The South African War

So much is known and heard about the American and British wars

So Little is written  about the South African war

Vasbyt Boetie! Was the slogan as

The boys of Greenside High, a “Good” school according to Madiba

On his visits there

Were conscripted to the South African Defence Force

Some (a lucky few) were assigned to the Police Force for three years instead

And therefore got assigned to urban police stations instead

Of the Navy in Cape Town or 7 SA Infantry battalion

In Phalaborwa in the Northern Transvaaal

As I was.

How weird – one of my Greenside “choms” was a runner

And he volunteered for the parabats who used to see action

Up on the border, whereas the plain old infantry

Were usually assigned to township duty as

This was the riotous eighties.

I skipped the country and the draft.

Why don’t more people write about their experiences

During that dirty war?

You can read “The Bang-Bang Club” but that is written by a journalist.

4 comments
  1. I’m a South African. Guess a little dirty war at the bottom end of Africa just isn’t as interesting. Congrats on stepping out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm. “Everything’s grey, it’s all grey! They want the last laugh but they can’t find the way!” Dog Detachment. Yes I’m a Japie too, from way back….to the average black S African, the whole white S African, call-up duty, border war thing – some of the conflicts and the white guilt are ridiculus and some very serious, I believe. I went to a school with some characters….a film of such interactions would be a strange one, child-like and yet, full-blown. Do you know what I mean – in an English speaking school in the heart of Johannesburg this time, and not a “Villagers” send-up.

      Like

      • If only someone would get real about it! Difficult times to live in South Africa – again! Aaargh!!

        Like

      • Maybe Herman Charles Bosman kind of real? With a healthy dash of Lesego Rampolokeng!

        Like

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