to Mugabe
May 2, 2008

(JOHANNESBURG, The Sunday Times) - Top-secret military intelligence reports about Robert Mugabe’s political rivals are among a stash of documents handed over to his regime by the South African National Defence Force — shortly before the signing of a military pact between the two countries.

A detailed index of the documents — of which the Sunday Times has a copy — is contained in papers before the Pretoria High Court, where a prominent human rights organisation is fighting for access to them.

The classified documents were handed back to Zimbabwe in December 2004 shortly after a Johannesburg academic applied to view them.

The transfer was authorised by the then head of the armed forces, General Siphiwe Nyanda, on the grounds that the documents had been illegally obtained — and were therefore not South African property. No copies were made, according to an affidavit submitted to court.

The transferred documents — entitled Afdeling Militêre Inligting Group 4 (‘the Group 4 records’) — include files on informants who worked against Mugabe’s liberation movement, the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu), as well as a file entitled “Zanu Propaganda”.

There are also dozens of files on the Zimbabwean African People’s Union (Zapu), which was Mugabe’s main rival in the south of Zimbabwe before independence.

Other files cover operational matters ranging from interrogation to military manoeuvres. They originate from Rhodesian Military Intelligence records and cover a period from the early 1960s to the late 1970s.

Piers Pigou, director of the South African History Archive, who lodged the High Court application, said some of the files were “potentially deadly” if named informants were still alive. He said it was unclear where the files had ended up because there was no sign of them at the Zimbabwean national archives. He also asked why no copies had been made when similar documents returned to Namibia had been copied and stored on microfilm.

“We believe the politics of this is more about an attempt to curry favour with the Zimbabwe security and intelligence establishment,” Pigou said.

In its affidavit, his organisation says the Defence Department subverted “constitutional and legislative obligations” by transferring the documents — in part because they form part of South Africa’s archival heritage: “These records are valuable tools in researching and understanding the history of destabilisation in the region.”

The Department of Defence declined to comment this week, saying the matter was sub judice.

However, a court affidavit authorised by Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota claims the documents were handed over to avoid diplomatic “embarrassment” to South Africa and “in keeping with the archival principle that official government records remain the property of the originating country and its people”.

“The records … had been obtained unofficially by the military intelligence division of the South African Defence Force in 1980. These records were transferred to the department’s archives in 1993 along with a large number of military intelligence files for safekeeping,” the affidavit said.

The files were handed over to officials at the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria.

University of Cape Town historian Professor Chris Saunders said the files should never have been sent back without a copy being made.

“While most are about Zimbabwe’s history . .. there are also files relating to South Africa and Namibia. Among the latter are files on Swapo and the Caprivi,” Saunders said.

Monday, October 27, 2008



The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday passed the first reading of a government bill seeking to preserve the material heritage of the struggle for Mozambican independence.

The bill covers the archives of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), records in the possession of veterans of the independence war, the guerrilla bases of FRELIMO, and the FRELIMO schools, training camps and other installations in neighbouring countries.

It also seeks to preserve symbols of colonial oppression - records of the Portuguese colonial army, the main barracks of the colonial troops, and the political prisons operated by the Portuguese secret police, the PDE-DGS.

The bill defines this material heritage as "the inalienable property of the Mozambican state", and anybody who happens to be in possession of any of it, must inform the relevant authorities.

The bill instructs the government to identify all the significant sites related with the national liberation struggle, and put plaques or other markers there. They should be promoted as places of cultural and even tourist interest. Tourism of other economic activities involving former FRELIMO bases will enjoy tax exemptions.

State institutions are also instructed to promote research into the liberation struggle, and to ensure that the results of this research are published.

Introducing the bill, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Feliciano Gundana, stressed that the heritage of the independence war is scattered across Mozambique and abroad. "It is not known by most of the Mozambican people", he said, "because, ever since independence, this heritage of our collective memory has never been subjected to a consistent political and legal approach, seeking to value and preserve it".

This attempt to preserve a key part of modern Mozambican history should not have been remotely controversial. But the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition set out to manufacture a controversy, by demanding that the bill be extended to cover the period since independence, and include the heritage from what Renamo calls "the struggle for democracy", but what the ruling Frelimo Party, the direct descendant of the liberation front, describes as wars of destabilisation against Mozambique waged by the Rhodesian and apartheid regime.

Frelimo deputies saw this as a clear attempt to posit an immoral equivalence between the struggle to free the country, and the later struggle to destroy it, between those who fought against foreign rule, and those who fought on behalf of foreign powers.

"National independence is the greatest conquest of the Mozambican people", declared Frelimo deputy, Carlos Silia, himself a veteran of the liberation struggle. "You should never imagine that there were two independences".

There could be no comparison, he declared, between the liberation struggle and the war imposed on Mozambique by the apartheid regime. The war waged by Renamo at the behest of apartheid was "a story of massacres, of destruction of the economy, destruction of hospitals and schools, a war against the independence of the country".

Renamo deputies claimed the bill was unconstitutional, because the constitution mentions not only the struggle for national liberation, but also "the defence of sovereignty and democracy". Renamo imagines that this refers to its own war, but Frelimo has never interpreted mentions of democracy in the constitution as referring to Renamo, and has always classified the wars that raged from 1977 to 1002 as "wars of destabilisation".

Renamo deputy Luis Boavida threatened that, if the Assembly passed the bill, Renamo would ask the Constitutional Council to strike it down as unconstitutional.

"It's a waste of time passing something that's unconstitutional", declared his colleague Ismail Mussa, who demanded to know under which article of the constitution the Assembly could pass this bill.

That question was simplicity itself. Ali Dauto, the Frelimo deputy who chairs the Assembly's legal affairs commission, said the bill would be passed, like most laws, under Article 179 of the Constitution which gives the Assembly the power "to legislate on basic questions of the internal and external policy of the country".

In any case, the law covered a specific period in the country's history, with a cut-off date of 1975 - two years before Renamo had even been created.

When the vote was taken, the Assembly divided on party lines with the 149 Frelimo deputies present voting in favour of the bill, and the 61 Renamo deputies voting against.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The Mozambican Civil War began in 1975 following the war of independence. The ruling party, Front for Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), was violently opposed from 1977 by the Rhodesian, and later South African, funded Mozambique Resistance Movement (RENAMO). Over 900,000 died in fighting and from starvation, five million civilians were displaced, many were made amputees by landmines, a legacy from the war that continues to plague Mozambique.[1][2] Fighting ended in 1992 and the country's first multi-party elections were held in 1994.

1 Independence
2 Civil war begins
3 Notes
4 References

[edit] Independence
Mozambican resistance began to surface, as some groups within the Mozambican society eventually started to blame the Portuguese authorities for centuries of exploitation, oppression and neglect. After a successful wave of independence movements in other African territories, cold war powers and the international community started to suggest that Portugal should leave its territories in Africa. Sentiment for Mozambique's own national independence developed and on 25 June 1962 several Mozambican anti-Portuguese political groups formed the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Frelimo's first president was Eduardo Mondlane whose first objective was to forge a broad based insurgent coalition that could effectively challenge the colonial regime. Anonymous private contributors, many of them friends of Mondlane, financed or secured money for Frelimo's health, publicity, and educational projects, while military equipment and training came from Algeria, Soviet Union and China.

On September 25, 1964, Frelimo solders, with logistical assistance from the surrounding population, attacked the administrative post at Chai in the province of Cabo Delgado. This raid marked the beginning of the armed struggle against the Portuguese colonial regime. Frelimo militants were able to evade pursuit and surveillance by employing classic guerrilla tactics: ambushing patrols, sabotaging communication and railroad lines, and making hit-and-run attacks against colonial outposts before rapidly fading into accessible backwater areas. At the war's outset, Frelimo had little hope for a military victory; its hope lay in a war of attrition to compel a negotiated independence from Lisbon. Portugal fought its own version of protracted warfare. Had the military succeeded with a minimum of expenditure and casualties, the war could have remained undecided for much longer until FRELIMO's ultimate disbanding. In the early 1970s, Gordian Knot Operation and the following Portuguese campaigns were militarily successful in destroying guerrilla forces and support bases in the territory. But the expense in blood and treasure, not military defeat, was costly for Lisbon; the Portuguese army was never destroyed on the battlefield, although some of its officers were converted to Frelimo's communist ideology for Portugal.

On 25 April 1974 the authoritarian regime of Estado Novo had been overthrown in Lisbon, a move that was supported by many Portuguese workers and peasants. The Armed Forces Movement (Movimento das Forças Armadas) in Portugal pledged a return to civil liberties and an end to the fighting in all colonies (or the overseas provinces). The rapid chain of events within Portugal caught Frelimo, which had anticipated a protracted guerrilla campaign, by surprise. It responded quickly to the new situation and on 7 September 1974 won an agreement from the Armed Forces Movement to transfer power to Frelimo within a year. When this was made known to the public, several thousand of Portuguese people fled the newly-independent country and, as a result of the exodus, the economy and social organization of Mozambique collapsed. On June 25, 1975 Mozambique gained independence from Portugal. At the independence celebration, now President, Samora Machel warned that although the first phase in the struggle had been won, the young country still had to overcome illiteracy, disease, poverty, and economic dependence on other countries.

A couple of years later, Mozambican RENAMO rebels, armed and aided by South Africa, would start to fight against the Marxist-oriented Government of FRELIMO, which had come to power after Portugal granted its African overseas province independence in 1975.

[edit] Civil war begins
In 1977 a new resistance movement was formed called the Mozambique Resistance Movement (RENAMO). This force was formed to counter the Frelimo government and to disrupt the logistical flow of weapons to ZANLA guerrilla fighters based in Mozambique's border areas who were fighting against neighboring Rhodesia. After Rhodesia became Zimbabwe South Africa then became Renamo's chief sponsor. South Africa, just like Rhodesia before was determined to prevent guerrillas, this time from the African National Congress (ANC), from basing themselves in Mozambique. Renamo was led by Afonso Dhlakama.

The Gersony report, Summary of Mozambican Refugee Accounts of Principally Conflict-Related Experience in Mozambique, 'written by Robert Gersony for the U.S. State Department submitted on April 1988, reported that refugees provided eyewitness or other credible accounts about killings (from Renamo) which included shooting executions, knife/axe/bayonet killings, burning alive, beating to death, forced asphyxiation, forced starvation, and random shooting at civilians in villages during attacks. Mozambican civilians were Renamo's principal targets in the war, although they also attacked government installations and the economic infrastructure. Renamo were notorious for their use of child soldiers.

The Frelimo administration, led by President Machel, was economically ruined by Renamo's rebels. The military and diplomatic entente with the Soviet Union could not alleviate the nation's economic misery and famine. As a result, a reluctant President Machel signed a non-aggression pact with South Africa, known as the Nkomati Accord. In return, Pretoria promised to sever economic assistance in exchange for Frelimo's commitment to prevent the ANC from using Mozambique as a sanctuary to pursue its campaign to overthrow white minority rule in South Africa. The volume of direct South African government support for Renamo diminished after the Nkomati accord, but documents discovered during the capture of Renamo headquarters at Gorongosa in central Mozambique in August 1985 revealed continuing South African government communications along with military support for Renamo.

On 19 October 1986, Mozambique's first president, Samora Machel died when his presidential aircraft crashed near South Africa's border. An international investigation determined that the crash was caused by errors made by the flight crew. Machel's successor was Joaquim Alberto Chissano, who had served as foreign minister from 1975 until Machel's death. Chissano continued Machel's policies of expanding Mozambique's international ties, particularly the country's links with the West, and pursuing internal reforms.

In 1990, with the end of the cold war, and apartheid crumbling in South Africa, support for Renamo was drying up in South Africa and the United States, the first direct talks between the Frelimo government and Renamo were held. Frelimo's draft constitution in July 1989 paved the way for a multiparty system and in November 1990 a new constitution was adopted. Mozambique was now a multiparty state, with periodic elections, and guaranteed democratic rights. On 4 October 1992, the Rome General Peace Accords, negotiated by the Community of Sant'Egidio with the support of the United Nations, were signed in Rome between President Chissano and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, which formally took effect on the October 15, 1992. A UN peacekeeping force (ONUMOZ) of 7,500 arrived in Mozambique and oversaw a two year transition to democracy. 2,400 international observers also entered the country to supervise the elections held on October 27-28, 1994. The last ONUMOZ contingents departed in early 1995.

[edit] Notes
^ USAID. Mozambique
^ Scaruffi, Paul. War and genocides of the 20th century

[edit] References
Young, Lance S. 1991. Mozambique's Sixteen-Year Bloody Civil War. United States Air Force
Juergensen, Olaf Tataryn. 1994. Angonia: Why RENAMO?. Southern Africa Report Archive