Subtitle: And South Africa's Final Days in Namibia Author: Peter Stiff Publisher: Galago (1991) ISBN-10: 0620148748 ISBN-13: 9780620148740 Condition: Very Good Binding: Softcover Pages: 304 Dimensions: 24 x 16.6 x 1.6 cm
Weight: 0.4 kg
The 1st April 1989 marked the first day of peace in Namibia. After seemingly endless years of dispute between South Africa and the UN, after 23 years of bush warfare between SWAPO and the SADF, which had spread from Namibia into Angola and, at times, into Zambia, Namibia was finally on course for UN supervised free and fair elections in November 1989, which would lead to independence in 1990. The South Africans had stuck to the letter of the agreements and even more. By 1st April they had demobilised the powerful SWA Territory Force, drastically reduced the strength of the SADF and confined the residue still remaining in Namibia to their bases. When the Sun rose on that fateful day, it would catch the shadows of only five SAAF Alouette helicopter gunships, emasculated of their deadly cannons, and dispersed along 400-km of the Namibian border with Angola. SWAPOAs leader, Sam Nujoma, knew it, for the knowledge was international property via the UN. Nujoma had transmitted his written agreement to a cease fire to the UN Secretary-General in late March. But while smilingly professing he was for peace, he was treacherously behind the scenes preparing for war. More than 1,600 of his PLAN fighters, who should have long been removed to camps North of the 16th parallel by the Angolans and Cubans, under UN supervision, were massing in Angola along the Namibian border, heavily armed with everything from anti-tank to sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons. On the night 31 March -1 April, they surged over in what they obviously believed was an unstoppable wave. A wave which once it broke into pools, they believed, would be allowed by a weak UN to remain in Namibia and subvert the election by a brutal intimidation campaign. But they overlooked a wild card. It was a thin blue line of Koevoet policemen, whose heavy weapons had been removed from their fighting Casspirs in terms of the police plan. But what those policemen, mostly black with a sprinkling of white commanders, lacked in weaponry, they more than made up with sheer guts, fighting skills and undying courage. For nine bitter days until the signing of the Mt Etjo Agreement, they fought the SWAPO infiltrators to a standstill, in the closing stages with air force and military help, beating them hands down.