Coming to terms with the "Border War" in post-apartheid South Africa

Baines, G. (2008) Coming to terms with the "Border War" in post-apartheid South Africa. In: National Arts Festival, Winter School Lecture, 26 June - 05 July 2008, Grahamstown, South africa. (Unpublished)




[from introduction] If you are a white, male South African between the ages of about 35 and 60 it is very likely that you donned the nutria brown uniform of the South African Defence Force (SADF). Between 1967 and 1994 approximately 300 000 young white males were conscripted by the SADF. As far as most of these conscripts were concerned, there was no option other than heeding the call-up and performing national service or diensplig. Failure to do so meant harsh penalties. The alternatives were to object on conscientious (actually religious) grounds and face a six year jail sentence, or flee the country. And the obligation did not end with national service as conscripts were assigned to citizen force or commando units that were liable for periodical call-ups for camps that might have included deployment in the “operational areas” from 1974 or tours of duty in the black townships from 1984. Those - like myself - belonging to this national service generation were part-time soldiers for much of their adult lives. Most served willingly, some with patriotic fervour. Others did so reluctantly and with little enthusiasm.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Border War; Grensoorlog; conscription; national service; meaning; remembrance; experience; grensliteratuur; South Africa; Namibia; Angola; South-West Africa; South African Defence Force; SADF;
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > History
ID Code:1023
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:14 Jul 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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