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Thread: sadf and border duties

  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    sadf and border duties

    let me start by saying i had moved on from this and got on with my life...a little while back i picked up a book and read a few pages from the book and it made me think back and remeber so of the experiences i had gone thru in angola and south west africa...

    i got my pronutro badge for the time of my life the sa goverment wasted...i was never a hero or with a so called operator or any of those kind of things...all i was was a young scared 17 year who was forced into a situation that i had no control over... sent to the border with no training...infantry etc all i had was a code 14 license to drive big trucks...which i had lied about and told them i had a code 8...nobody ever checked until i had to change it to the new EC license and the lady picked up that i had got my code 14 when i was only 17...i hadnt even finished my second phase of driver training and was randomly selected at the last minute because they were short of 7 go to the border...i did a crash course and was given my license within a day.

    the next day we were flown to grootfontein where we were issued samel 100s and rifles etc...we then headed to ondandwa airforce base...spent a a couple of days there loading and then it was off to ongiva in angola...were i spent 4 months driving buffels for protection units for the sappers and transported G5 rounds with the samel 100 further into angola during ops askari...during which time i turned 18 years old...once all the sadf troops pulled out of angola in febuary (dates and times might not be accurate because i am trying to remeber things which i had forgotten about for a long time)...once back in swa we were told that we would all be going home...unfortunately i was required to go back into angola to drive support for the JMC because 32 battalion were short of a couple of driver...and at the same time was promised that the drivers who went back in would get a special pass when we got back....i finally left angola when the jmc was completed and sent to opuwa to deliver goods to the recces and offer support driving once the time i got back from all these trips ...i had spent my entire 18th year of my life without seeing my family or friends and spent a lot of the time sleeping in a hole in the ground or under my vehicle...14 months had already passed i turned 19...spent 2 christmas and 2 new years and i had still not got to go home...unfortunatley for me when i finally got back to ondangwa airforce base after months away i was treated like a roofie because everyone thoughti was new on the border...i was badly beaten up by a group of ou manne who felt i needed to be taught a lesson for not polishing their shoes and other stuff they wanted me to do as a roofie...unforunately i didnt have the strength to just wake away...and did something which changed my life and was again punished...then sent home and made to hitch hike from the gate outside ondangwa...which took me 5 days to finally arrive back in durban...went back to finish the last couple months...

    then after all the time wasted on the border got to my local watering hole and got blown up inside magoos bar...

    no sooner had i got back to work and the 3 months camp call ups started...i spent months in the townships...year after when i hear people talk about their struggle... maybe they shold think at least it was for something they belived in...some of us didnt we were just forced to do what we were told.

    when i look at my son i only reialise how young i was...he was still young boy in school...because i left after std 8 i was called up within a couple of months of leaving school.

    the reason i started this thread was to point out to everyone that maybe we were not recces or 32 ...101...201...kovoet...etc heros who by the way did it as a job like you go to work everyday...thats what they did for a living and trained appropriately to handle the situations they were put in and debriefed when they were removed...we had no special treatment.

    we were just kids forced into something which i can assure you many would not repeat if given the choice...never assisted or councilled afterwards to deal with our experiences...we had a youngsters put the R1 rifle in his mouth and blow the top of his head off...we also had one shoot himself in the stomach and others after receiving letters from girlfriends or family...nobody talks about these things only the hero stuff...

    i take my hat off to everyone who spent months in the bush regardless of who or what you were...whether a sapper sweeping the rods or a gunman on a ratel...just the fact that you were put in the situation you were and the hardships we endured...i salute you all...and hope you managed to overcome the challenges you faced when you returned home..

    we joke about the dear johnny letters but those letters cost people their lives and i am sure there are some women out there who still regret ever sending them not realising the impact it was gona have on someones life.

    if there was one thing i could go back and change in my life it would be my national service...i wouldnt have done has caused pain for my childrens lives.

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    Dave S (01-Nov-10)

  3. #2
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Cape Town
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    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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