[This is a fascinating analysis done in 1973 when we Rhodesians were once again on top of our game and had smashed the blacks. Shortly after this, it was actually Vorster of South Africa who pulled the plug on Rhodesia by insisting on the release of black leaders like Mugabe and Nkomo. This pressure came from the Jew Henry Kissinger on to S.Africa and thereby on to us.
There is a lot of interesting stuff here which shows how long ago the conflict between the blacks and whites in Rhodesia began – i.e. it started in 1957. So the whites were able to hold the blacks down for quite a long time, before things finally unravelled in 1974. Thereafter it was on the fast track downwards.
A particularly interesting part of the analysis is this from the conclusion: “but the appearance of a radical black Mozambique could constitute a serious threat to white control in Rhodesia and South Africa. The loss of Mozambique in this way might very well compel South Africa to abandon her preferred strategy of relying on economic pressures and incentives for the purpose of neutralizing neighbouring black states, for one of military confrontation; the loss of Angola, on the other hand, where security considerations would be less immediate, would not necessarily destroy South African attempts to obtain a measure of regional stability through economic aid and diplomatic persuasion. “
The interesting thing is that Angola was of little strategic interest to South Africa EXCEPT for the fact that German South West Africa (Namibia), was under the rule of South Africa. The more I have thought about it, the more ridiculous it was that South Africa ever fought in Angola because Angola really had no importance to South Africa.
Its something I’ll need to delve into, as to why South Africa ever got involved in Angola. It was a big waste of resources. But it was also done in the belief that whites needed to support “good blacks” who are on the side of the West, which in truth turned out to be total rubbish. Jan]
NUMBER ONE HUNDRED
Insurgency in Rhodesia, 1957-1973:
An Account and Assessment
by Anthony R. Wilkinson
THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
18 ADAM STREET LONDON WC2N 6AL
ADELPHI PAPER NO. 100
Anthony R. Wilkinson was born and educated in Rhodesia and studied Politics and History at University College, Swansea from 1967 to 1970. In the following year he fulfilled National Service obligations in Rhodesia during which he was commissioned. He is now engaged in graduate studies in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The author would like to express his appreciation to Professor Jack Spence, Mr Hugh Hanning and Mr James Mayall for their helpful suggestions on both the form and content of this Paper; to Mr Francois Duchene and other members of the IISS staff for their advice and assistance; and especially to his wife for her constant help and encouragement.
Additional copies of this Paper may be ordered from the Institute at a cost of 35p ($I) each, post free.
First published Autumn 1973
The International Institute for Strategic Studies was founded in 11958 as a centre for the provision of information on and research into the problems of international security, defence and arms control in the nuclear age. It is international in its Council and staff and in its membership, which is drawn from over fifty countries. It is independent of governments and is not the advocate of any particular interest.
The Institute is concerned with strategic questions – not just with the military aspects of security but with the social and economic sources and political and moral implications of the use and existence of armed force:-in other words with the basic problems of peace.
The Institute’s publications are intended for a much wider audience than its own membership and are available to the general public on special subscription terms or singly.
(C) The International Institute for Strategic Studies 1971
Chou En-lai, when visiting Somalia in February 1964, stated that ‘revolutionary prospects throughout the African continent are excellent’. Now some ten years later there appears to be military stalemate between the liberation movements in Angola, Guinea (Bissau) and Mozambique and the 150,000 or more troops maintaining Portuguese rule in those territories. South Africa remains relatively unscathed by such insurgent activity, although she has recently become concerned at the increasing military effectiveness of the insurgents in Namibia (South West Africa), an area she continues to administer in defiance of United Nations’ rulings. For the last decade Rhodesia has been faced with recurrent periods of insurgency which have varied in their seriousness.
Rhodesia’s political and geographical position (see map, pp. 23-24) gives her a particular strategic importance in the confrontation between white and black in southern Africa. Together with Botswana, Rhodesia provides the most direct physical access into the Republic of South Africa regarded by her enemies as the powerhouse of the whole system of white supremacy. From a political viewpoint it seems improbable that white Rhodesia, unlike South Africa, has either the human or material resources to sustain for any considerable time the luxury of racial privilege dependent upon a system of social and political discrimination; and unlike the situation in Angola and Mozambique, there is no metropolitan power which might agree to come to terms with local realities -even if this took the form of a Portuguese-trained black administration, rather than the leadership of the nationalist guerrilla movements. In chapter VI some possible implications of these contrasting situations are considered.
Since space does not permit detailed attention to the political and social background1 my purpose here is primarily confined to tracing the beginnings and subsequent development of political violence in Rhodesia from the emergence of modern black nationalism to the present, and then to assess the Rhodesian situation in the wider context of the southern African conflict. By relating this account of political violence to aspects of established insurgency and counterinsurgency thinking it is possible to identify recognizable phases in the development of the conflict.
As Che Guevara wrote: ‘People must see clearly the futility of maintaining the fight for social goals within the framework of civil debate … Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.’2
The years 1957-65 in Rhodesia corresponded to such a constitutionalist phase, when representations to the ruling white minority and then to Britain, as the responsible power, failed to lead to the elimination of racial discrimination nation and transition to majority rule. Internal nationalist pressure and British influence did however lead to the white community in Rhodesia conceding in 1961 a reasonably moderate, multiracial Constitution which, after some initial hesitation, was rejected by the black nationalists as inadequate. Following 1961 nationalist policies aimed at bringing about British intervention and the implementation of an acceptable constitution, received a severe setback when Britain failed in November 1965 to prevent the white-supremacist Rhodesian Front Government’s illegal assumption of independence. Nineteen-sixty-six saw the first military encounters arising from the decision to embark on a campaign of insurgency warfare, although nationalist strategy appeared to be influenced by expectations of British or United Nations intervention as late as 1968.
In On the Protracted War, Mao Tse-tung identifies and analyses a three-stage progression towards total revolutionary warfare. During the strategic defensive the emphasis is on the political mobilization of the population before the initiation of guerrilla warfare limited to small defensive operations, i.e., for the protection of the guerrilla bands and their bases. At this stage the guerrillas avoid becoming involved in positional warfare. A condition of stalemate is achieved by retaining the tactical initiative and a quick victory is denied to the incumbent regime whose forces suffer from a fall in their morale. The guerrilla units are thus enabled to expand and consolidate, and towards the end of this stage it becomes possible for the first regular units to be formed as the strategic counteroffensive is reached. The national revolutionary army is then sufficiently strong to engage the forces of the incumbent regime in positional warfare, supplemented by guerrilla activities.
John Pustay, in Counter-Insurgency Warfare refers to a similar process when he describes insurgency as: ‘that composite conflict phenomenon which can be defined as the cellular development of resistance against an incumbent political regime and which expands from the initial stage of subversion-infiltration through the intermediate stages of overt resistance by small armed bands and insurrection to final fruition in civil war.’3
Mao Tse-tung was fortunate not to have to face the problems involved in building up a guerrilla force from scratch. He was able to use sections of the population already possessing some degree of military experience and political motivation. He did not, therefore, need to pay much attention to the initiatory stages of the strategic defensive. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, on the other hand, were not so fortunate. Che Guevara refers to these difficulties in his chapter on ‘Organization in Secret of the First Guerrilla Band’:
Almost all the popular movements undertaken against dictators in recent times have suffered from the same fundamental fault of inadequate preparation. The rules of conspiracy, which demand extreme secrecy and caution, have not generally been observed. The governmental power of the country frequently knows in advance about the intention of the group or groups .4
In Rhodesia, the period from the nationalist rejection of the 1961 Constitution to the 1965 unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) was characterized by what Pustay describes as ‘subversion-infiltration’ which was successfully contained by stringent legislation and effective police action based on advance intelligence about nationalist plans. During 1966-68 the nationalists appear to have attempted to move into the intermediate stage of ‘overt resistance’ without sufficient preparation. The premature use of large, externally-based, insurgent columns in what seemed more like ‘positional’ warfare rather than small-scale actions by guerrilla bands, greatly facilitated the mainly successful counter-insurgency operations of numerically superior and more mobile security forces. Insurgent activities in the first half of 1973 suggest that this bitter experience led to a re-appraisal of nationalist tactics and strategy, which show a careful political preparation of the local population and adoption of classic guerrilla ‘hit-and-run’ attacks by small locally-based groups.
I have in the main accepted official Rhodesian statements on security force and insurgent casualties as being closer to reality than the sometimes impossibly extravagant claims made by the nationalists. It would be extremely difficult for the Rhodesian authorities to conceal – at least from the small white community – such losses as the insurgents have claimed; these claims do, of course, have a propaganda effect which may, or may not, be counter-productive. They have certainly reinforced the contempt which many whites have for the nationalists. Also, if they were true, the Rhodesian Air Force would now have many fewer aircraft than is in fact the case.
Words like terrorist and freedom-fighter are inevitably contentious; in this Paper insurgent and counter-insurgent are used simply in a generic sense with no intended value-judgement. Other terms used are: guerrilla – an insurgent more or less firmly and permanently based inside the territory controlled by the regime he aims to overthrow; and security forces – the counterinsurgent equivalent of guerrillas, including the army, air force, police and civilian reserves based in, and operating in, the territory in support of the incumbent regime. Francois Chenu makes a useful functional distinction between commandos and guerrillas. Commandos operate from across a border and initially, at any rate, independently of the local population.5 In this Paper the term commando is also used in reference to agents of an incumbent regime operating against targets in territories giving sanctuary to insurgent organizations.
The events referred to in this Paper have been selected to illustrate some of the specific problems, as well as the general prospects, facing both the insurgent and the counter-insurgent forces.6 By using theoretical models of insurgency warfare it might be possible to recognize different stages in a particular conflict, although in reality there is often no clear demarcation between each stage. For instance the following survey describes incidents of ‘subversioninfiltration’ occurring between 1961 and 1965, a period when the ends of nationalist policy were still primarily constitutional. Equally, in 1973 an avowedly non-violent nationalist organization within Rhodesia is seen pressing for a negotiated solution, alongside the ‘overt resistance’ of small guerrilla bands of exiled nationalist organizations.
The collapse of the Central African Federation in 1963 marked the end of cautious attempts by the Prime Ministers, Garfield Todd and Sir Edgar Whitehead, to limit racial discrimination in Southern Rhodesia.7 The white-dominated Federation had been bitterly resented by black nationalists in Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia. The Southern Rhodesian African National Congress (SRANC) formed in September 1957 by an amalgamation of the old Bulawayo-based Congress and the more militant Youth League in Salisbury articulated the disaffection of much of the rural and urban black population at their almost total domination by the small resident white community. Taking advantage of this the SRANC made direct representations to the government demanding changes in unpopular legislation like the 1951 Native Land Husbandry Act.8
Disturbances in Southern Rhodesia coincided with incidents in Northern Rhodesia and violent protests in Nyasaland. Alleging SRANC complicity the Southern Rhodesian Government declared a State of Emergency and on 26 February 1959 banned the SRANC, arresting some five hundred of its members, and detaining over three hundred.
In 1960 the pent-up frustrations of the black population, especially in the larger towns, exploded in the worst outbreaks of violence since the late ninteenth century Ndebele and Shona revolts; eighteen Africans being shot dead by the police.9 Most whites were reluctant to acknowledge, or failed to appreciate, that much of this violence was the result of years of accumulated frustration and tension felt by the Africans. The standard view of the white community was that nationalist ‘agitators’ were the unwitting dupes, if not the conscious agents, of Communist powers intent on gaining a foothold in Central Africa; and harsh measures were introduced to control the outbreak of violent protests.10
The SRANC being declared illegal, a new organization, the National Democratic Party (NDP), was started in January 1960. The SRANC attempt to achieve basic constitutional reforms which would provide Africans with a meaningful share in the life of Southern Rhodesia had failed. While the SRANC policy had been one of exerting domestic pressure on the Government, the NDP attempted to combine internal opposition with intensive lobbying of British Government Ministers, in the hope that Britain might use her authority to impress on white Rhodesians the necessity for them to come to terms with the African majority.
On the face of it, this policy of the NDP seemed sensible. The international impact of the Sharpeville shootings and the ‘wind of change’ speech had indeed shaken Africa. Many outside observers and politicians believed that the Salisbury Government would soon give way to the same kind of internal and external pressures which were being applied to good effect in Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, as well as elsewhere.
For a short whileit seemed that black and white had reached some measure of accommodation when Joshua Nkomo, the leader of the NDP delegation to the 1960-61 Constitutional Conference, initially accepted the multiracial 1961 Constitutional proposals. These provided, according to Sir Edgar Whitehead, for a transition to a black parliamentary majority within fifteen years. The NDP in a press statement declared: ‘We feel that the new provisions have given us a certain amount of assurance that the country will not pursue policies which mean that Africans would be perpetually unable to control their country. . . . Above all, we are to have a new Constitution, which is an achievement resulting from the pressure of the NDP, a thing never before thought of in this country.”11
But although the NDP delegates12 publicly accepted the new Constitution they had, throughout the negotiations, harboured serious reservations about some of its provisions relating to the franchise and parliamentary representation (see Appendix). At home and abroad most NDP officials, however, rejected the proposed Constitution in toto. Nationalists in other African countries were also highly critical, and Nkomo was compelled to reverse his position.
This acceptance and then rejection of the proposals was probably a tactical error. Had the NDP rejected them at the beginning, the movement would not have been laid open to accusations of a lack of militant integrity. On the other hand, had they been accepted, Whitehead’s multiracial United Federal Party, with African support, might have been returned to office in December 1962, instead of the white-supremacist Rhodesian Front which achieved a somewhat unexpected victory. This would have given the Africans opportunities for increased political and social leverage within the whitepower structure which might have been an advantage even if extra-constitutional methods later became inevitable.
If the 1961 Constitution failed to meet the minimum aspirations of the black nationalists, it was as much, if not more, than most whites were prepared to concede to Africans. In the context of white-controlled southern Africa it had appeared to be a significant concession, for the referendum of 26 July 1961 showed that the white electorate were prepared to accept the proposals by 41,940 votes to 21,826. However, it now seems clear that the result reflected more a determination to be independent of Britain, than an expression of any faith in progress towards a multiracial society.13
The nationalists and their sympathizers had overlooked the fact that Britain wielded little real power in Southern Rhodesia, unlike in the territories administered directly from the Colonial Office, even if she retained a limited capacity to influence events, as for instance, during the Constitutional Conference. In 1970 an analysis in a nationalist journal considered that the NDP had committed a serious error in adhering to `assumptions which proved hazardous’
The liberation movement assumed that since all other British colonies were in that period achieving independence through forcing the British Government to a constitutional table, settlement of the Rhodesian problem was most likely going to follow the same pattern. Hence the attempt at constitutional solutions . . . in 1961.14
As it became increasingly obvious that no fundamental reforms would be conceded by the Southern Rhodesian Government, nationalist policy aimed instead at creating a sufficient disorder and lawlessness to induce British military intervention and the imposition of an acceptable constitution. One leading nationalist official later admitted that the decision to use political violence was taken as far back as 1960 although not for the purpose of guerrilla warfare but the purpose of carrying out acts of sabotage which were considered relevant to bring forth fear and despondency to the settlers of Rhodesia in order to influence the British Government and the settlers in Rhodesia to accede to the popular revolutionary demands of the people in Zimbabwe.’15
Both the nationalists and the Rhodesian Front had turned away from negotiations; the nationalists trying to force British intervention and the Rhodesian Front strengthening the already formidable Law and Order (Maintenance) Act by making the death sentence mandatory for attacks involving petrol bombs, fire and explosives. Petrol bombs had become an increasingly familiar feature of attacks, as the Zimbabwe Review points out: `It was during the course of this Conference (i.e., 1960-61) that for the first time home-made petrol bombs were used by the freedom fighters in Salisbury against settler establishments.’16 In fact, most victims were blacks who were either identified in some way with the white establishment or who had simply failed to demonstrate their allegiance to the NDP.
During 1962 six blacks died as a result of petrol bomb attacks. One of them, Kaitano Kambadza, was a police reservist. A petrol bomb severely damaged the home of Bernard Bomba, Secretary of the Young Federals branch
of the multiracial United Federal Party, and that of Mr P. E. Chigogo, Treasurer of an African branch of the UFP was similarly damaged. Samson Zawe, National Chairman of the liberal Central African Party, also survived a petrol bomb explosion at his home.
On 9 December 1961 the NDP was banned and reconstituted itself on the 17th as the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), which involved the same people and followed the same policies as the NDP and was banned, in turn, in September 1962. The Rhodesian Government later published a White Paper, Report on the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union, giving details of political violence between January and December 1962, which included 33 petrol bombings, the burning of 18 schools and 10 churches, and 27 attacks on communications. During 1963 there was mounting evidence of external material assistance and training given to the nationalists; one prominent nationalist confirmed later that: `the decision to start bringing in arms and ammunition, and to send young men away for sabotage training dates from mid-1962, before ZAPU was banned.’17 In September 1962 an organization, the `Zimbabwe Liberation Army’, began publicizing its existence by distributing leaflets. ZAPU denied any official connection with the organization although, in fact, this group of about one hundred men was headed by `General Chedu’ a triumvirate of two members of the ZAPU executive and a Youth Leader. Sabotage was organized which included the burning of dip tanks and a forest in the eastern districts, dislocation of railway lines and attacks on whiteowned stores. But these activities only hardened white attitudes and failed to produce decisive action from the British Government.
The nationalists’ continued lack of success within Rhodesia led to a crisis of confidence in 1963 ; dissident party officials having become increasingly critical of Nkomo’s style of leadership. Difficulties within Rhodesia had led Nkomo to concentrate his political energies on the infinitely more sympathetic, and apparently more fruitful international environment. However, some party officials considered that nationalist interests would be better served by Nkomo’s presence in Southern Rhodesia. His decision to establish an Executive-in-Exile resulted in an official split on 9 August 1963, when the dissidents, led by the Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole, formed the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). Nkomo immediately announced the formation of the Peoples Caretaker Council (PCC) which, although not technically a political party nevertheless identified itself with the banned ZAPU and provided a legal alternative, within Rhodesia, to ZANU. The initial split can be put down to personality and policy differences, but later conflicts between and within the two organizations assumed ideological and tribal dimensions seriously inhibiting the advancement of the nationalist cause.
In 1964 there was the worst political violence for many years and the great majority of the victims were black. Intimidations, stonings, burnings and gang warfare by `Zhanda’ (vigilante) groups were widespread. Blacks who, rightly or wrongly, were suspected of supporting the white administration or of belonging to the rival party were the main victims. On 13 February, Ernest Veli, accused of belonging to ZANU, was stabbed to death by a group of PCC supporters. Moses Mundene, a PCC supporter, was killed by a group of ZANU members on 18 June and on 14 September a black police reservist, David Dodo, was beaten to death by two members of the PCC for giving evidence at a criminal trial. A sub-chief in the Rusape district was shot by PCC members on 10 October after they had set fire to huts in his village.18 Both organizations were banned on 26 August; the counter-productive effect of widespread, uncontrolled violence must have made some impression on both parties, and attempts to restore some measure of planning were made – no doubt partly in response to the ever-present threat of UDI. Evidence that PCC/ZAPU had begun to think in terms of organized violence is provided by Zimbabwe Reviewwhich noted that at a session of PCC members in February 1964 it was decided to ‘divide the whole country into command regions or fighting zones’.19
ZANU leaders had reached a similar conclusion. They had not been successful in gaining support from ZAPU followers, through persuasion or intimidation, and decided to divert attention towards a positive campaign of violence against the whites intending both to impress black opinion and to lower white morale, leading to a complete breakdown of law and order. Five general areas encompassing the main roads from Salisbury to Bulawayo, Fort Victoria, Umtali and Sinoia, as well as key targets in Salisbury itself were envisaged, and road blocks, attacks on white farms, destruction of livestock and crops, cutting electricity supplies and telephone communications and petrol bomb attacks planned. However, these were thwarted by Rhodesian Intelligence.20
A ZANU group, ‘Crocodile Commando’, which did succeed in evading the police net achieved notoriety for attacking the OberhoIzer family. This group set up a roadblock, 19 miles from Melsetter, two days after an unsuccessful attack on Nyanyadzi police camp. The first car containing Africans was allowed to pass, but the OberhoIzer’s vehicle was attacked.21 Mrs Oberholzer described what happened to her husband:
“As he stopped, he got out and they threw stones at him. I can remember seeing four Africans around the car. They came up to him and 1 saw one raise a knife above his head and stab down at my husband. It was so quick and all in such a rush that 1 did not see how many times he stabbed. It was quite a long knife.
Stones were coming from all round. 1 could not see very well. They broke the windscreen with stones. 1 got a stone on my jaw.”22
The group then attempted to set the car alight but fled when the lights of an oncoming car appeared. Petrus OberhoIzer died the same night.
Mrs OberhoIzer’s version was later contradicted by Davis M’Gabe, at the time ZANU representative in Ghana. He alleged that the attack had taken place immediately after the assault on Nyanyadzi police camp, and that OberhoIzer had tried to stop the group’s retreat:
As they withdrew, a white farmer named OberhoIzer, with a carload of kids, sought to play hero and capture the group. The invading group tried to reason with him but in the end they had to deal with him. His family was not harmed .23
One of the significant aspects of the attack was that the intended victims were to be white, and not black. ‘Crocodile Commando’ was unprofessional and undisciplined, but to use M’Gabe’s title, they marked ‘The Beginning of Guerrilla Warfare’; and Shay also states, in his account, that ‘For the police, it was a time of action. They had recognized this as the forerunner of guerrilla warfare’.24
The nationalists trained and armed recruits in 1964 and 1965. Between September 1964 and March 1965, about 40 ZANU members went to Ghana for training in guerrilla warfare, sabotage and the manufacture of explosives. They were instructed in Tanzania to attack white farms and to disrupt the May 1965 General Election. In April they crossed into Rhodesia, but 34 were quickly rounded up.
Meanwhile ZAPU had also been active. Between March 1964 and October 1965, 52 recruits took courses at different training centres, four in Moscow, one in Nanking and one in Pyongyang, North Korea. They entered Rhodesia from Zambia and 24 were quickly arrested.
Although the nationalists created widespread disturbance, the resulting disorder was not such as to lead to British, or United Nations intervention. On the nationalist aim of lowering white morale, a Rhodesian historian commented: ‘The impending break-up of the Federation and the increasing truculence of the African nationalists led to a loss of confidence in the country’s future. Fearing economic collapse and the chaos that could result from racial strife, thousands of Europeans left the country to seek homes elsewhere. But the majority of Rhodesians stayed.’25 This assessment is borne out by comparing the figures on migration patterns with those on the incidence of political violence.
White confidence gradually returned, and led to a massive electoral victory in May 965 for the Rhodesian Front and the unconstitutional assumption of independence in November of that year. The nationalist reaction to UDI is described by M’Gabe: ‘for all those who cherish freedom and a meaningful life, UDI has set a collision course which cannot be altered. 11 November, 1965, marked a turning point of the struggle for freedom in that land from a constitutional and political one to a primarily military struggle.’26
The Rhodesian authorities took country-wide security measures and the general uprising which the nationalist leaders hoped would follow UDI failed to happen. However, inflammatory broadcasts from Zambia, Tanzania and Egypt elicited some response and there were many incidents of arson, stonings, crop slashing and mutilation of livestock. Workers particularly in Bulawayo, protested by taking part in industrial action, and at Wankie Colliery sabotage attacks were carried out by a ZAPU action group. The leader of this group, Mazwi Gumbo, stated later at his trial: ‘Workers at the colliery were dissatisfied with the Company because it turned a deaf ear to our grievances. When UDI was declared, we became even more angry. We realize that only one people can rule a country. It should be the Africans.’27
Some of the violence may have been directed by survivors of the group of insurgents returning to Rhodesia after training abroad. One guerrilla, Hassan Chimutengwende, described how he had ‘stayed at large for eight whole months in Rhodesia, moving from village to village’, explaining to villagers that: ‘the British Government had said that it would intervene militarily only if “law and order” broke down in Rhodesia. For that reason 1 urged them to do lots of burning and crop cutting, and was able to advise them. The “gospel of action” which 1 preached was passed on by others.’28
During 1966, the conflict became more serious when security forces clashed with some small groups of insurgents who had infiltrated from Zambia.29 The first officially acknowledged clash occurred at the end of April, when seven members of a ZANU commando unit were killed after being surrounded by police on a farm near Sinoia. ZANU spokesmen abroad later claimed that the group had been responsible for killing twenty-five policemen and shooting down two helicopters, although in fact the security forces had no casualties.
The presence of a helicopter which had been effectively used as a gun-ship during the attack was an important factor. They had planned, but failed, to cut the Kariba power-line, supplying 70 per cent of the country’s electricity, and subsequently attack the blacked-out town centre and police-station at Sinoia. A notebook found on one of the bodies showed that the insurgent had been trained at Nanking military college in the previous November and December.
An earlier crossing occurred at the beginning of April when another ZANU group Of 14 split into three sections. One section of two men headed for the Fort Victoria area and another of five men had orders to sabotage the Beira-Umtali oil pipe-line and attack white farmers. All seven were arrested before they were able to complete their mission. A third section of seven men headed for the Midlands and it is possible that their purpose was to make contact with their President, Sithole, who was under restriction at Sikombela, near Gwelo. This group may have been responsible for the attack on a farm near Hartley on 16 May. The farmer, Hendrik Viljoen and his wife were killed by automatic fire.30 The group responsible for this attack consisted of seven members, two of whom were away on a recruiting mission at the time of the attack. One of the two, Gombachuma, was a former policeman who had been discharged from the force. He was later sentenced to twenty eight years imprisonment. The group had been based in the Hartley area and were in contact with some of the local population. After the attack they split up, and although all but one were eventually caught, three succeeded in staying in the Mount Hampden area outside Salisbury until they were arrested in September 1966. This group, although they were eventually given away, had had some measure of success in maintaining contact with, and receiving assistance from, the local population. One of the men, Edmund Nyandoro, told the court, which sentenced him to death for the ViIjoen murders in the following February, that he had been trained in Egypt, Tanzania and China.
In September the existence of another guerrilla unit was discovered near Lupane, south-east of Wankie, when a local headman had been shot by one of the group for reporting the presence of the insurgents. From expertly concealed hideouts they had approached local villagers for supplies and recruited two local men as permanent members. The original group of eight had been trained in Algeria. Seventeen villagers were later charged with assisting, or receiving training from, the insurgents.31
Nationalists were also active in establishing cells in urban areas, one of which was said to be at the University in Salisbury, where ZAPU had been in contact with three lecturers from the college. Their liaison activities, it was alleged, included reporting on the deployment of security forces, the distribution of grenades and the selection for guerrilla attacks of white-owned farms near Reserve areas.
In the first half of 1967 Rhodesian Intelligence was aware of a build-up in arms and men across the Zambezi. In addition to some isolated incidents, several caches of arms had been discovered. On 26 May four ZANU commandos attempting to infiltrate into Rhodesia in a pantechnicon had been killed in a gun battle near Chirundu. In view of such incidents, the security forces were expecting activity of some sort. By the end of July a joint force of Rhodesian ZAPU and South African ANC (African National Congress) insurgents had already crossed the Zambezi without detection between the Victoria Falls and Kazangula and headed for the Wankie Game Reserve.
The composition of this force marked a significant development in the racial confrontation in southern Africa. A military alliance between the two organizations was announced on 15 August by James Chikerema, Acting President of ZAPU and Oliver Tambo, Deputy President General of the ANC. At the trial of James Edward April (alias George Driver) who was one of the insurgents, a fellow insurgent and witness, originally from Natal, revealed the plans of the group which he claimed, numbered seventy men; ‘The force was under orders to split into three groups, one to move to the northern part of Rhodesia, the second to the southern part and the third to the Northern Transvaal.’32
In a series of engagements in August and September both sides sustained heavier casualties than before; the security authorities claimed 31 insurgents dead and a similar number captured, for the loss of seven members of the security forces and about twice that number wounded. The South African ANC later claimed that in the first few days of battle fifty-four members of the security forces were killed. The security authorities conceded that the morale and training of some insurgents had reached a high level.
The presence for the first time of South African insurgents on Rhodesian soil, introduced a significant new factor to the military equation in southern Africa. Despite the eventual containment of the joint incursion it became obvious that this operation, and the possibility of future invasions on a similar scale, had stretched the capacity of the small Rhodesian security forces to an unacceptable degree, and South African para-military police units were sent to assist the Rhodesian forces. It was a move which both outraged the nationalists, and greatly embarrassed the British Government, still claiming legal responsibility for Southern Rhodesia.
Apart from an international outcry at ‘the invasion of Rhodesia by South African troops’, a debate resulted between the different nationalist organizations over the question of the correct tactics and strategy to be followed. ZANU, highly critical of the military alliance between ZAPU and SAANC, argued that:
In guerrilla warfare we must strive to spread the enemy forces so that we can wipe them out one by one. The greatest help we can get from ANC is for ANC to wage intensive guerrilla warfare in South Africa. If ANC can pin down the whole South African force within South Africa, then Zimbabweans shall be left with Smith alone without South African aid … as it is now, the ANC and PCC (ZAPU) alliance has made it easy for Smith and Vorster to unite and concentrate their forces to slaughter Zimbabweans.33
ANC’s rival in South Africa, the PAC (Pan-Africanist Congress) also deplored the combined military operation and declared that:
“You cannot hope to gobble up a regular army, all at once in a conventional war style, as our brothers tried to do, and still claim to be waging guerrilla warfare. It is wholly unacceptable both in theory and practice.”34
This dispute between the rival organizations raised basic questions of strategy. It is possible to identify, in theory at least, two fundamentally different approaches. Both involve an assessment of the interlocking and interdependent geopolitical system of white southern Africa. The ZANU statement illustrates the thinking behind one of the approaches – concurrent resistance in all the territories involved leading to the progressive weakening and eventual destruction of the whole system.
The second approach has been outlined by Joe Slovo in a perceptive assessment of the problems and possibilities of armed struggle in South Africa, although he suggests that the various liberation movements do not accept its validity: ‘The enormity of the tasks facing ANC guerrillas within South Africa itself gave rise previously to suggestions that the liberation of Southern Africa should be approached as a project to be achieved in stages – first Mozambique, then Angola, and in the end South Africa.’35
A variation of the ‘domino’ theory as developed in the context of South-East Asia, would, to be successful, require an organizational sophistication, logistic capacity and a quality and depth of command and control -well beyond the present scope of both the liberation movements and the Organization. of African Unity (OAU). Also, the liberation movements no doubt fear that if the Portuguese are forced to withdraw from either of the flanking territories of Angola and Mozambique, South Africa would rush to fill the vacuum as she did in 1967 in Rhodesia.
Apart from some ill-concealed pique, the ZANU criticism of the joint operation in 1967 was obviously inspired by the fear that ZAPU and the SAANC appeared to be adopting the ‘domino’ approach. Matthew Nkoana, a PAC member, criticized the tendency of some ZANU and PAC members to find, as a matter of principle, fault with any action of ZAPU and SAANC. However, he admits that some of the accusations were justified, including: ‘the valid criticism that some of the initial battles in the Wankie area in August and September last year assumed the character of modern positional war as opposed to guerrilla warfare … and the equally valid criticism that the men ventured into enemy territory without any advance planning of operations.’36 Both these points are significant. The superior mobility and size of the counter-insurgent forces in operations of a ‘conventional’ type resulted in large groups of insurgents being surrounded with comparative ease. The air support afforded to the ground troops was also an important factor. (On 22 August the Rhodesian Air Force had, for the first time, attacked insurgent positions with rockets and napalm).
The lack of any overall political objective apart from confrontation is apparent from the joint ZAPU/SAANC communique issued after a week of fighting, which validates Nkoana’s second point of criticism: ‘It is the determination of these Combined Forces to fight the common settler enemy to the finish, at any point of encounter, as they make their way to their respective fighting zones.’37
The Rhodesian Parliament passed on 19 September a bill providing for a mandatory death penalty for any person found in possession of ‘arms of war … unless he can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had no intention of endangering the maintenance of law and order in Rhodesia or a neighbouring country’.
The exiled nationalists were not deterred. The August/September incursion had been in Matabeleland; ZAPU, a primarily Ndebele orientated organization had expected that the Ndebele and the Kalanga (a Shona sub-group largely absorbed by the Ndebele) would be favourably disposed towards the insurgents. Now, possibly in a bid to outdo the Shona-orientated ZANU, the ZAPU leadership decided to launch a joint ZAPU/ANC force into northern Mashonaland. (See map, pp. 23-24).
After preliminary reconnaissance at the end of 1967, insurgent columns between January and March 1968 successfully established a series of six base camps some 20 miles apart leading in a southerly direction towards the farming area of Sipolilo. Their objective was the recruitment and training of local tribesmen for an armed uprising. Meanwhile the insurgents were under strict orders to avoid contact with the security forces, and successfully avoided detection until they were moving to Camp Six. Their presence was discovered by a game ranger who had been investigating the uneven distribution of game caused by insurgent activity. In a series of engagements 58 insurgents were killed (43 ZAPU and 15 SAANC) and a similar number captured for the loss of 7 members of the security forces killed and several wounded. ZAPU and SAANC spokesmen reversed these casualty figures and also claimed that four helicopters had been shot down. Nationalist leaders in a broadcast from Zambia in mid-March claimed that guerrillas had overrun Miami, 126 miles north-west of Salisbury. Journalists a few days later could find no evidence of so much as a single shot being fired there. The January-March infiltrations which had begun so successfully ended in costly failure; for similar reasons to the 1967 operations. Large concentrations of insurgents were at a serious disadvantage against mobile ground troops supported by aerial bombing; and there was a failure to attract sufficient local support in an area which was only lightly populated. In one case two insurgents were arrested by a chief’s messenger. Although there were a few successful contacts, an anonymous contributor to the SAANC pamphlet on guerrilla warfare admits that local support was often unreliable: ‘A lot of people were being used by the enemy, especially pensioned policemen, teachers and some of the wealthier farmers.’38 Nevertheless, security authorities recognized the seriousness of the situation, in which over a hundred insurgents had been operating undetected in the country for three months.
In late March, PAC, which had been critical of the ZAPU/SAANC aIliance, was itself engaged in a combined operation through Mozambique with COREMO (Comite Revolucionario de Mocambique). The intention was to sabotage the Beira-Umtali oil pipeline on their way to South Africa. In June the PAC/COREMO group was intercepted by Portuguese forces near Vila Pery, between the Rhodesian border town of Umtali and Beira. Four insurgents were killed and three captured, for the loss of three Portuguese troops. Documents found on the group leader, Kibwe Kondlo, revealed that the plan was code-named ‘Operation Crusade’, involving twelve PAC members and a COREMO escort of 5 men. Whatever the merits, or otherwise, of military alliances, both the exiled SAANC and PAC guerrillas faced the same problem of access into South Africa. The shortest route lies through Rhodesia, regarded by South African insurgents as being of general strategic importance, as Sechaba explains: ‘What has to be clearly understood is that Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) is not only the gateway to the citadel of fascism South Africa – but it is now, more than ever before, the most essential link in the entire imperialist strategy of maintaining the Zambezi frontier as the advance battle line in defence of colonial interests in southern Africa.’39 The prompt assistance given to Rhodesia at the time of the mid-1967 infiltrations, which had included SAANC fighters en route to the Republic, underlined South African concern for the security of her borders with Rhodesia and Botswana.
In July 1968 ZAPU and SA ANC were again active. A force of 91 men, divided into three groups, crossed at various points on the border with Zambia; on 12 July 25 crossed at the junction of the Gwai and Zambezi rivers, bound for Hartley; a second party of 38 entered at the confluence of the Chewore with the Zambezi on the same day; and on 13 July 28 crossed up-river from Chirundu making for Lupane. The actions which followed, involving both Rhodesian and South African units, were considered as models of counter-insurgency tactics backed up by advance intelligence reports. What happened to the group making for Lupane is worth looking at further.
The security forces had their first definite indication of the presence of this group when they arrested a man who had become detached from the main group which had inadvertently circled back to the Zambezi, to a point seven miles south of their original crossing place. The rugged terrain, especially of the Kuburi Hills, had made it impossible to follow a direct route. The straggler revealed details of the size, equipment and direction of the group. Fast-moving tracker units were put on their trail. The security forces, knowing the direction of the group, were able to leap-frog ahead and prepare a series of ambushes in which 24 of the group were killed, three captured and one escaped. In this action the South African Police suffered their first casualty in Rhodesia with the death of Constable du Toit. According to Rhodesian sources 80 of the original 91 insurgents were killed or captured; four other South African policemen and two Rhodesian troopers were wounded. A ZAPU-SAANC communique claimed that 33 of the security forces were killed and several wounded.40
The 1966-68 confrontations had taken place against a background of Rhodesian attempts to negotiate a British recognition of her de facto independence; on HMS Tiger in December 1966, and again on HMS Fearless in September 1968. The exiled nationalist movements, it seemed, still hoped that a decisive military defeat of the security forces would precipitate a sufficient breakdown of ‘law and order’ for British, or United Nations military intervention to follow. However, by the time of theFearless negotiations in 1968 (see Appendix), which marked a British retreat from the 1966 Tiger terms, the nationalists had finally given up all such hopes: ‘It might now be dangerous to the development of the liberation struggle to predicate that struggle on the basis of Britain as the sovereign administering power or to call for her troops in this situation. Any British troops in Rhodesia now could be solely there to frustrate the armed forces of liberation’41
There were no armed clashes in 1969 with groups of insurgents from across the border. The severe military defeats of the past three years, and the final disillusionment over Britain’s attitude necessitated a reappraisal of nationalist tactics and strategy. In a television interview shown on Granada Television on 1 January 1970 – which led to a dispute over the ZAPU leadership – James Chikerema, Acting Chairman of ZAPU, said: ‘. . . this is really a protracted struggle – we do not intend to finish in a matter of 2, 3, 4 or 5 years – this is a protracted struggle … The type of war we fight depends on – on changes of tactics and 1 can tell you that we’ve changed our tactics … We will combine both where they meet us and intercept us -we win stand and fight – we will stand and fight – where they don’t see us – we will go to our own areas and infiltrate ourselves into the population and organize our masses.’
Although ZAPU by early 1970 was near to a leadership crisis, there was some attempt to put the revised nationalist strategy, however makeshift, into action. On 17 January a South African Police camp at Chisuma was attacked by some 15 insurgents. Six South African policemen were wounded and one insurgent was, apparently, accidently shot by his comrades. The Police camp suffered considerable damage and the operation seems to have been planned in some detail. Before the attack two of the guerrillas, disguised as labourers temporarily employed by the South Africans, had actually surveyed the layout of the camp. A simultaneous assault on the Victoria Falls airport damaged buildings with machine-gun fire. Another section of the same insurgent group attempted, without success, to sabotage the nearby railway line. Nationalist officials claimed that these actions had resulted in eight South Africans and five Rhodesians being killed, two helicopters and a light aeroplane destroyed and the disruption of communications.42 Apart from these two main attacks, there were other less dramatic encounters between guerrillas and security forces, in one of which a soldier from the Rhodesian African Rifles was killed. In another incident, nationalist commandos, on the assumption of republican status by Rhodesia (in March 1970), fired at a radio station on the banks of Kariba. During 1970 court trials also provided considerable evidence of small-scale infiltration and underground activity.43
In 1971 there was a noticeable upsurge of discontent at various levels of African society, most dramatically shown in demonstrations by university students, trainee teachers and even schoolchildren at the Ministry of Education’s announcement of a new salary structure for teachers, which in effect discriminated against the great majority of black teachers. Several students were sent down and 124 schoolchildren from Tegwani school were convicted and punished for having participated in an illegal procession through Plumtree, carrying placards, with slogans such as ‘Peoples Liberation, a Free Zimbabwe or Death’ and ‘Rightly Rhodesia is Ours’, said by the magistrate to have ‘verged on the subversive, if in fact they are not subversive.’44
The Government’s determination to introduce and enforce discriminatory legislation aggravated existing resentment. The implementation of the Land Tenure Act, in particular, caused considerable bitterness, especially among longstanding black communities threatened with eviction from areas designated as ‘white’ under the Act.45 The incidence of political violence rose in 1970 and 1971 (see table, p. 8), and there were incidents involving security. In April 1971, three Rhodesian soldiers were killed when their vehicle detonated a land-mine while crossing a riverbed on the Mozambique border, north of the Mavuradonha mountains, and in July a large cache of arms and, equipment was found in a warehouse in Salisbury’s light industrial area. It was alleged that the contents had been supplied by ZANU for distribution to guerrilla cells in Salisbury. At the end of August, security forces clashed with a group of FRELIMO insurgents who had crossed from Mozambique into Rhodesia, south-east of Mukumbura. A Rhodesian communique stated that one of the security forces had been wounded, seven insurgents killed and one captured.
The African National Council formed in December 1971 to oppose the settlement terms agreed between the Rhodesian and British Governments in November of that year, was able to mobilize African opposition against the proposals (see Appendix). The Pearce Commission of Inquiry which arrived in Rhodesia on 11 January 1972 to test the acceptability of the
Constitutional proposals to the people of Rhodesia as a whole, found against them, although the proposals had been favoured by majority of whites. The Commissioners considered that the reasons for the emphatic black rejection included a profound distrust of the Government, the failure to consult African leaders at any stage of the negotiations; and a persistent but unrealistic belief in Britain’s ability to influence events in Rhodesia. For the first time since the rejection of the 1961 Constitution, the Pearce Commission gave blacks in Rhodesia a real voice in the future of their country.
Signs of disaffection among black soldiers was perhaps the most ominous development for the Government. On occasions nationalists have claimed that ‘cracks are appearing in the loyalty of the Rhodesian African Rifles’ and ‘African soldiers from Smith’s army have deserted and are now in Zambia’.46 Despite these claims, the army over the past five years has depended heavily on the loyalty and acknowledged professionalism of black soldiers. However, two of Lord Pearce’s Commissioners noted that: ‘A group of African members of an Army Security Unit, including NCO’s, rejected the Proposals (with one exception) largely for reasons related to a feeling of unjust and racially biased treatment by the Government, although they were obviously treated as a privileged group.47
The implications were not lost on the nationalist parties in exile. Both ZANU and ZAPU recognized the opportunity for a fresh offensive in the new conditions created by the ANC’s successful mobilization of the black population. Demonstrations and violent protests occurred in the larger towns on a scale not seen since the early 1960’s Police action resulted in several deaths and there were also protest strikes.
On 23 March, at Mbeya in Tanzania, ZAPU and ZANU signed a protocol establishing a Joint Military Command. Although this failed to get off the ground, both organizations had, nevertheless, recognized the failure of previous tactics and the need for a new approach. The Chairman of ZANU, Herbert Chitepo, told a Danish journalist that his organization believed open confrontation in outlying areas should be abandoned in favour of other tactics: ‘It is useless to engage in conventional warfare with well-equipped Rhodesian and South African troops along the Zambezi.’48 ZAPU, too, had cause for reflection and their military views also had undergone some change.
During 1973 ZAPU commandos had introduced a new tactic – the landmine – into the conflict along the border with Zambia. Rhodesian security forces had been expecting such a development following extensive use of mines in both Mozambique and the Caprivi Strip. In August a fanner from Sinoia was injured when his car hit a mine in the Mana Pools Reserve area (see map, pp. 23-24). An attempt had also been made to sabotage the railway line close to the Victoria Falls. In October an army vehicle struck a mine in the Chete Game Reserve near Lake Kariba (see map, pp. 23-24). A Rhodesian army sergeant was killed and a trooper wounded; ZAPU claimed responsibility for all these incidents.
Meanwhile ZANU were about to open up another front. Insurgents had begun infiltrating into the north east of Rhodesia through Mozambique, using FRELIMO routes and bases. They succeeded, over a period of time, in storing some large caches of arms and supplies. A sizeable number of local Africans worked as porters, and some were trained for a campaign of violence against the white farming community. From Christmas 1972 several farmsteads in the Mangula, Centenary and Shamva areas were targets for hit-and-run raids by small bands of guerrillas. It seems from the pattern which emerged from these attacks that the guerrillas first obtained from local villagers the names of unpopular farmers in the area and selected their farms for attack. They surrounded and then raked the farmhouse with machine-gun fire, lobbing grenades through the windows and blasting the buildings with rockets or explosives before leaving with a parting burst of automatic fire; security units coming to the scene were often delayed by landmines planted, before the attack, on approach roads, giving the guerrillas time to disappear into the darkness. Some of the occupants of the farmhouses, men, women and children, were killed or seriously injured. Nationalist spokesmen claimed that the farms were being used as operational bases by security forces, but the Rhodesian security authorities claimed that they had no strategic significance, and were only used for follow-up operations after the attacks had taken place.
The nature of these attacks, in which civilians were killed, produced a sense of moral outrage among the white community and raises the distinct, but related, moral and practical questions of whether, in terms of morality, the ends justify the means and whether, in practical terms, the means are likely to achieve the end. The saturation bombing of German cities and the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan were both calculated to end the war, but nevertheless resulted in extremely heavy civilian casualties. In Rhodesia, the whites failed to recognize that guerrilla warfare is essentially the weapon of the weak against the strong. The nationalist view is that the whole system of white supremacy has to be attacked where it is weakest; and they can see no more reason for adopting so-called ‘rules of war’ which put them at a disadvantage, than could the Boers, in their own guerrilla war at the turn of the century, to ‘fight like gentlemen’ in conspicuous uniforms on an open battlefield – much to the initial incomprehension and indignation of the British Army.
The ZANU operations would seem to have been aimed at undermining both the white economy and the myth of white invulnerability. The insurgents attacked the District Commissioner’s office – a symbol of the white administration – at Mount Darwin, and a few days later killed two Government Land Inspectors and captured a third, who was paraded as a ZANU ‘prisoner-of-war’ in front of villagers on the way to a base outside Rhodesia where he could be held as a hostage against the Rhodesian Government’s treatment of captured insurgents.
By attacking isolated farming communities the insurgents hope to harm the agricultural industry and threaten the effective maintenance of security in rural areas. It is vital for the Government to keep the farmers in business since they are not only indispensable as police reserves, but also provide essential detailed local intelligence. The attacks on black farmworkers’ property – many of them aliens from Malawi or Mozambique – are probably aimed at persuading them to return to their home countries, in order to leave white farms short of labour. The outbreak of insurgent activity during the first half of 1973 has coincided with a noticeable decline in the number of immigrants to Rhodesia as compared with 1972.
|January-June 1972||7,888||2,520||+ 5,370|
|January-June 1973||5,405||3,460||+ 1,940|
(Source:Monthly Digest of Statistics for June 1973, Central Statistical Office, Salisbury)
The unsettled security situation (particularly the shooting of Canadian and American tourists by Zambian troops near the Victoria Falls in April 1973) has had serious effects on tourism, a major foreign exchange earner for Rhodesia’s sanctions-ridden economy.
Guerrillas have also, on more than one occasion, held up teaching staff and kidnapped schoolchildren, possibly as potential recruits for their cause. In a daring but ultimately abortive raid in July on St. Albert’s Jesuit Mission School near Mount Darwin, guerrillas kidnapped 273 schoolchildren and members of the staff, most of whom were rescued by security forces.
The security forces were compelled to extend their area of operations in February when the third nationalist organization, FROLIZI, sent some men from Zambia into the Karoi area.49 After clashing with the security forces, several moved by car to Enkeldoorn and Wedza, where on 30 March they were discovered by a local farmer who was shot by them. Members of FROLIZI were arrested in Salisbury and were found with automatic pistols, grenades and explosives.
In addition to a change in tactics from the open confrontation of previous operations, a new dimension to the conflict was added by these attacks by the fact that the guerrillas succeeded in large measure in winning over or intimidating local tribesmen -a situation which even the Government has had to acknowledge. Farmers have been placed in a situation where black servants and labourers may have been subject to the influence of guerrillas. One farmer from Centenary with experience of the Mau Mau emergency in Kenya said: ‘The atmosphere among farmers here is very similar, except that we know that these chaps are using highly sophisticated modem weapons. 1 would call it Mao Mao rather than Mau Mau.’50Equally reminiscent of the Kenyan emergency is the use of traditional spirit mediums to stir up anti-white feelings among local tribesmen.
References to ancestral spirits and heroes of the Chimurenga – the wars of resistance in the 1890s – are common and provide inspiration for many nationalists. One man, for example, stated in court that he could not sit idly by while ‘four million people were suffering. You snatched away our country unlawfully … we are going to fulfil the aims of the war we abandoned in 1897’51 Hassan Chimutengwende remarked that before infiltrating back into Rhodesia ‘each freedom fighter then swore a solemn oath never to give away useful information to the enemy and never to betray the spirit of Chaminuka, our great nineteenth century Shona prophet’.52
The Rhodesian Government has responded with a variety of counter-insurgency measures; even claiming to have enlisted tribal mediums on the side of the security forces. In addition to the distribution of warning leaflets with pictures of dead guerrillas, a technique used in previous operations, pamphlets quoting ‘messages’ from important tribal spirits have been distributed in affected areas. One such pamphlet, translated from the Shona, reads:
“Mhondoro, your tribal spirit, has sent a message to to say that your ancestral spirits are very dissatisfied with you. Besides, Chiwawa (an important spirit) has abandoned the man whom he used as his medium because this man has helped the terrorists.
As a result of this, there has been no rain, your crops have died and there could be great famine. It is only the Government which can help you, but you have to realize your obligation to help the Government also.”53
Another cultural aspect of the Administration’s counter-insurgency policy, has been the introduction of regulations based on a dubious interpretation of Shona custom, empowering Provincial Commissioners to impose collective fines on communities where a member or members have assisted, or failed to report the presence of, guerrillas.
Other administrative measures have also been taken: the two African areas mainly involved the Chiweshe Tribal Trust Land and the Chesa Purchase Area – were sealed off; all schools, churches and businesses were closed whilesecurity forces searched the area; and St. Albert’s and the Salvation Army’s Howard Institute in Chiweshe were closed and converted into massive screening centres, for the local population, where identities could be checked. In an attempt to make infiltration along the ill-defined northern border more difficult for the insurgents, the population of large areas has been evacuated, screened and resettled in other areas, where irrigation and other development measures are planned. In the more remote areas an extended and strengthened administrative structure has been created to improve contact with local tribesmen. The Government is also to give priority to a road-building and improvement programme in security areas.
The Rhodesian authorities have clearly drawn heavily on British counter-insurgent experience in Kenya and Malaya. Rhodesian units played an active part in the Malayan emergency, and the Rhodesian army still has both white and black veterans who served there. In fact, British success in undermining the cause of the Chinese Communist insurgents (an ethnic minority) in Malaya owed less to administrative and military measures – sensibly and efficiently carried out as some of them were -than to the promise, credible to the Malays, of independence once the insurgents were defeated. And it is perhaps significant that some of the harshest and most unfair measures, like the forcible removal and expulsion of whole communities, and the imposition of collective fines in areas where the population was suspected of harbouring or assisting insurgents, were dropped: as they had the effect of increasing animosity towards the British administration and were not effective in denying men or food to the Chinese insurgents. Nevertheless, it appears that the Rhodesian Government is determined to increase, not drop, such measures. When introducing the Law and Order (Maintenance) Amendment Bill making death the maximum penalty for harbouring, assisting, or failing to report the presence of insurgents, the Minister for Law and Order said: ‘Government is determined to make absolutely clear to anyone contemplating terrorist activities or assisting terrorists in any way, that he will do so at the risk of his own life.’54
Intimidation and terror are familiar features of insurgency-type warfare and usually practised in varying degrees by both sides. The use of terror by the insurgents may be either the cause, or the symptom, of weakness. It could increase a community’s sense of dependence on the incumbent regime, or alternatively might reflect the insurgents’ inability to win over the population 3 or to inflict significant defeats on the counter-insurgency forces. Insurgents might feel compelled to resort to the use of terror as an alternative to the administrative and legal sanctions available to the Government. The indiscriminate use of terror has invariably been counter-productive in its effects, whether perpetrated by insurgents or the security forces. On the other hand, if general terror is carefully avoided, techniques such as selective assassination, can lead to government reprisals resulting in the alienation of the affected community from the Administration. However, although both insurgent and counter-insurgent leaders usually recognize the counter-productive effect of indiscriminate terror, this is not always appreciated by the rank-and-file and it is possible for the situation to degenerate into one where innocent civilians become victims of the atrocities of both sides. The use of intimidation and terror in the affected areas of Rhodesia and Mozambique seems to have taken all these forms.
Since December 1972 insurgent activity has resulted in very high casualty rates by previous standards; with over 25 members of the security forces and over 170insurgents killed, in addition to at least nine white and over 30 black civilians. Security authorities also claim that as many insurgents have been captured as killed, and some of them have been tried and executed.
Many of the casualties were victims of landmine explosions; it was such an explosion which finally caused the Rhodesian Government to carry out its frequently repeated threat to close the border with Zambia. On 9 January a South African vehicle detonated a mine on a track near the Zambezi in north-western Rhodesia. Two South African policemen were killed, and three Rhodesian and two South African policemen injured. The Rhodesian Government in a statement of the same day said that the action had been taken for ‘security reasons’. It was hoped that economic pressure resulting from the closing of the border would force President Kaunda to take a stronger line with the insurgents operating out of Zambian bases. But Zambia in effect turned the tables on Rhodesia by accepting the closure as permanent, despite Rhodesia’s decision to re-open the border some weeks later. Historians may well come to view this border episode, which is likely to have far-reaching implications not only within Rhodesia but throughout the entire region, as a watershed in southern African politics.
The Rhodesian Government’s handling of the security situation, in particular the border closure, has drawn widespread criticism from both the extremist right-wing and the more moderate political groups. There were strident right-wing demands for increased repression, calls for military action against insurgent bases in Zambia and the cutting off of power supplies from Kariba as part of the blockade.
The multiracial, liberal Centre Party strongly condemned the border closure pointing out that: ‘In one clumsy stroke Mr Smith has virtually banished any possibility of reconciliation between the white South and the black North for the foreseeable future.’55 The Rhodesia Party has been careful to avoid the liberal image which rendered the Centre Party ineffectual among the white electorate, although it has stressed the necessity for taking tension from race relations by removing discrimination in various areas. The Rhodesia Party has also argued that the decision to close the border was a particularly ill-conceived one which would result in permanent economic damage for Rhodesia and her allies. The concept of ‘collective punishment’ was similarly attacked: ‘This is a terrible admission of failure and smacks of panic. Rather than combat the terrorist cause it can only serve to advance it. Reprisals against innocents has been and always will be a major cause of escalation in civil or guerrilla warfare.’56
The seriousness of the security situation has been reflected by the extension of National Service from nine months to a year, the calling up of large numbers of Territorial and Reserve units and by increased reliance on South African para-military support. Insurgent tactics have been applied with greater sophistication and over a wider front than in the past. The agreement in March 1973 between ZANU and ZAPU to revive their Joint Military and Political Command after abortive attempts in the previous year has reinforced the potential threat along over 1,500 miles of the border as the Rhodesian Minister of Defence warned on radio and television in mid-December 1972: ‘Now we have a somewhat changed situation. Now we have undoubted evidence of the existence of terrorists in Botswana. We have, on the east from Kanyemba to Nyamapunda, the situation created by FRELIMO activity in Mozambique, which, of course, is surging over and affecting us in Rhodesia.’57Apart from the security situation’s disruptive effect on the economy, the continuation of economic sanctions, despite successful evasions, makes it increasingly more difficult to deal with both the causes and effects of developing insurgency. Moreover, Rhodesia’s diplomatic isolation has become more lonely with new and hostile governments in Australia and New Zealand, countries traditionally friendly towards Rhodesia. All these factors emphasise the urgent need for a genuine accommodation between whites and blacks, if relations between them are not to break down irretrievably (which may even now be the case). Bishop Abel Muzorewa, leader of the African National Council, has set the limits for negotiations: ‘There has to be a compromise between Europeans and Africans and that compromise must be between 46 never majority rule” and “majority rule now”.’58 However, the chances for a negotiated solution look remote as the government remains adamant that the 1971 Settlement Proposals are not for further negotiation, while the ANC has declared them fundamentally unacceptable Bishop Muzorewa (the most moderate in an ANC executive composed of former ZANU and ZAPU militants) describing them as ‘both an insult to the African people and a prescription for a bloodbath”.59 No African nationalist party could contemplate acceptance of a constitution which is unlikely to lead to a black parliamentary majority in less than sixty years (see Appendix). Similarly, any meaningful concessions by the government towards removing discrimination and sharing political power would almost certainly result in the fragmentation of. the Rhodesian Front Party, whose very raison d’etreis the maintenance of white supremacy and extension of racial discrimination.
One alternative possibility, also remote, remains of a constitutional settlement being agreed between the white and black communities. A General Election is due within eighteen months and if the Government party, which has 49 out of 66 seats, were to lose 17 of them, the Rhodesian Front’s monolithic hold on political power could be broken. All this depends on whether the Rhodesia Party, the African National Council and the Centre Party are capable of entering into an electoral pact, with broad agreement on constitutional outlines, which could be presented to the electorate as a workable alternative to the constitutional deadlock reached by the Rhodesian Front. It is just possible that the mainly white electorate will recognize the counter-productive effect of ‘petty apartheid’ measures and come to accept the Rhodesia Party’s brand of moderate paternalism.60 The possibility of the exiled nationalist organizations accepting the legitimacy of such a political compromise, however, seems extremely remote; a move towards any pact with white politicians, on the part of the African National Council, would be likely to exacerbate the existing tendencies towards divergence of views between home-based and exiled African political organizations.
Rhodesia, in addition to being snubbed by Zambia, also managed to antagonize her closest allies who were not even consulted over the border decision. The South Africans and Portuguese considered the move to be not only politically counter-productive but also a potentially serious escalation of the conflict. It was not the first time Rhodesia’s ham-fisted approach to a politically sensitive situation had undermined South Africa’s far more sophisticated policy of cultivating political and economic links with neighbouring black states. The ill-timed UDI in 1965 had heightened racial tensions just when it seemed that South Africa hoped to make some progress in establishing the basis for a regional modus vivendi. UDI, by providing an impetus for insurgent activity in Rhodesia, forced to the surface the latent contradictions between South Africa’s defence imperatives and the potential benefits of constructive diplomacy. By mid- 1967 the presence of South African para-military forces in Rhodesia had put paid to any prospects of improved relations between Pretoria and Lusaka – regarded as the main prize of South Africa’s ‘outwardlooking’ foreign policy. The one advantage of UDI to South Africa – Zambia’s reluctant but inevitably increased economic dependence on the Republic – was dissipated by Rhodesia’s decision to close the border. If, however, the Rhodesian action caused dissension among the white regimes it had the opposite effect of increasing solidarity amongst the neighbouring black states – especially, Zambia, Zaire and Tanzania. In addition, the border closure removed the necessity for any understanding which may have existed between the Zambian Government and the insurgents that there should be no attacks on the Beira-Umtali railway line, previously essential for Zambia’s economy, and which is now a prime target for guerrillas in Rhodesia and Mozambique. Since FRELIMO opened up a new front in the Manica and Sofala provinces in mid-1972 there have been a number of security incidents close to the Umtali-Beira road and rail communications.
Zambia, Tanzania and Zaire are the three states most directly involved, geographically and politically, in the support of the southern African liberation movements. In February Zaire, which occupies a key strategic position in southern/central Africa was invited, for the first time, to one of the regular meetings between the Zambian and Tanzanian Presidents. The white-controlled territories would certainly feel the impact of any united approach, on the part of these three countries, to the promotion of insurgency, especially if there is also an increase in China’s role in the area.
The most significant aspect of Chinese activity for southern Africa is the construction of the 1,100 mile TANZAM railway, from Dar-es-Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi on the Zambian copper belt. The project, though well ahead of schedule (crossing the Tanzania-Zambia border in August 1973), is not completed, and Zambia has had to take advantage of, and improve, existing alternative routes since the border closure. Greater use is being made of the Benguela railway, running through Zaire to Benguela and Lobito on the Angolan coast. Zambia has also explored the possibility of improving links with Malawi in order to route traffic through Beira and the fast expanding port of Nacala in northern Mozambique.61 However, Zambia may be reluctant to commit herself to long-term investment in developing communications through the neighbouring Portuguese territories, since this would inhibit the guerrilla movements operating against the Portuguese. Her main hope for the future lies in the completion, and improvement, of road and rail communications through Tanzania. The border closure has given new urgency to this.
However, the involvement of neighbouring black states in the Rhodesian liberation struggle carries possibilities of conflict, as well as cooperation. This is particularly true for Zambia, which acts as a host territory to the exiled Rhodesian nationalists, and consequently faces not only hostility from the white countries, but also dangers to her internal security from the rival nationalist organizations. The dangers faced by a government acting as host to liberation movements from neighbouring territories has been examined by K. W. Grundy,62 who identifies four possible threats to its security. (a) ‘In the first instance, they might directly confront the host territory with demands the host government might find contrary to its perceived interests, as did the Arab guerrillas in Lebanon, in late 1969….’
Although Zambia sympathized with the aims of the liberation movements, her patience was sorely tried by squabblings between the nationalist factions. The publicity which was given to recruitment methods involving the kidnapping of Rhodesians living in Zambia to meet OAU training allocation deadlines seriously embarrassed the Zambian Govemment.63 Nationalist officials justified their strong-arm activities on the grounds of most countries making military service compulsory in times of war – Zimbabweans being no exception. The Zambian authorities have intervened on several occasions and released many of these ‘recruits’. When, however, Zambian nationals were also ‘drafted’ the situation developed into one which no state could tolerate. In October 1968, 52 members of ZAPU and ZANU were arrested in connection with kidnapping activities and deported to Tanzania.64
Chikerema’s unilateral decision to allow a British television team to film ZAPU commandos in their camp also embarrassed the Zambian authorities, who officially denied the existence of such camps. The nationalists were alarmed by Mr Vorster’s revelation of secret letters which, despite his public stand against the ‘dialogue’ policy, President Kaunda had written to the South African leader.65
(b) ‘In the second instance, segments might break away from the dominant nationalist revolutionary leadership and wage warfare against their compatriots in the territory of the host government. …’
On 24 April 1970, The Times of Zambia had prominently featured a story about a gun-battle between rival Shona and Ndebele factions of ZAPU in which six were reported missing and four wounded. And in March 1971 over 20 leading officials of ZAPU were kidnapped by dissident elements of that party’s military wing who had apparently become dissatisfied with the conditions of service and pay. The Zambian police once again intervened and large numbers of ZAPU militants and administrative staff were taken to a specially prepared camp at Mbaloma in the Central province; it was reported that 163 ZAPU members were held at Mbaloma, 34 at Kasama and 5 at Chipata.66
(c) ‘A third possible problem is that members of the revolutionary movement might become disillusioned and sell their weapons to dissident elements of the local population of the host territory, thereby facilitating civil war, as when Eastern Congolese rebel refugees sold weapons to Turkhana border raiders along the Kenya-Uganda frontier in 1966-67- – – -‘
In July and August 1971 129 members of exiled nationalist organizations in Zambia gave themselves up to Rhodesian security forces at the border posts of Kariba, Victoria Falls and Chirundu. They had been ordered out of Zambia by President Kaunda, who wished to insure against any possible coup in which the liberation movements might be involved, while Zambia was in the process of becoming a oneparty state. Elements from the nationalist groups were allegedly behind the unrest on the university campus and also the opposition emerging in the shape of the United Progressive Party headed by Simon Kapwepwe, Zambia’s former Vice-President. President Kaunda stated that he was satisfied that:
“of late, a group of disgruntled politicians have resorted to gun-running and sending out our people for military training to countries hostile to Zambia with a view to subverting the tranquillity of the Republic.”67
Critics of his policy seemed to have found sympathizers among cabinet ministers, nine of whom had at one point expressed a wish to resign.
The similar problems of Jordan and Lebanon would not have been lost on the Zambian and Tanzanian leaders; nevertheless, Mr Vorster saw no harm in underlining this point. Addressing a Nationalist Party rally he warned: ‘The terrorist knows only terrorism. If countries like Zambia and Tanzania are not careful, the terrorists will strike against them as well. This is an immutable law of nature.’68
(d) ‘Fourth, revolutionary forces might be so effective as to provoke the forces of the target territory to retaliate directly or indirectly against objectives within the host country, thereby precipitating a confrontation between host and target forces….’
Here, Middle Eastern parallels are again instructive, for Israeli military operations have evoked open admiration in Rhodesian and South African official circles and there have already been sabotage attacks on strategic targets. In June 1968 a bridge over the Luangwa River near the Zambia-Mozambique border was destroyed. In 1969 shortly after the first Ndola-Dar-es-Salaam 1,700 km oil pipeline became operational it was put out of action by saboteurs who blew up a pumping station near Iringa in Tanzania. A bridge near Iringa was also damaged. The general view in Lusaka was that commandos from the white south were responsible for these acts of sabotage. There is even the possibility that such incidents might be the work of self-styled saboteurs like the ‘Red Fox’ whose mission was to blow up ZAPU headquarters in Lusaka. The Red Fox, a Rhodesian electrician Harold Boyes by name, was arrested in Kitwe on 1 February 1969 and released in March 1971, having spent two years in a Zambian prison. He revealed that the Red Fox organization consisted of four-himself, a Rhodesian MP and two Salisbury businessmen but stressed that it was ‘a completely unofficial organization, it had nothing to do with the government in any way’.69 He said that he had first conceived of an Israeli-style operation against Zambia following the killing of a Rhodesian soldier and friend in the 1968 March-April operations.
During March 1970, after threats of retaliatory action by Mr Ian Smith if Zambia continued to assist nationalist commando groups, Zambia deployed troops at points along the Zambezi river. For the first time since UDI large groups of Rhodesians and Zambians confronted each other across the Zambezi.
More recently, several Zambians – soldiers and civilians -have lost their lives following landmine explosions. The Zambian Government believed Rhodesian commandos to be responsible although on 14 January and 12February 1973, Rhodesian Government spokesmen denied any connection with the incidents but pointed out that ‘terrorist’ groups were known to be in the area. Several Zambian citizens have been arrested and charged with assisting Rhodesian agents in planting mines. The right-wing Rhodesia National Party has demanded military retaliation against Zambia:
The Government claims that it knows where the terrorist camps are sited in Zambia, but it does nothing. The R.N.P. urges the Government to destroy these camps without delay, before more lives, military and civilian, are lost.70 (See map, p. 47).
Both Mr Vorster and his Defence Minister, Mr Botha, have threatened Zambia with retaliation if she persisted in her provocation.71
The whole question of pre-emptive strikes and ‘hot pursuit’ is a highly sensitive one. When Mr Vorster implied at a party congress on 5 October 1971 that South African units had pursued insurgents from Caprivi into Zambia, an outcry resulted which was not confined to opponents of white supremacy. The Rhodesia Herald commented in an editorial: ‘It can only be concluded – tentatively – that Mr Vorster said something on Tuesday whose implications he realized too late. . . .” Hot pursuit” into the territory of a country harbouring terrorists would be a momentous escalation of armed strife in Africa. Rhodesia has studiously refrained from it.’72 Retaliation, as has been seen (p. 18), can also take the form of diplomatic and economic pressures.
Although President Kaunda is unlikely to abandon his commitment to an armed struggle against Rhodesia and her allies, he will be anxious to maintain a close supervision of the nationalist presence in Zambia. The military failures and faction-fighting of the Rhodesian nationalist organizations both embarrassed and exasperated Kaunda. On 17 August 1971, commenting on ZANU’s decision in the previous week to call off unity talks with ZAPU because of divisions within the ZAPU leadership, he warned the feuding groups that: ‘They have to choose between getting together or defeating Zambia’s willingness to accommodate them.’73 This threat clearly had some effect. In October a new organization was formed; headed by Boston University graduate Shelton Siwela, a veteran of the fighting in the Zambezi Valley, the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI) included leading former officials from both ZAPU and ZANU. However, each party refused to recognize this merger, claiming that it was an unrepresentative clique of the Zezuru clan. ZAPU’s Deputy National Secretary denounced FROLIZI as ‘a haven of refuge for political rejects’. Instead of a unified movement there were now three nationalist groups.
In January 1973 the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Kurt Waldheim, warned that increasing tension in the Rhodesia-Zambia area could lead to ‘an extensive racial conflagration with possible consequences far beyond the confines of Africa’.74 The southern African confrontation does not, as yet, affect the vital interests of the major powers currently preoccupied with Indo-China, the Arab-Israeli conflict -and the problems of oil-producing states around the Persian Gulf. Nevertheless, the prospect of southern Africa, an area which highlights the world problems of racial conflict and the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, becoming a future arena for world conflict cannot be completely discounted. If the white-black confrontation should become uncontainable at a regional level, then there is the distinct possibility of external intervention. The international dimension of the conflict is reinforced by the subjective, if at times rhetorical, perceptions of the contenders in the region. President Kaunda of Zambia, for example, has warned that a race war in southern Africa would make the Middle East look like a ‘picnic’; and Admiral Bierman, the South African Chief of General Staff, in the South African Armed Forces’ Journal Paratus, invites one of the major Western powers to back the white system in southern Africa: ‘It is imperative that a superpower should be involved in the strategy for the southern hemisphere … we must persuade the West that Communist penetration into the southern hemi-sphere is a direct threat to Western Europe and the rest of the free world.75 Although the Scandinavian countries and some private organizations have made large contributions for the humanitarian, educational and medical needs of the nationalist movements, there has been an underlying ambiguity in Western attitudes towards white-ruled southern Africa, which is especially marked in regard to South Africa. While officially condemning white supremacy and apartheid Western countries are rapidly expanding their investment in the economies of the territories.76 If, and when, the nationalist movements are in a position to overthrow white control there is the risk of the West being drawn into the defence of these interests, although increasing Western investment in black Africa may come to offset this danger. The lead of the Scandinavian countries may be followed by socialist governments in other European states – Holland, for instance, has recently appeared more receptive to the arguments of African nationalist movements.
External support in training and equipment is also indispensable for the survival of the insurgent movements in southern Africa.77 Training has taken place at Half Assini, Kumasi and Obenamasi in Ghana (before the downfall of Nkrumah); Tlemcen in Algeria; Cairo in Egypt; Pyongyang in North Korea; in Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and China.
Security authorities in Rhodesia and Mozambique believe the recent intensification of insurgent activity in the Zambezi valley to be due to increasing Communist involvement in the supplying and training of insurgents. The Soviet Union has been the largest source of finance, military hardware and training since the early 1960s. In addition to large quantities of small arms, the Soviet Union has more recently supplied 122mm rocket launchers with a range of over seven miles and the one-man operated SA-7 ground-to-air missile (both have been used effectively in Guinea (Bissau) and the Portuguese claim that 122mm rockets have been used against military command centres in Mozambique). African recruits have been trained in Moscow (the Political and Intelligence School), Simferopol (the Guerrilla Warfare Training School) and in the Crimea (the Sabotage and Demolition School). The recent improvement in the planning and fighting abilities of the insurgents is considered to be a reflection of growing Chinese involvement both in terms of the supply of small arms and in training.
If such external assistance is essential to nationalist armed resistance, then there are also disadvantages which militate against the promotion of a unified political and military strategy. One of them may be the encouragement of overdependence on external support, and another the fact that the rivalries of international politics are invariably reflected in the relationships both between and within the nationalist movements. Since the mid-1960s Sino-Soviet competition has intensified to a marked degree in the supplying of aid to key independent African states like Somalia and Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa, and also in competing for influence among the southern African liberation movements. The Soviet Union continues to exercise her influence in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean areas despite diplomatic setbacks in Egypt and the Sudan; and China has successfully extended her influence not only in Somalia, Ethiopia and the Sudan but also in the central African territories of Congo (Brazzaville), Zaire, Tanzania and Zambia. The improvement of relations with Zaire, once thought to be a bastion of Western influence, was reflected in President Mobutu’s highly successful visit to Peking in January 1973 – a significant development for the southern African confrontation considering Zaire’s strategic position and her potentially vast resources.
Ideological differences between China and the Soviet Union have introduced or re-inforced tensions in the liberation politics of the area. The Soviet Union has emphasised the ‘external factor’ and advocated a strategy of liberation combining a variety of military and nonmilitary methods. This approach has been accepted on the whole by SAANC, SWAPO, ZAPU, FRELIMO, MPLA and PAIGC participants at the 1969 Khartoum Conference convened under the aegis of the pro-Soviet AfroAsian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization. Some of their leaders, usually urban intellectuals, have had long-standing contacts with the Soviet Union through organizations like the South African Communist Party and the Angolan Communist Party which played active roles in forming SAANC and MPLA policies.
Hassan Chimutengwende, trained in Ghana in 1965, described how his Chinese instructors refused to train nationalist recruits with Soviet-supplied arms. The Chinese have placed more stress on the necessity for self-reliance and undiluted revolution based on the peasantry, while condemning ‘Soviet revisionism’. Financial and material assistance from China has generally passed direct, to PAC, ZANU, COREMO, UNITA, SWANU – rivals to the ‘Khartoum Alliance’. However, both PAIGC and FRELIMO, being undoubtedly the most effective of the movements in Guinea (Bissau) and Mozambique, also receive aid from China through the OAU Liberation Committee in Tanzania, a country on good terms with China.
China has training centres at Shanghai, Nanking and Peking. One early ZANU recruit trained near Shanghai in 1969 reveals how when he suggested that the Rhodesian terrain was not ideal for guerrilla warfare, his instructor retorted: ‘If your country is flat and you haven’t got the brains to defeat that then you’d better forget your revolution. You are not worth it.’78 He also said that he had been warned in advance by ZANU officials to be on his guard against Chinese indoctrination. Their fears appear to have been perfectly justified when this recruit later declined to use the training he had been given because, as he said: ‘I want a revolution, not just a nationalist armed struggle. You can’t have it halfway. I am a Maoist . . . But I was just to die, under the Rhodesian nationalists’ plan, so that they could take over Parliament and the whites could run the economy as usual.’ He also complained that he did not: ‘…have confidence in the military leadership and military organization because boys trained in many different countries are mixed up together in the units. Guerrilla training is different in one country from another; the different methods do not mix well.’
Nevertheless, there is no doubt, despite Sino-Soviet differences as to ideology and methods, that the insurgents in 1973 are better equipped and trained than those of the early to mid-1960s. General KauIza, Arriaga, recently Portuguese Commander-in-Chief in Mozambique, foresees before the end of the 1970s the possibility of the conflict in southern Africa assuming aspects of conventional warfare, including air attacks against white-controlled territory, if Zambia and Tanzania allow the support of the Soviet Union and China for the insurgent movements to continue increasing at its present rate. South Africa also seems to be taking this prospect seriously. At the level of irregular warfare it is reasonable to expect more use of a variety of tactics including mines, ambushes, long-range rocket and mortar attacks, night fighting, sabotage of communications and power networks, and urban guerrilla methods.
Finally, there is the very real possibility that the new dimension of international terrorism and its techniques (hi-jackings, kidnappings, letter bombs) already commonplace in Latin America and the Middle East will spread to southern Africa. This is most likely to affect South Africa where the established, black nationalist organizations’ continuing inability to strike effectively at white control may lead to conditions of frustration like those in the Middle East which gave rise to extremist Palestinian groups like ‘Black September’, which attempt to apply indirect pressure on Israel by propaganda and blackmail attacks on ‘soft’ international targets. In general, terror tactics, whether internal or international, are more likely to be effective against non-totalitarian metropolitan or foreign powers persuading them to withdraw from local situations than against permanently resident communities or nations. The Israeli response has been to establish a ruthlessly efficient and professional counter-terror department – Mivtzah Elohim. In this respect, there is little more than a theoretical metropolitan involvement in Rhodesia, and none at all in south Africa.
This Paper has traced the development of political violence in Rhodesia over the past decade and a half. In terms of a three or four phase insurgency (see Introduction) the struggle in Rhodesia is still at an early stage. Insurgency warfare is a continuing phenomenon and it is therefore important to have an overall view as to how it has developed in the past if the present nature and future prospects of the conflict are to be appreciated.
On the basis of this background survey two questions at least remain to be answered. Firstly, what are the survival prospects for white Rhodesia? And secondly, what is the relative significance of the Rhodesian confrontation within the wider racial conflict in southern Africa? A comparative analysis of four key aspects of the situation – ideology, administration, military-industrial power, and geography – should provide some indication of the respective capacities of South Africa, Rhodesia, Angola and Mozambique to resist or alternatively to adapt to military and other pressures of black nationalism. Any assessment of the survival capacities of these four territories should take as much account of the subjective perceptions and beliefs of their peoples as of the more easily quantifiable factors like GNP, military manpower and hardware, and geographical conditions.
White South Africans have an intense commitment to the system of social, economic and political apartheid. This is especially true of the Afrikaner people who are nationalists in the fullest sense of the term. The characteristic ‘laager mentality’ first in the face of British imperialism and now of a hostile world has reinforced the intensity of their beliefs. In South Africa there is no metropolitan authority and the white population for the most part can justifiably claim an indigenous status. White nationalism is strengthened by the fact that the 1:5 ratio of white to black is higher than in any other area of Africa. This is a fundamental factor in white South Africa’s ability to maintain power. Just as many Israelis believe that the hostility of their Arab neighbours is not merely confined to limited territorial claims on Israel but is aimed at the total destruction of both the idea and the reality of an Israeli state, white nationalism in South Africa similarly fears for its own cultural and physical survival. Both cases illustrate a ‘conflict of values’ situation which is not readily amenable to negotiation – compromise solutions seldom emanating from such ‘all or nothing’ situations.79
White Rhodesians hold values similar to those of white South Africans, but not with the same degree of intensity. The history of the two territories is very different, and British ideas and institutions are still more influential in Rhodesia than in the Republic of South Africa. If the situation in Rhodesia were to become unstable, apart from the deterrent effect on potential immigrants, some whites might elect, like the settlers in Kenya, to leave for Britain or head south. Whether or not conditions of mounting instability would lead to a significant outflow of white inhabitants, it does seem reasonable to assume that a really serious degeneration of the conflict would result in a centripetal movement of whites from rural districts to the main urban centres situated on the plateau which runs from the south-west to the north-east. The highveld, flat and well-serviced by road and rail communications, could be relatively easily defended by a determined, if small, white community, although long-distance links with the sea and neighbouring territories would be vulnerable to dislocation by guerrillas operating in the outlying and mainly black-inhabited, rural areas. (See map, p. 46).
Notwithstanding a lesser degree of ideological commitment than that in South Africa white Rhodesia’s decision to risk the isolation of a UDI indicated a strong sense of community. White attitudes have been stiffened by events in black Africa, such as the Mau Mau emergency in Kenya, the Congo crisis, the inter-tribal massacres in Burundi and Uganda, and the Nigerian civil war. These had the effect of reinforcing white opinion of the incompetence of black governments and the dangers of majority rule. On the other hand, it could also reasonably be argued that much of the instability in black Africa is at least partly the result of minorities of one kind or another holding on to a disproportionate share of power and privilege.
As in South Africa there is no metropolitan authority in Rhodesia which is in a position to enforce effective control although Britain retains some residential influence, demonstrated by the persistent Rhodesian efforts to negotiate recognition of her independence. The illusion – in which some African nationalists persisted as late as 1968 -that their goals could be achieved by military intervention from Britain or the United Nations has inhibited the development of an effective, self-reliant strategy of armed resistance to white rule. The fiction that Britain still has significant power in Rhodesia is likely to continue to influence the thinking of some Africans so long as she witholds recognition of Rhodesian independence.
Keri Phillips referring to the failure of blacks in South Africa to develop a counter-ideology argued that: ‘The African generally still aspires to be accepted within white society. His symbols of achievement are those of the whites, and although severely handicapped, he seeks to compete with them. Put rather crudely, one can say that the African is willing to play the game according to the white rules.80 If this can be said of South Africa, it is equally true of Rhodesia. However, there are signs that black attitudes in South Africa are changing and that the policy of apartheid will rebound on the government. Nineteen-seventy-two and 1973 have seen the formation of a black power party – the Black Peoples’ Convention; the breakaway of the all-black South African Students Organization from the liberal, multiracial National Union of South African Students; and the resurgence of black separatist churches and a new militancy amongst black workers.81 Bantustan leaders, formerly thought of as government stooges, have made increasingly outspoken and embarrassing demands for the South African government to demonstrate its sincerity by taking the policy of separate development to its logical conclusion, especially in regard to the redistribution of land.
Since the implementation of the 1969 Republican Constitution Rhodesia has increasingly followed the South African pattern. The government’s ‘divide and rule’ tactics are apparent in its Land Tenure Act and recent implementation of its ‘provincialization’ policy, setting up subordinate ‘parliaments’ with limited powers in the two main tribal areas of Matabeleland and Mashonaland. A series of discriminatory laws have also been added to the expanding apparatus of ‘petty apartheid’. Marshall Murphree, Professor of Race Relations at the University of Rhodesia has argued that if white Rhodesia decides against an integrationist strategy and persists with a segregation policy the most likely result will be a black demand for full-scale territorial partition and a revitalization of black cultural forms.82 In other words, the new mood of black separatism, with all its implications, is likely to spread to Rhodesia.
Unlike the situation in South Africa or Rhodesia, metropolitan Portugal exercises direct control in Angola and Mozambique. Portugal, the oldest colonial power in Africa, proclaims a fervent belief in her historic, civilizing mission. It has been Portuguese policy to accord political and social rights and privileges to those, irrespective of colour, who have demonstrated their capacity to assimilate Portuguese culture. In practice this ‘assimilado’ policy has, until recently, made little difference to the vast majority of the black population. By 1960, for example, there were in Angola only thirty thousand ‘assimilados’ in a total population of four million, and in Mozambique there were less than 4,500 in five and a half million. However, it is true that racial attitudes, though not entirely free from discrimination, are more relaxed than in Rhodesia and South Africa.
For all her rationalizing mythology, Portugal’s motives in retaining control of her overseas territories have been essentially economic and financial. Metropolitan Portugal’s balance of payments has in the past been heavily dependent on the foreign exchange earnings of the African ‘provinces’. Mozambique and more particularly Angola, besides being traditional sources of raw materials are also endowed with vast and unexploited natural resources. When the other European imperial powers withdrew from Africa, Portugal did not follow but tenaciously clung to her colonies, causing three colonial wars (Angola in 1961, Guinea (Bissau) in 1963, and Mozambique in 1964) which for over a decade have been a relentless drain on Portugal’s limited financial resources – almost half the annual budget is committed to maintaining the Portuguese presence in Africa. Portugal, one of Europe’s least developed countries and heavily reliant on exclusive access to its colonial market and raw materials was not in a position to follow the example of France and Britain who, with their wider interests, had much less reason to fear foreign competition and were therefore able to exercise indirect economic and political influence in their erstwhile colonies. The Portuguese economy on its own was not strong enough to develop the extensive resources of Angola and Mozambique and at the same time to finance three costly counter-insurgency campaigns. For metropolitan Portugal the issue of whether or not to remain in Africa is largely one of a ‘conflict of interests’. This contrasts with the ‘conflict of value’ situation, where a ‘fight to the finish’ mentality does not facilitate negotiated solutions. Perceptions of economic interest are more subject to rational calculations and provide greater opportunities for flexibility and compromise. However, it would be wrong to underestimate Portuguese pride in their imperial past and prestige factors are important, particularly for the traditional establishment which includes the Army. The power of the ultra-conservatives was shown by the dismissal of two progressive ministers, Xavier Pintado and Rogerio Martins, and by the resignations of two prominent moderates, Dr Francisco San Carneiro and Professor Miller Guerra. The recent Portuguese election has also returned a noticeably less moderate National Assembly than its predecessor – Particularly on the issue of the overseas territories. However, since 1965 there have been some signs of a change in Portuguese policy which may, together, provide an indication of the way in which the relationship between metropolitan Portugal and the overseas provinces will develop.
Firstly, in April 1965 Portugal abandoned her traditional policy of restricting foreign investment in her colonies, and foreign investment has since been actively encouraged. American, South African and West German capital has flowed in to develop resources which Portugal could not herself fully exploit. This decision was not taken without misgivings since it would inevitably result in some diminution of Portugal’s previously exclusive control.
Secondly, Portugal has recently granted a significant, degree of constitutional autonomy to territorial legislatures in Angola (53 seats), Mozambique (50 seats) and Guinea (Bissau) (17 seats), which are now being referred to as ‘autonomous states’.
Lastly, in recent years there has been within Portugal a widening debate about whether her future lies in Africa or in Europe. Sr. Rogerio Martins, former Secretary of State for Industry and Dr Xavier Pintado, former Secretary of State for Commerce, are from a rising generation of ‘technocrats’ who have recently argued for the need to establish a closer relationship with the European Economic Community. Some of their supporters have even argued that if Portugal is to remain in Africa at all, she must improve her economic and trading position in Europe. Despite the fact that these views have aroused the hostility of the traditional establishment, it is significant that in 1972 there was a radical departure from the traditional policy of complete economic integration between Portugal and her overseas provinces. Portugal now appears to be pursuing a policy of economic disengagement, calculated to encourage self-sufficiency in these provinces. Apart from the need to reconsider Portugal’s relationship with Europe this dramatic reversal of policy should be seen in the light of the increasing balance of payments deficits incurred by the overseas territories. Both Mozambique and Angola are more and more having to pay for their imports from their own resources. In line with this policy of promoting provincial economic independence, both territories are also having to bear a larger part of the counter-insurgency effort by means of local recruitment.
The combined effect of these factors could be the start of a process which will develop its own momentum towards some form of independence from metropolitan Portugal. This may be further accelerated by the adverse effects of the costly African wars upon Portugal’s internal economy and politics. Up to 20,000 young men a year are leaving Portugal to avoid conscription into the army, in addition to large numbers already elsewhere in Europe in the search for better prospects. (It should be noted, however, that while such a massive emigration of surplus labour to Europe is a reflection of Portugal’s poverty and underdevelopment, the Portuguese Administration benefits from the repatriation of over £300 million a year in foreign currencies a figure sufficient to cover the defence budget.)83 Left wing groups: such as the Revolutionary Brigade and the ARA (Accao Revolucionario Armada) have registered their protest through violence; explosions have damaged military installations and equipment, railway stations, blown up a NATO communications network and scattered anti-war leaflets during 1972 and 1973. Such divisions within Portuguese society may, to a limited extent, be open to exploitation by the African liberation movements, but not to the degree that the less authoritarian societies of France and the United States were exposed in the Algerian and Vietnam conflicts.
If the varying degrees of success achieved by South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal in containing insurgency are to be seen in the light of differing degrees of ideological commitment on the part of the white regimes, the failure of some of the liberation movements to provide a credible counter-ideology or an effective alternative ‘administration’ is also a contributory factor. The psychological and practical problems of exile status are compounded by personality, tribal and ideological conflicts. The FRELIMO leadership was thrown into temporary disarray after the assassination in 1969 of its exceptionally competent leader, Eduardo Mondlane. The damage caused by rival claims to the vacant leadership was made worse by the subsequent defection of two senior officials, Lazaro Kavandame and Miguel Murupa, to the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique.
In Angola the Movimento Popular de Libertao de Angola (MPLA), with a mainly urban, mestico leadership and no particular tribal base, has been in a state of continual competition with the Governo Revolutionario de Angola no Exilio and its military wing Frente Nacional de Libertacao de Angola (GRAE/FLNA) which drew support mainly from the Bakongo tribe in northern Angola. The third organization, Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) has been the subject to hostility of both MPLA and GRAE. On several occasions their rivalry has amounted to more than verbal battles; ethnic and regional differences, aggravated by rural and urban divisions, have seriously inhibited attempts to restore political unity between the rival movements in Angola.
Angola also shows how the Sino-Soviet dispute has interfered with attempts to oppose the Portuguese presence with a common ideological approach. MPLA is heavily dependent on Soviet support and follows a Moscow line while UNITA, ignored by the OAU Liberation Committee, has had to develop a self-reliant strategy which is favoured by, and has received limited assistance from China. The divisive effect of the Soviet and Chinese involvement was also made clear in the reactions of the rival South African movements to the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, which the SAANC approved and PAC criticized. However, some movements, notably FRELIMO and PAIGC, have successfully elicited aid from China and the Soviet Union, as well as the West.
The Rhodesian case provides, perhaps, the most striking example of how personality, tribal and ideological divisions have inhibited the development of a unified liberation front. The split in mid-1963 between Sithole’s ZANU party and Nkomo’s ZAPU was largely precipitated by dissatisfaction with Nkomo’s style of leadership. Their violent competition in the black townships after 1963 lowered the prestige of the nationalists and enabled the authorities to play one organization off against the other. ZAPU has been traditionally Ndebele-Kalanga-orientated while ZANU has been primarily Shona-based, although both contained some members of the other tribal groups. ZAPU has suffered most from tribal divisions; this was particularly obvious in the leadership dispute of early 1970. After criticism from Jason Moyo, Edward Ndhlovu and George Silundika (all from the Kalanga tribe), James Chikerema (Zezuru) admitted in the document Reply to Observations on Our Struggle that: ‘The army has been divided into tribal factions. The party is divided into tribal factions and clannish empires. There are cadres that are more equal than others in both the party and the army. There are cadres that are given special treatment on tribal and clan considerations in both the party and the army.’ After President Kaunda’s ultimatum to the feuding nationalists to unite or forfeit Zambia’s hospitality the ultimately unsuccessful attempt at unification was made with the formation of the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI).
The rival movements have not escaped the divisive influence of the Sino-Soviet dispute; when ZANU commandos clashed with security forces near Sinoia in April 1966 ZAPU condemned them as ‘pro-Chinese extremists’. ZAPU has traditionally relied upon Soviet support and in 1967-68 allied itself with the pro-Soviet African National Congress of South Africa. ZANU, on the other hand, has in the past expressed sympathy with the Pan-Africanist Congress and favoured Peking. Both parties have competed for support from the OAU and it may be worth noting that insurgent activity has frequently coincided with OAU Liberation Committee meetings when the allocation of funds to liberation movements has been on the agenda.
It is significant that the two movements which have achieved the greatest degree of nationalist unity, FRELIMO in Mozambique and the Partido Africano da Independencia do Guine Portuguesa e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) in Guinea (Bissau), have also been militarily the most successful. Both PAIGC and FRELIMO have been resilient enough to survive the assassination of their leaders, Amilcar Cabral and Eduardo Mondlane, in what appear to have been Portuguese intelligence operations.84Whereas the internal divisions in the various liberation movements of South Africa, Rhodesia and Angola have given rise to policies which in essentials are reactions to external events and conditions – like the Sino-Soviet dispute and competition for OAU Liberation Committee funds – the greater political maturity of PAIGC and FRELIMO has enabled them to develop strategies more relevant to internal conditions in Guinea (Bissau) and Mozambique and not simply responses to external stimuli.
However, there are indications that some of the problems of disunity are being resolved; under the mediating influence of President Mobutu of Zaire a reconciliation was effected between GRAE/FLNA and MPLA in Angola in 1972In Namibia (South West Africa) the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) has established itself as the major political and military force. In Rhodesia, too, there has been a measure of reconciliation between ZAPU and ZANU with the establishment in March 1973 of a Joint Political and Military Command. ZANU co-operation with FRELIMO in Mozambique has also proved to be a more effective alliance than the collaboration between ZAPU and the South African ANC in 1967-68. All these developments may lead to a more viable challenge to the maintenance of white power.
One feature which distinguishes the South African situation from cases of insurgency elsewhere is that the South African administration already had at its disposal both the apparatus and techniques of tight political and social control before the outbreak of insurgency really got under way. This has enabled the Republic to pre-empt any attempts at internal subversion; for example, the segregation of blacks into geographically separated townships and rural areas, the pass system with its attendant administrative sanctions which can be directed against ‘troublemakers’, and an extensive informer network have all assisted the maintenance of security at the expense of black solidarity. The most significant and dramatic illustration of this was the raid on Lilliesleaf Farm at Rivonia outside Johannesburg in July 1963 when police captured a document (codenamed Operation Mayibuye) which contained details of a scheme for initiating guerrilla warfare. Since July 1963 the exiled South African liberation movements (African National Congress and Pan-Africanist Congress with their military wings Umkhonto we Sizwe and Poqo), have been unable to operate effectively within South Africa.
The South African case also differs in that the civil administration and security forces are mostly white and consequently impervious to infiltration by dissident non-whites. The small, but vociferous, white radical element of the English speaking population is kept under close scrutiny – a method which is in practice reinforced by the insistence on complete bilingualism in Civil Service ranks. Furthermore, whatever the arguments about the morality of apartheid, it can scarcely be denied that it is administered with ruthless efficiency and sustained by a high degree of ideological commitment. It is, therefore, not open to subversion and corruption from within by techniques such as the bribing of key officials which have helped precipitate the downfall of regimes in other insurgency situations.
In Rhodesia, black resistance to white rule has been hindered by a similar, but less overwhelming capacity for ‘pre-emptive administration’. Ever since the late 1950s African militants and their activities have been carefully controlled and suppressed by stringent security legislation and an efficient informer system. The geographical separation of residential areas for the different races, although not as advanced as in South Africa, facilitates security.
There are very few Africans, except at low levels, in the Civil Service. In 1971 there were no more than fifteen African graduates in all government departments, outside the Division of African Education.85 Subversive penetration of the Rhodesian Civil Service by non-whites would be almost as difficult as it is in South Africa, but Rhodesia’s security forces are much more vulnerable. Whites form only about a third of the active strength of the police force, although the Police Reserve is two-thirds white; and about a third of the regular army is non-white.86 The highest ranks reached by Africans in the army and police are Regimental Sergeant Major and Sub-Inspector, and it is highly unlikely that Africans will be commissioned at higher levels, even if they were suitable. While this reduces the risk of infiltration at levels of influence it gives rise to resentment; it may be significant that former policemen and soldiers have been reported to be amongst captured insurgents. Nevertheless, Rhodesia has relied heavily on the Rhodesian African Rifles. The security authorities plan to expand the white element to reduce the present imbalance but they have been impeded by lack of money and shortage of white recruits. In the Annual Report Army morale is described as ‘satisfactory’ and in the opinion of the G.O.C., General G. P. Walls: ‘Urgent measures are needed to halt the exodus of experienced men from the regular Army and to attract more recruits.’
The Portuguese territories provide examples of the differing pre-emptive capacities of the local administrations, although in no case did they compare with the efficacy of the regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia. There were, during 1959, widespread arrests and harassment of black and mestico anti-Portuguese radicals in Angola. The first Secretary-General of MPLA, Viriato da. Cruz, later admitted that these arrests ‘made it impossible for the MPLA to effectively lead the armed peasant movement.’87 Even so the Portuguese administration was caught off guard by the outbreak of the revolt in early 1961. According to one pro-Portuguese commentator there were only 2,000 white soldiers and 700 policemen (half of whom were black) in the whole territory at the time.88 In both Mozambique and Guinea (Bissau) FRELIMO and PAIGC were able to spend at least two years in mobilizing support and establishing an underground organization before embarking on military activity.89 This no doubt goes some way towards explaining why the level of guerrilla activity in Guinea (Bissau), Mozambique and Angola has been higher than in South Africa and Rhodesia.
Since the outbreak of her three African wars Portugal has tried a policy of increased racial integration in both the armed forces and civil administrations of the overseas territories. However, the effects of this metropolitan policy are likely to be slowed down by settler conservatism in the overseas territories. This is least strong in Guinea (Bissau) where the white population is only 3,000 in a population of about 800,000 (1:270).Here, the former Governor and Commander-in-Chief, General Spinola, recognizing the impossibility of a purely military victory, hastened the process of Africanization in the administration and armed forces, over half of which are locally recruited.
In Mozambique there are some 250,000whites in a population well of over eight million (1:35). A significant measure of racial integration has been promoted by Lisbon and carried through by the Mozambique authorities. A non-White majority has been returned to the newly-formed Legislative Assembly (18 Blacks, 3 Indians, 3 Mesticos, 1 Chinese, and 1 Goan, who account for 52 per cent of the seats). Only 20 seats were elected by direct suffrage representing the nine districts, and the remainder were selected by various corporate interests and traditional tribal authorities. In theory, the right to vote is open to all heads of families, whatever their standard of literacy and to everyone considered literate over the age of 21. In fact there are only 111,559 voters registered on the electoral role.90
Thirty thousand of the 60,000 regular troops in Mozambique have been locally recruited and blacks are being admitted to the commissioned ranks. Half of the metropolitan troops are engaged in ‘social promotion’ programmes which are mainly geared to the creation of aldeamentos or strategically-fortified villages. About a thousand of these have been completed taking in a population of more than one million. The Portuguese hope that this re-settlement willbe acceptable in return for the educational, medical and other social benefits of the aldeamentospolicy.Local militias have even been armed by the Portuguese for village defence which indicates Portuguese confidence since there is always the risk of defection to the insurgents.
The white-settler community in Angola with a population of about 350,000 in a total of five and a half million (1:15) is both larger and more firmly entrenched than in Mozambique, and there are only eight blacks in the Legislative Assembly Of 53 seats. At the University in Luanda there are still very few blacks whereas by 1975 the great majority of the 8,000 students at the University in Lourenco Marques in Mozambique will be non-white. However, both the civil administration and the security forces in Angola are dependent on black personnel; only about a third of the 60,000 troops there are metropolitan servicemen. The population in the areas most vulnerable to insurgent influence has been regrouped into aldeamentosas in Mozambique and Guinea (Bissau).91
The Lisbon policy of greater constitutional autonomy and increasing racial integration in the overseas territories stands in marked contrast to neighbouring Rhodesia and South Africa. While these developments may appear at best inadequate, at worst diversionary, to opponents of the Portuguese presence in Africa, they do involve the calculated risk of exposing the administration and security forces to infiltration and subversion if such policies are not seriously intended to satisfy the expectations of an appreciable section of politically conscious non-whites. A dilemma which Portugal may have to face is that the very process of development will create a situation of rising expectations leading to increasingly radical demands. Portuguese leaders may well be envisaging, in the long run, the growth of independent, multiracial, meritocratic administrations in Angola and Mozambique, which will be favourably disposed towards Lisbon, possibly within some form of Lusitanian Commonwealth. Whether or not the mass of the population, particularly in the rural areas, will be successfully persuaded to abandon traditional customs and beliefs in favour of Portuguese culture remains an open question. This seems no more likely than Algerians wishing to become Frenchmen. On the other hand, white-separatist policies which tend to produce a counter black-separatism, as in South Africa and Rhodesia, are not practised in the Portuguese territories.
It would be wrong, however, to overlook the influence of white-settler conservatism in both Angola and Mozambique. There has been talk in both territories of a Rhodesia-style UDI if metropolitan Portugal rushes the policy of Africanization or looks like succumbing to insurgent pressure. However, neither territory could contemplate such a step without advance assurances of South African and Rhodesian support. Mozambique is of particular importance to both of them, providing landlocked Rhodesia with access to the ports of Beira and Lourenco Marques, and South Africa’s gold mines with cheap labour; and strategically, Mozambique constitutes a buffer zone from militant black Africa.
Angola, until the recent upsurge of South African investment, has traditionally had few close ties with South Africa. However, it is of some strategic importance since it is on the western flank of white-controlled southern Africa. With a more developed economy than Mozambique, she would be in a better position to risk a UDI-situation. Numerically at least, with a black-white ratio of 1:15 it would be in a stronger position than Rhodesia (1: 21). Angola also has greater natural resources, in particular oil. However, she is vulnerable in other ways, having more exposed frontiers, being heavily dependent on black and metropolitan security forces and in having a less effective administrative structure than South Africa or Rhodesia. It is also significant that a large proportion of the whites are only very recent immigrants and do not have long-established roots in Angola.
The possibility of a UDI situation developing in either of these territories might depend on the Lisbon authorities’ ability to control the opposing pressures of white conservatism on the one hand and of black nationalism on the other, until a viable multiracial administration is achieved. South Africa is almost certainly in a position to maintain apartheid for a long time to come, though perhaps not indefinitely. Rhodesia, with a white population of 250,000, does not have the manpower to administer and maintain control of a system which discriminates against a black population of five and a half million today, which in twenty years time will be doubled. No amount of immigration or natural increase in the white population can hope to mitigate this fundamental imbalance.
South Africa’s emergence as the major industrial power on the continent, with a GNP in 1972 estimated at $US21-4 billion, has enabled her to create one of the most formidable military forces in Africa. The defence budget, amounting to nearly $US450 million for 1972-73 has risen sharply to $716 million for 1973-74. ($US1 = 0.81 Rand on 1 July 1972 and 0.672 Rand on 1 July 1973). In terms of military hardware and technology South Africa is developing an increasingly advanced and independent capability. She has, for example, become self-sufficient in small arms and ammunition since the establishment of an armaments production and development industry (ARMSCOR); and is able to construct Impala jet-trainer aircraft (some also armed in a COIN role) under Italian licence and Mirage fighters under French licence. Most impressive in this regard is the possibility that South Africa. may be in a position to acquire nuclearpower status within a decade. Speculation about South Africa’s nuclear ambitions in the military field has been stimulated by her claim of having developed a `unique’ and commercially viable technique for `enriching’ her large supplies of raw uranium (the largest in the world after the United States and Canada) and by her reluctance to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Given the nature of the threat to her security – as she currently perceives it – it is difficult to see any significant political advantage which could result from the acquisition of, or the military utility of, nuclear weapons. Nuclear threats against Lusaka or Dar-es-Salaam would very likely precipitate a crisis endangering international peace and security and lead to preemptive intervention by the great powers – precisely the situation South Africa most wants to avoid. For the time being it would appear that South Africa, is more concerned to exploit the commercial possibilities of her uranium resources in partnership with one or more of the major Western powers and thereby to secure recognition as an integral component of the `Western Alliance’. Professor J. E. Spence has suggested that it is reasonable to argue `that for the present the South African government does not feel obliged to make the choice’ between any possible `military aspirations’ and her `politico-economic objectives’.92 Most probably she will simply continue to keep open the military option as a possible bargaining point in her relations with the West. It may be significant, for instance, that the South African announcement in July 1970 of her own uranium enrichment process coincided with the controversy over the question of British arms sales to South Africa – possibly an attempt to demonstrate her capacity to make a worthwhile contribution to Western efforts in the field of nuclear technology as well as her ability to act independently if necessary.
The South African armed forces consist of 18,000 regulars and a Citizen Force of 92,000 trained and equipped to meet either a land or a maritime threat; the land threat being viewed in terms of both regular or irregular warfare. Geoffrey Kemp has estimated that `at least 80 per cent of the . . . defence programme budget is allocated for the landward threat’ mainly directed towards establishing a counterinsurgency capability.93 This was impressively demonstrated by large-scale exercises like `Operation Sibasa’ along the Limpopo valley during August 1968 involving one thousand vehicles, five thousand men and eight squadrons of support aircraft.94 Combat aircraft include Canberra, Buccaneer SMk-50s (a strike-aircraft which can be adapted for an effective counterinsurgency role) and the Mirage IIIEZ (a fighter aircraft carrying AS-20 and AS-30 missiles and said to be suitable for ground attacks on `insurgent’ targets). South Africa is also well-supplied with tactical and transport helicopters, an indispensable component of modern counter-insurgency warfare. Most of these are French – Alouette II/IIIs, Super Frelon and SA-330 Puma. In addition there is a `Home Guard’, consisting of air and ground units which can and have been used to suppress isolated, internal disturbances like that in Pondoland in 1961. The 10,000 regulars in the Army, 5,500 in the Air Force and a large Police Force of about 30,000 are fully co-ordinated on a counter-insurgency basis.
There are also two dimensions to the maritime threat. In conventional terms South Africa. is concerned with the Soviet naval presence in the Indian Ocean. Her defence against a major sea-borne attack includes Shackleton long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, minesweepers, anti-submarine frigates and a submarine force of three Daphne-class vessels. In collaboration with France South Africa has developed the short-range Cactus surface-to-air missile for use against low-flying aircraft. The possibility of the creation of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization involving Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil and Portugal has been mooted. However, South African hopes in this respect must have faded with the appearance of Labour governments in the traditionally friendly countries of Australia and New Zealand.
South Africa also faces the possibility of insurgent infiltration along her coastline. For example, in a 1969 treason trial the defendants were alleged to have surveyed the shoreline near the heavily forested Knysna area of Cape Province for possible submarine landing sites. The Decca radar system, capable of pinpointing offshore craft to within twenty-five yards, now covers the entire coastline from South West Africa. on the Atlantic to Natal on the Indian Ocean. So long as South Africa is shielded by a ring of sympathetic or neutral buffer states there is little likelihood of any credible, or effective challenge to the continued existence of the white administration. Even if Rhodesia and the Portuguese territories were to come under militant black rule South Africa would remain a powerful adversary. If, and when, internal insurgency with external support triumphed in South Africa any black revolutionary regime would very probably have to contend with highly trained and well organized white sabotage and guerrilla units.
Southern Rhodesia emerged from the break-up of the Central Africa Federation with a diversified money economy primarily geared to the needs of the small white population. Since 1963 primary, secondary and tertiary industries have continued to expand although overall growth has been inhibited by international sanctions. However, the `closed economy’ since UDI in 1965 has led to increased self-sufficiency in some areas, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Both South Africa and Portugal, with a clear interest in demonstrating the inefficacy of economic sanctions as a method of forcing political change, have assisted Rhodesia in circumventing the effects of the sanction and embargo policy. Rhodesia’s main .problem is a chronic shortage of foreign exchange vital for the long term expansion of the economy which is essential if the economy is to keep pace with both population growth (3-6 per cent annum) and the age distribution of the population (nearly half under the age of 16). In order to achieve this the labour market will have to absorb annually at least 40,000 Africans who can no longer be sustained by a tribal subsistence economy. The need for economic expansion is at odds with the social and political policies of the white administration which have an inhibitory effect on growth.
The Rhodesian GNP in 1972 was estimated to be some $US1.57 billion, considerably less than South Africa ($US21.4 billion). In the current financial year defence expenditure will amount to about 24 million Rhodesian dollars (approximately $US16.1m.) This represents some 2 per cent of the GNP and 8 1/2 per cent of the total annual budget.
With such limited resources Rhodesia can afford only a small, if relatively efficient, defence force. The army consists of 3,500 regulars and a Territorial Force of 10,000. Since 1966 the Rhodesian Light Infantry, Rhodesian African Rifles and the Special Air Service have been organized on a counter-insurgency basis. The Air Force consists of 1,200 men and 45 combat aircraft (including squadrons of Canberra B-2 light bombers, Hunter F5A-9 fighters, Vampire FB-9, light reconnaissance aircraft, AerMacchi-Lockeed transports and Alouette 111 helicopters). This combination of strike, bomber, reconnaissance, fixed and rotary wing transport has constituted an adequate force for suppressing past and present levels of insurgency in Rhodesia. Some of these aircraft have already demonstrated their counter-insurgency capabilities in Malaya. In the past the Rhodesian Air Force has provided an effective deterrent against external attack, but this will become less credible as the black states acquire more modern and sophisticated aircraft and missiles. However, the problems of obsolescence and the acquisition of spare parts have been accentuated by sanctions.95
The Rhodesian security forces have shown considerable ingenuity at improvization in the face of shortages in manpower, equipment and facilities, but this is clearly not a long-term solution. The insurgent threat has been contained till now but only with increased para-military support from South Africa since 1967.
Portugal’s GNP in 1972 was estimated to be $US8.3 billion ($1=27 escudos on 1 July 1972) and defence expenditure in 1972 amounted to $US425 million or nearly half the total annual budget. The magnitude of the Portuguese defence effort is shown by the fact that South Africa, with a GNP almost three times the size of that of Portugal, spent a roughly similar figure on defence ($US448,300,000).
Portugal’s total defence forces are estimated at 204,000 men. Over 150,000 of these are deployed in Africa-there are probably some 60,000 in Angola, 60,000 in Mozambique and 30,000 in Guinea (Bissau). Up to one-half of these are recruited locally in the territories. The Portuguese `forces of intervention’ include the Commandos, Parachutists, Naval Fusiliers and local black units – the GEP (Special Parachute Group) in Mozambique and the Flechas (Arrows) in Angola. These special units are likely to bear an increasing burden of the fighting in the future while most metropolitan troops are engaged in the implementation of the aldeamentos programme. The most ambitious extension of this policy is taking place in the Cabo Delgado district along the Rovuma river bordering Tanzania. This involves the construction of a strategic road from the new port of Tampa to run parallel to the Rovuma river until it reaches the small army post of Negomano at the junction of the Rovuma and Lugenda rivers. At short intervals the road widens to form allweather airstrips and at longer intervals fortified villages are being built. The most advanced model for these strategically situated aldeamentos is at Nangade which, because of its border position, will contain a mixed population of some 2,500 members of the Makonde, Macua and Swahili tribes. Described as `Operation Frontier’, the scheme also includes the construction of aldeamentos and access roads in depth behind the frontier which are designed to create a `human border’ for containing infiltration by insurgents from Tanzania. The future of both Angola and Mozambique depends in large measure on the success or failure of projects such as that at Nangade; in Mozambique it is hoped that by 1975 three million of the territory’s eight million inhabitants will be settled in this way. The black civilian population has suffered heavily at the hands of both insurgent and counter-insurgent forces. It is clear that atrocities have been committed against tribesmen by both security forces and guerrillas, and final control will probably pass to the side which is able to provide the villagers with effective protection. The population resettled under the aldeamentosprogramme appears to have accepted the concomitant social benefits and been entrusted to form their own militia. Their acceptance is also doubtless partly motivated by the unattractive prospect of remaining in a `free-fire’ zone where stragglers are assumed to be either insurgents or sympathizers. FRELIMO’s rudimentary `alternative’ administration will be hard pressed to compete with Portugal’s greater resources and apparent determination to implement the aldeamentos strategy.
In addition to her large army, Portugal has a navy of 18,000 men (including 3,300 marines). Most of her 25 coastal patrol vessels and 24 coastal launches (all less than 100 tons) are used to ferry troops, prevent infiltration by sea and to patrol inland and coastal waterways – especially Lake Malawi, where there is a Portuguese naval base at Augusto Cardoso, the Congo river estuary in Angola and the rivers and offshore islands of Guinea (Bissau). The Air Force with 16,000 men plays a vital role in providing support and mobility to ground forces in the three Portuguese-held territories, where surface communications have been less than adequate in the past. The combat aircraft used in the African territories include two squadrons of G-91 s in a fighter-ground attack role, as well as a helicopter force consisting of about 100 Alouette 11/IIIs and 12 Puma SA-330s.
Portugal’s continued military presence in the African territories is to a considerable extent dependent on her NATO membership. She manufactures her own small arms and light automatics – some of them, like the NATO type G-3, are made under West German licence. In 1966 West Germany sold Portugal 4o Fiat G-91 fighter-bombers. These aircraft, originally designed for NATO defence requirements, are also suitable for a COIN role, since the G-91 needs only a short runway. Between 196’7 and 1969 Portugal received four frigates and four submarines from France and is also supplied with French Alouette helicopters and Noratlas transport aircraft. Without assistance from the NATO countries the Portuguese war effort could not be sustained for very long. African nationalist policy appears to be one of persuading NATO countries to ban arms deliveries to Portugal, and to press for her expulsion from the Alliance. This is probably a more realistic strategy than attempts to exploit the existing contradictions within Portuguese society controlled by an authoritarian regime. This would be a very much more difficult undertaking than was the case with societies like France and the United States. The British Labour Party and the West German Social Democratic Party have recently called for Portugal’s expulsion from NATO and an embargo on arms deliveries to her.
Portugal has also received considerable assistance from the United States which in return has been granted facilities in the Azores. In the past, particularly during the early 1960s when nearly 80 per cent of all American military transport en route to Europe refuelled in the Azores, Portugal successfully exerted influence over American attitudes to Portuguese policy in Africa. More recently, however, it has been argued that with the development of longer-range aircraft the role of the Azores in American defence planning has shifted from an air transport to a naval reconnaissance function, so that Portuguese influence over American policy will be consequently weaker. On the other hand, the value of the Azores for the rapid movement of equipment to areas of potential or actual conflict, particularly in the face of obstruction from her NATO partners, has been shown by the American use of the Azores facilities for making up Israeli losses in the Middle East war of October 1973.96
The incumbent regimes in southern Africa have superior technological and economic resources; in South Africa’s case it is an overwhelming advantage against insurgents. This has not proved to be entirely the case in Rhodesia and South African support has been necessary. In the Portuguese territories there are indications that the ability of the insurgents to increase the already enormous expense of the wars is causing some re-appraisal of the economic cost/political-benefit factors involved in committing half the budget for African wars instead of using these resources to reorientate the Portuguese economy towards the European Economic Community.
Most of the insurgent organizations are relatively well supplied with basic small arms, ammunition and equipment from China or Eastern Europe. In some cases this weaponry is considered superior to that in use against the insurgents, whose greatest weakness lies in their exposure to counter-insurgent airpower in the form of strike attacks, airborne assaults and transport operations but also including high-altitude photographic and low visual reconnaissance, and a capacity for helping with propaganda campaigns. In 1972 in Mozambique 2,285 flying hours were given over to `skyshouting’ patrols and the dropping of five million propaganda leaflets. These techniques were
employed in both Malaya and Kenya with some success. The acquisition of effective antiaircraft weapons by the insurgents would reduce this disadvantage, and it is significant that Portuguese aircraft in Guinea (Bissau) have recently been shot down by the new Soviet-made SA-7 ground-to-air missile.
Although there is no formal military alliance between South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal, liaison at high levels is maintained. For example, in October 1972 the Rhodesian Minister of Defence and his Chief of General Staff, General G. P. Walls, had a four day meeting with their South African opposite numbers, P. W. Botha and Admiral H. H. Biermann. The Portuguese head of the armed forces, General Rebelo, has made similar visits. Co-operation on the ground is apparent in the South African para-military presence in Rhodesia and there have been persistent reports97 of South African and Rhodesian troops operating in the Tete area of Mozambique and of South African forces in Angola, although Rhodesia and South Africa officially deny any direct involvement. The Portuguese certainly appear to resent suggestions that they require outside assistance, and made this clear to the Rhodesian Prime Minister when he visited Lisbon in October 1972. Portuguese and South African reactions to the Rhodesian border closure illustrate other potential sources of conflict. But whatever tensions exist between the white regimes, they are certainly of minor consequence in comparison to those of the black nationalist movements whose inability to unite and co-operate within and across frontiers has greatly eased the task of the white regimes.
South Africa has the advantage of being geographically insulated from the militant states of black Africa, and the insurgents are therefore effectively denied contiguous sanctuaries. Even if the insurgents were successful in overcoming the considerable problems of access to South Africa. from their bases in Zambia and Tanzania, the terrain is by no means ideal for guerrilla warfare either in rural or urban areas. The white population is spread throughout the country and even the semi-independent Bantustans, which might possibly provide cover for guerrillas, are very vulnerable to economic and military retaliation. So are the independent `hostage’ states of Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana. To add to these disadvantages South Africa has a highly developed system of road, rail and air communications which provides the administration with a mobility capable of transporting her security forces to any part of the country within ninety minutes.
Rhodesia, on the other hand, has nearly 400 miles of common border with Zambia, a host territory to the Rhodesian nationalist movements. However, this border is not heavily populated and the existence of Lake Kariba is an inhibiting factor, for the insurgents, for some Zoo miles along the frontier. Rhodesia’s other borders with Botswana in the north-west and Mozambique in the north-east would be highly vulnerable if insurgents ever come to be in a position to operate freely across them. The inability of the Portuguese to eradicate guerrilla activity in the Tete area of Mozambique, and the recent ZANU operations in the north-east of Rhodesia have highlighted this. The construction of the new Botswana-Zambia highway from Francistown through Nata to Kazungula, which will link with the Tanzania-Zambia communications system, is due to be completed in 1976 and could be of considerable strategic significance. With an all-weather communications link to Zambia and independent black Africa., in addition to new found mineral wealth, Botswana may be able to take a more independent line in the politics of southern Africa. The Rhodesian decision to build a rail-link between Rutenga and Messina is a precaution against such a contingency. It is significant, however, that the Francistown to Kazungula road will also facilitate South African defence communications from the military base at Katimo Mulilo in the Caprivi Strip to Rhodesia and to Grootfontein in South West Africa. which is being connected by a new military road. (See map, p. 47).
Rhodesia has a relatively good communications network which is being improved and extended. White settlement is concentrated in the towns and farming lands of the central highveld which runs along the line of road and rail from the south-west to the north-east, and is surrounded by the Tribal Trust Lands and African Purchase Areas. If widespread, internally-sustained guerrilla warfare should break out in Rhodesia this population and land distribution pattern lends itself to Mao Tse-tung’s classic strategy of encircling urban areas from the countryside. (See map, p. 46). The terrain is not entirely unfavourable for guerrilla warfare since there are mountain ranges and outlying areas with dense populations which could provide bases and cover for guerrilla bands. Against this, the increasing efficiency of the communications system enables the security forces to operate with greater mobility.
Angola and Mozambique are both more exposed than Rhodesia to militant black states which provide sanctuary to the liberation movements. Angola is totally exposed on its northern and eastern borders to infiltration from Zaire and Zambia. Mozambique has shorter, but still highly vulnerable, frontiers with Zambia in the west and Tanzania in the north. The geography of both territories is generally more suitable for guerrilla warfare. In the mountainous Dembos region north-east of Luanda the Angolan insurgents have a stronghold. They also operate in the Cazombo salient between Zaire and Zambia, and infiltrate into the southern and central districts of Angola from the eastern border with Zambia. The vast distances involved make communications difficult for the Portuguese authorities to contain insurgency in these outlying areas. In northern Mozambique there are two war zones. One is around the Mueda plateau of the Cabo Delgado district which is mainly populated by the Makonde tribe, the principal source of recruitment for FRELIMO in the past. The Portuguese hope that ‘Operation Frontier’ will effectively seal off the border and prevent infiltration and recruitment. In the other northern district of Niassa insurgents have been active on the Miandica plateau and in the Chissindo mountains.
At present the most critical challenge to the Portuguese centres on the Tete area of central Mozambique where the giant Cabora Bassa hydro-electric project is under construction. The dam is protected by three virtually impregnable, concentric defensive rings of troops and minefields. With little hope of physically destroying the dam FRELIMO are concentrating on raising the cost of its construction to an unacceptable level by harassing essential supply routes to Tete from Beira and Salisbury. The opening of a new front by FRELIMO in the Manica and Sofala districts also threatens Rhodesia’s road and rail communications with the port of Beira. The lake, when full, will reach back to the Zambian border and the Portuguese plan extensive agricultural settlements along its shores. Unless the insurgents forestall the completion of Cabora Bassa within the next two years, which seems unlikely, the rising waters will constitute a barrier effectively cutting across the main area of infiltration from Zambia. In Angola similar hydro-electric and agricultural schemes on the Cunene River are intended to consolidate Portuguese control over the southern part of the territory which borders on South West Africa.98
In both Angola and Mozambique particular attention is being paid to improving communications. The Governor General in Mozambique, Manuel Pimento dos Santos, a civil engineer formerly responsible for all road building in Angola, has ambitious plans for extending and developing the road network which includes the construction of 1,400 kms of tarred road yearly over the next five years.
If metropolitan Portugal has the economic resources and political resolution to resist the opposing pressures of both white settler conservatism and black insurgency long enough for her political, social and economic reforms and development programmes to take effect, the scale of guerrilla activities and influence might be reduced to containable levels. If, however, the insurgents, who still retain appreciable internal support from the population in some areas, are
successful in forcing a premature withdrawal Rhodesia whose physical security, outlets to by the Lisbon authorities the resultant power the sea and economic interests would be directly vacuum could be filled by South Africa and threatened.
Accurate predictions about the future direction and shape of events are clearly impossible and vague speculation about probabilities scarcely more useful. – It may be interesting, however, to do no more than consider a variety of possible situations which are conceivable in terms of the ideological, administrative, military-industrial and geographical aspects of the territories in the region. The clearest conclusion to emerge from such an analysis is that South Africa. is likely to remain the most stable factor in southern Africa. For the time being, perhaps for several decades, it would seem highly probable, however social and political developments in the Republic proceed, that they will remain under white control.
J. E. Spence has argued with justification that `South Africa has a claim to be considered sui generis with respect to traditional theories of revolutionary change’. It is not a situation involving a metropolitan or foreign power in which the psycho-political weaknesses of the Western democratic system can be exploited by astute insurgent propaganda, as France and the United States discovered to their cost in Algeria and Indo-China. The South African Administration is not open to infiltration or corruption as, for instance, were those of Batista in Cuba or Diem in South Vietnam. Moreover, the existence in South Africa of a sophisticated pre-emptive intelligence and administrative capacity has enabled security authorities to avoid the problems of a hastily improvised strategy of reaction to an insurgency which has already begun; the British interventions in Kenya and Malaya are both cases in point: if an effective joint intelligence and administrative framework had been established earlier, it would have done much to forestall the Malayan Chinese Communist insurgency and the Mau-Mau revolt. South Africa’s relatively unfavourable terrain and geographical insulation effectively deprives the insurgents of suitable base areas (e.g., Castro’s Sierra Maestra) and foreign sanctuaries (e.g., the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos). Finally, because South Africa has overwhelming industrial and military power and a high degree of ideological commitment she is in an entirely different category from other countries where insurgency has proved successful in political or military terms.99 The future of the Portuguesecontrolled territories and of Rhodesia would appear much more open to question; although South Africa’s attitude to developments in these territories is likely to be a major determining factor.
One possibility – if metropolitan Portugal has the capacity to contain the opposing pressures of militant black nationalism and white settler conservatism – is that a multiracial but predominantly black Portuguese-trained administration will emerge. If this happens in Angola and Mozambique the effect may be to create a zone capable of mediating, geographically and politically, between white South African nationalism and the black independent states to the north. In this situation it is likely that civil administrators and government personnel would be drawn from graduates of the University at Lourenco Marques rather than from the nationalist leadership in exile – largely confined to offices in Dar-es-Salaam and Lusaka. It is possible, however, that sections of the nationalist leadership whose resistance might be said to be responsible for inducing the recent Portuguese reforms, would in time find accommodation within an independent but Portuguese-trained government, conceivably in some form of Lusitanian Commonwealth. It has been reported that nationalist leaders have expressed willingness to maintain a friendly relationship with Portugal after independence had been granted.
On the other hand, if Mozambique or Angola seemed on the brink of falling into the hands of nationalist regimes through revolutionary rather than evolutionary means, South Africa may be prompted to take control of parts of these territories – much as Israel, convinced that she was surrounded by hostile Arab states dedicated to her destruction, occupied territory (the Golan Heights, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai) in the belief that such extended frontiers were indispensable to her security. In southern Africa such a strategic perimeter might include the Cunene River complex along Angola’s southern border, the Caprivi Strip and the Zambezi River in Rhodesia and Mozambique, taking in Lake Kariba and Cabora Bassa. If this were to happen it could lay the basis for possible confrontations between South African armed forces and militant African states, in addition to guerrilla activity in occupied territory on the pattern which has prevailed in the Middle East since 1947.
Even in the event of the emergence of radical regimes in these territories, it is possible that the Republic would decide to rely on the economic and diplomatic pressures, successful until now, in securing the neutrality, if not approval, of the smaller and poorer African states in the region. Such action, in keeping with current South African attempts to promote an `outwardlooking’ foreign policy based on her commanding position within the regional economic system, would certainly be preferred to pre-emptive military operations involving an open-ended commitment to the maintenance of an effective presence over so large an area. However, the success of such a strategy, which has been effective so far in minimizing any threat posed by Malawi and the former High Commission territories, depends on the relative economic and geographical vulnerability of such states. Botswana, for example, while making clear her disapproval of South African domestic policies, nevertheless does not permit insurgents to operate from her territory. On the other hand Zambia, giving moral and practical support to exiled nationalist movements, illustrates the limitations of South Africa’s ability to influence the policy of a state which is relatively rich, even though traditionally dependent on communications through the white south. Angola in particular, and Mozambique could probably more easily be compared with Zambia than with Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland or Botswana. Both territories would be in a stronger negotiating position, having resources of considerable value to South Africa: electricity from Cabora Bassa, labour from southern Mozambique for the Transvaal gold mines, the communications outlet to Lourenco Marques and oil and electricity in Angola.
Rhodesia’s particular significance in the overall struggle is determined by the fact that there are no mitigating forces one way or the other. In contrast to South Africa, it is most unlikely that white Rhodesia will have the human or material resources to maintain, in the long run, credible resistance to the mounting pressures for majority rule. Nor is it likely that the resident white community has the capacity to adapt to these pressures, as metropolitan Portugal seems to be doing in her African territories. This suggests that self-determination for the majority is unlikely to be achieved without a measure of internal, and possibly regional, conflict. As long as the level of violence can be contained more or less within Rhodesia, South Africa will probably continue to provide the required military and economic assistance to the white administration. On the other hand, it is conceivable that in the event of uncontrolled conflict across the Zambezi – especially if the level of conflict threatened to draw in any of the major powers – rather than risk further escalation South Africa would be prepared to countenance and assist in a controlled implementation of majority rule in Rhodesia, in return for a restoration of an acceptable measure of regional security.100 A Rhodesian Government, already heavily dependent on South Africa, both economically and militarily, would hardly be in a position to dictate any terms.
Historically, rationalizations about the use of violence for political ends has depended on whether the community in question was itself responsible for such methods or suffered as a result of them. So the early European settlers in Rhodesia considered the suppression of the African resistance in 1893 and in 1896 (including using dynamite to blast tribesmen, women and children out of their cave retreats) to be necessary if white political control, with all its supposed civilizing influences were to be established. In similar fashion, black nationalists argue that the victims of guerrilla attacks on white farms are the inevitable casualties of a war of liberation against the white descendents of the pioneer settlers. White Rhodesia was founded by force and for eighty years has been successfully maintained by economic and military superiority. It is not altogether surprising that many black people in Rhodesia have taken from this experience the precept that `might is right’. The prospect facing Rhodesia now is not that of a revolt by primitive warriors as in the 1890s, nor even of a Mau-Mau type of revolt (affecting only one-sixth of Kenyan territory and one tribe, the Kikuyu, armed with little more than pangas) but of a war of national liberation fought by guerrillas recruited from many tribes, increasingly well-trained, armed with modern weapons and enjoying the moral or material support of most countries.
The Rhodesian Government’s combination of efficient repression and `divide and rule’ tactics, effective in the past, is unlikely to prove more than a short or medium-term expedient, and is in fact endangering the long-term prospects of the white community. The recent resurgence of guerrilla activity may prove to be a short-lived phenomenon – a natural reaction to the heightened political consciousness which followed the soundings of the Pearce Commission – and effective repression may again result in a period of apparent acquiescence and a return of white confidence. Nevertheless, the impact of recent political events, especially the experience of large numbers of rural Africans, may well have undermined the prospects for white supremacy, although it is clearly difficult to measure the intensity of black political awareness in an atmosphere of efficient repression. The signs are that the strategy of the exiled movements is no longer influenced by expectations of `deus ex machina’ solutions which have inhibited the development of relevant and viable policies. The attitude of the black population in Rhodesia is the crucial factor upon which all else depends. The prospects for Rhodesia, if her black and white citizens fail to come to terms is summed up in a statement issued by the African National Council, probably the last internally-based African nationalist organization which will be committed to a negotiated solution: `We fear that if the African people are denied expression of their legitimate political rights through constitutional means they will be left with no alternative but to go underground and attempt to change the present situation through a violent revolution.’101
Over the past decade the Rhodesian Front government has been preoccupied with repressing the symptoms rather than addressing itself to the underlying causes of black disaffection. As long as the nationalists continue to rely on externally-directed operations the security forces are probably capable of containing, if not eradicating the threat. If, however, guerrillas acquire the ability to expand their numbers significantly it is doubtful whether rule by the white minority – less than 5 per cent of the total population could be sustained.
Any one or a combination of the situations described are conceivable, although the interaction of a multiplicity of existing and potential variables at the intra-state, regional and international levels widens the range of possibilities, making any prognosis about the destiny of southern Africa – as well as of each of the territories in the area – a very tentative exercise. The particular timings and combinations of events, which will have a crucial effect on future political, economic and military configurations in southern Africa, cannot be forecast. The emergence, for example, of a conservative civilian or military regime in Zambia or Tanzania would fundamentally alter the strategic balance in the area; or a dramatic success by PAIGC guerrillas in winning actual, as well as nominal, independence for Guinea (Bissau) might precipitate a withdrawal of the Portuguese metropolitan presence from Angola and Mozambique. If Rhodesia were to succumb to a nationalist revolution before Mozambique, the militance of the new regime would probably be modified by its reliance on communications through the latter territory; but the appearance of a radical black Mozambique could constitute a serious threat to white control in Rhodesia and South Africa. The loss of Mozambique in this way might very well compel South Africa to abandon her preferred strategy of relying on economic pressures and incentives for the purpose of neutralizing neighbouring black states, for one of military confrontation; the loss of Angola, on the other hand, where security considerations would be less immediate, would not necessarily destroy South African attempts to obtain a measure of regional stability through economic aid and diplomatic persuasion. Finally, changes in the international environment, such as developments in weapons technology or in the competition for strategically important commodities like oil, uranium and gold, will also influence the future of southern African in various ways which are beyond the scope of this Paper.102
(Illustrating the increasingly retrogressive series of constitutional proposals from 1961 to 1971)
(A) 1961 Constitution
1. A Declaration of Rights to protect individual rights with an ultimate right of appeal to the Privy Council in Britain. Its application was limited to legislation introduced after the 1961 Constitution and therefore was no protection against earlier legislation such as the Land Apportionment Act.
2. A Constitutional Council to reinforce the Declaration of Rights. This was also of limited utility as it could only draw attention to, but not initiate action against discriminatory legislation.
3. A qualified franchise with two voters’ rolls: a white dominated `A’ roll based on high income, property and educational qualifications; and a `B’ roll based on lower qualifications and therefore black-dominated.
4. A House of Assembly of 65 seats comprised of members returned from So constituencies (dominated by the `A’ roll) and from 15 electoral districts (dominated by the `B’ roll) under a weighted crossvoting system specifically designed to favour `middle-of-the-road’ candidates, white and black.
5. Amendment of entrenched clauses (including the franchise qualifications, Constitutional Council, Declaration of Rights) required both a two-thirds majority in the Legislative Assembly and a referendum in which each of the four racial sections of the population voted separately or, alternatively the approval of the British government.
6. On the assumption that the government in power in Rhodesia would abide by both the letter and spirit of the 1961 Constitution a black parliamentary majority was envisaged in twelve to twenty-five years.
(B) 1965 (UDI) Constitution
1. Based on the 1961 Constitution but amended to the new situation created by the unilateral declaration of independence in November 1965. The amendment procedure for entrenched clauses was simplified requiring only a two-thirds majority on two occasions.2. It was operated by a government which paid lip-service to the multi-racial principles of the 1961 Constitution although the working reality was far different.
(C)Tiger Proposals (December 1966)
These and subsequent negotiations were, according to the British government, based on six principles:
1. Unimpeded progress to majority rule.2. Guarantees against retrogressive amendments to the constitution.
3. Immediate improvement in the political status of the Africans. Progress towards ending racial discrimination.
5. The British government would have to be satisfied that any proposed basis for independence was acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole.
6. That there would be no oppression of majority by minority or of minority by majority.
If the Tiger terms offered by the British Labour government had been accepted and not rejected by the Rhodesian administration, they would have amounted to a recognition of Rhodesian independence under a modified version of the 1961 Constitution which had already been rejected as the basis for independence by the previous Conservative government. Following the Rhodesian rejection of the Tiger terms the British Labour government gave an undertaking that `in future no grant of independence will be contemplated unless African majority rule is already an accomplished fact.’ (The principle of NIBMAR – No Independence Before Majority African Rule.)
(D)Fearless Proposals (October 1968)
These represented an abandonment of the NIBMAR pledge and the resuscitation of the Tiger proposals with a British attempt to strengthen safeguards against retrogressive amendments to the constitution by the right of direct appeal to the Privy Council and by a `blocking quarter’ of elected African representatives. An important British concession was made over the procedures for the return to legality which under the Fearless terms ensured that the Rhodesian administration, rather than the Governor, would retain control if the constitutional proposals were found to be unacceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole. Detailed calculations show that, given the most favourable assumptions, majority rule would not have been attained until the year 1999 at the earliest (see Claire Palley, `No Majority Rule before 1999, The Guardian, 14 November 1968).
(E) 1969 Constitution
This was introduced to replace the 1965 Constitution which the Rhodesian Front administration considered to be `no longer acceptable to the people of Rhodesia because it contains a number of objectionable features, the principal one being that it provides for eventual majority rule and, inevitably, the domination of one race by another and that it does not guarantee that government will be retained in responsible hands’. The new constitution was based on the premise of separate racial development in all spheres and envisaged the attainment of political parity between white and black in the very distant future.
(F) 1971 Settlement Proposals
These Proposals state that the proposed `Constitution of Rhodesia will be the Constitution adopted in Rhodesia in 1969′ with certain additional features such as:1. A Commission to inquire into and make recommendations concerning discriminatory legislation, and a justiciable Declaration of Rights. However, attempts to remove racial discrimination may be vetoed if the government considers that there are `overriding considerations’ and the Declaration of Rights (which is qualified by numerous exceptions and provisos) could be rendered largely ineffectual simply by the suspension of rights after the declaration of a state of emergency.
2. The prospect of eventual political parity followed by a black parliamentary majority in the subsequent election.
3. Amendments to entrenched sections of the constitution would require, in addition to a two-thirds majority of all the members of the House of Assembly and the Senate voting separately the affirmative votes of a majority of the white representatives and a majority of the black representatives in the House of Assembly. These procedures, while guarding against possible future retrogressive measures, could also be used to block progressive legislation.
4. Detailed calculations suggest that majority rule under these proposals would not be attained until the year 2035 at the earliest (see Claire Palley, `Rhodesia: The Time Scale, Blacks Best Hope – a Majority in 2035′, The Sunday Times, 28 November 1971).
1 For which see James Barber, Rhodesia: The Road to Rebellion (London: Oxford University Press, 1967); John Day, International Nationalism: The extra-territorial relations of Southern Rhodesian African Nationalists (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967), and Claire Palley, ‘Law and the Unequal Society: discriminatory legislation under the Rhodesian Front from 1963 to 1969’ in Race, 12, (London, 1970).
2 Ernesto Che Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare (Harmondsworth: Pelican Books, 1969), p. 14.
3 John S. Pustay, Counter-Insurgency Warfare (New York: The Free Press, 1965), p. 5.
4 Guevara, op. cit., p. 121.
5 Francois Chenu, ‘La difficile naissance de la Guerrilla Rhodesienne’, Les Temps Modernes, 27, November 1970, p. 1). 890-915.
6 For a valuable and detailed account see, Kees Maxey, The Fight for Zimbabwe: The Armed Conflict in Southern Rhodesia since UDI, (48, St. Thomas’ Road, Brentwood, Essex, England, February 1973). What is clear from Maxey’s work, although based largely on white Rhodesian sources, is that insurgent activity since 1965 has been far more frequent and widespread than even most fairly well-informed whites realise.
For details of the most recent events see, The RhodesiaZambia Border Closure: January-February 1973, International Defence and Aid Fund Publication, Special Report No. 1 May 1973.
7 For example, The Public Service Amendment Act No. 42, in 1960, which opened up the Civil Service on a nonracial basis; The Pass Laws (Repeal) Act No. 50, in 1960, which eased the Pass System regulating the lives of Africans; The Land Apportionment (Amendment) Act No. 54, in 1960, which modified regulations affecting urban Africans.
8 A well-intentioned measure designed to prevent soil erosion and other wasteful effects of applying traditional African farming methods to land which was subject to increasing pressure of population – both human and livestock. However, its thoughtless implementation – in particular the destocking of cattle and the introduction of individual land-tenure – failed to take into account the unsettling effects of these novel practices on a tribal society in which land was owned, or at least used, communally and where cattle were the basic measure of wealth and prestige.
9 For an analysis of the riots in Bulawayo see: Francis Nehwati, ‘The Social and Communal Background to “Zhii”, the African Riots in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, in 1960’, African Affairs, vol. 69, July 1970, pp. 250-266.
10 For example The Unlawful Organizations Act, 1959; The Preventive Detention Act, 1959; The Emergency Powers Act, 1960; The Vagrancy Act, 1960; and The Law and Order Maintenance Act, 1960.
11 Press statement issued after the Conference, which appeared in various papers, including The Daily News, (Rhodesia), 8 February 1961.
12 It is interesting to note the subsequent careers of these delegates after the split which occurred in the nationalist movement in mid-1963. Joshua Nkomo, now detained at Gonakwadzingwa, headed the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), successor to the NDP. The Rev. N. Sithole led the breakaway Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). Herbet Chitepo is the present Acting Chairman of ZANU while Sithole remains in prison. George Silundika became Publicity and Information Secretary of ZAPU.
13 See Stephen E. C. Hintz, `The Political Transformation of Rhodesia, 1958-65′, African Studies Review, vol. XV,
September 1972, pp. 173-183. (Based on a 1965 survey which showed that of those who had supported the 1961 Constitution, 45.1 per cent did so for its multi-racial character and 54.9 per cent because it was then thought to offer the best available terms short of total independence which was precluded by Southern Rhodesia’s constituent status within the Central African Federation. Electoral support for white-supremacist parties jumped from 47.2 per cent in 1958 to 56.5 per cent in 1962 and 79.3 per cent in 1965.)
14 `The Years Behind Us’, Zimbabwe Review, Vol. 2, January-February 1970, p. 7.
15 J. Chikerema, Reply to Observations on Our Struggle, 17 March 1970. (One of three documents which appeared during the ZAPU leadership struggle in early 1970. The other two were J. Z. Moyo, Observations on Our Struggle, 25 February 1970, and J. Z. Moyo et al., On the Coup Crisis Precipitated by J. Chikerema, 21 March 1970.) An early ZANU recruit trained in Ghana in 1965 maintained that the main emphasis of the scheduled nine month course (reduced to six months because of the imminent threat of UDI) was on sabotage techniques and that `very little time was spent on teaching us to use rifles and sub-machine guns on the grounds that we were not to engage in positional warfare’. See, Hassan Chimutengwende, `My Guerrilla Fight against Smith’, The Sunday Times, (London), 24 March 1968.
16 Chimutengwende, op. cit., p. 7.
17 Nathan Shamuyarira, Crisis in Rhodesia, (London: Deutsch, 1965), pp. 202-203. Also see Richard Gibson, African Liberation Movements (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 161 and R. Shay and C. Vermaak, The Silent War, (Salisbury: Galaxie Press, 1977), p. 19, which puts the date earlier, in 1961.
18 A. J. A. Peck, Rhodesia Accuses, (Salisbury: Three Sisters Books, 1966), p. 86. Contains details of political violence during this period.
19 Zimbabwe Review, op. cit., p. 11 . See also J. Z. Moyo, ‘Observations on Our Struggle’. Moyo reveals that the decision to set up a military organization was taken in 1964.
20 See, Roy Christie, For the President’s Eyes Only: The Story of John Brumer Agent Extraordinary, (Johannesburg: Hugh Keartland Publishers, 1971). A detailed account of Rhodesian Intelligence activities.
21 R. Shay and C. Vermaak, op. Cit., pp. 21-22.
22 Quoted in Peck, op. cit., pp. 100-102.
23 Davis M’Gabe, ‘The Beginnings of Guerrilla Warfare’, Monthly Review, March 1969, reprinted in W. Cartey and M. Kilson, eds., The Africa Reader: Independent Africa(New York, Vintage Books, 1970), pp. 284-85.Evidence given in court contradicted this version: there had been, for example, only one child in the car. For a nationalist account ofthe background to activity in this area see N. Sithole, Obed Mutezo: The Mudzimu Christian Nationalist, (London: Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 146-76.(Sithole and Mutezo were restricted at Wha Wha Restriction Camp – the latter for alleged association with ‘Crocodile Commando’ and other nationalist activity in the area).
24 R. Shay and C. Vermaak, op. Cit., pp. 21-22.
25 W. D. Gale, ‘The Castle Crumbles’, Rhodesia 1890-1970: Eighty Years Onwards(Salisbury: H. C. P. Anderson, 1970), P. 42.
26 M’Gabe, op. cit.
27 Bulawayo Chronicle, 10 June 1966.
28 See Chimutengwende, op. cit.
29 See Maxey, op. cit., PP. 36-39.
30 For a detailed account of the Sinoia engagement see R. Shay and C. Vermaak, op. cit., PP. 34-38. The background of the insurgents involved in the Hartley attack is not clear from court statements and other accounts. It is possible that some of them might have entered Rhodesia as early as mid-1965. Others may have been local recruits.
31 For a detailed account of an efficient combined security force operation against a well trained guerrilla unit see Jackal Hunt One (Salisbury: Ministry of Information, nd). Reprinted from Outpost, the magazine of the British South Africa Police.
32 Reported in the Bulawayo Chronicle, 7 May 1971. The failure to infiltrate South Africa via Rhodesia, in 1967 and 1968, caused the South African ANC to turn to other methods. April, a coloured veteran of the 1967 operation entered South Africa in December 1970 under a false name and attempted to establish contacts with the Indian community, but he was arrested and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. See Sechaba, 5 August 1971, PP. 4-5, for an account of his trial.
33 Zimbabwe News, 30 September 1967, published by ZANU in Lusaka.
34 The Wankie Fiasco in Retrospect, a mimeographed pamphlet issued by the Publicity and information Secretariat of PAC, Dar-es-Salaam, January 1969, P. 9.
35 The Armed Struggle Spreads’, in Guerrilla Warfare, a pamphlet issued by the ANC Publicity and Information Bureau, 1970.
36 Matthew Nkoana, ‘Southern Africa: Internal Problems of the New Phase’, The New African, vol. VIII, p. 12.
37 Extract from the joint statement by Oliver Tambo and James Chikerema, announcing the formation of the ZAPU/ANC military alliance on 19 September 1967. Reprinted in Guerrilla Warfare, ANC pamphlet, op. cit., p. 3.
38 Author referred to as ‘Umkhonto Guerrilla J.M.’ ‘on the Eastern Front’, in Guerrilla Warfare, SAANC pamphlet, op. cit., P. 73.
39 ‘Forward from Wankie’ in Sechaba, reprinted in Guerrilla Warfare, op. cit., p. 79.
40 For details of this operation see, J. Bowyer Bell, ‘The Frustration of Insurgency: the Rhodesian example in the Sixties’, Military Affairs, 35, 1971. Captured weapons included: 3 light machine-guns and 9 magazines; 3 bazookas and 24 projectiles; 19 AK-47 assault rifles; 6 SKS rifles, 6 automatic pistols; 112 grenades; 150 slabs of explosive; and 40,000 rounds of ammunition, mostly 7.62mm calibre).
41 Guerrilla Warfare, op. cit., p. 22 (italics in the original).
42 For a detailed account of these actions see Michael Morris, Terrorism: Southern Africa (Cape Town: Howard Timmins, 1971), pp. 66-71.
43 See Maxey, op. cit., pp. 60-62.
44 The Chronicle (Bulawayo), 24 July 1974.
45 For example the ‘Tangwena’ and ‘Mutema’ cases in eastern Rhodesia and the two mission communities at Epworth and Chishawasha outside Salisbury. See Rhodesia: the Ousting of the Tangwena, International Defence and Aid Fund booklet, January 1972; Rolf Niemann, ‘Emanzipationsbestrebungen der Afrikaner in Rhodesiën (Zimbabwe)’ in Theodor Ebert (ed.), Ziviler Widerstand Fallstudiens aus der innenpolitischen Friedens und Konflikt forschung (Dusseldorf: Bertelsmann, 1970), pp. 166-200. (An analysis of non-violent resistance to white authority); also The Rhodesia Herald, 6 August 1970.
46 See Anti-Apartheid News, November 1968 and July/August 1969. African recruits for the Army come largely from the Karanga people living around Fort Victoria and Chilimanzi (see map, pp. 23-24).
47 Rhodesia: Report of the Commission on Rhodesian Opinion under the Chairmanship of the Right Honourable the Lord Pearce (Cmnd. 4964, London: HMSO, 1972), p. 166.
48 From an interview in Information, published in Copenhagen, quoted in The Rhodesia Herald, 18 August 1971.
49 For the background to the formation of FROLIZI (Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe) see below, p. 25.
50 Quoted in The Daily Telegraph, 29 January 1973.
51 The Rhodesia Herald, 8 March 1968. For an account of the role of spirit mediums and local oracles in the Shona ‘Chimurenga’ of 1896-97 see T. 0. Ranger, Revolt in Southern Rhodesia 1896-7 (London: Heinemann, 1967)
52 Chimutengwende, op. cit.
53 The Sunday Times, 11 March 1973, see also reports in theRhodesia Herald, 1 March 1973.
54 Parliamentary debate reported in the Rhodesia Herald, 14 September 1973.
55 The Observer, 21 January 1973 and The Sunday Times, 21January 1973.
56 The Observer, op. cit.
57 The Rhodesia Herald, 16 December 1972.
58 The Times, 17 July 1972.
59 The Times, 11 December 1972.
60 The Rhodesia Party (RP) seems to have drawn much of its support from business and farming interests in particular. In a by-election for the Victoria constituency On 17 May 1973 the RP did reasonably well to achieve 305 against 985 votes in what is a traditional Rhodesian Front stronghold and an area not immediately threatened by insurgent activity. However, the recent split in the RP leadership may reduce its credibility as an alternative to the ruling Rhodesian Front.
61 For an analysis of the implications and costs of developing Zambia’s alternative trade routes, see the UN Report on the Security Council Special mission of 11 March 1973. Details are quoted in The Rhodesian-Zambia Border Closure, op. cit., and in The Guardian, 23 March 1973.
62 K.W. Grundy, ‘Host Countries and the Southern African Liberation Struggle’, Africa Quarterly (New Delhi), April-June 1970
63 See for example the cases ofNephas Nyamparadza and Saikolo Siamufundilo in The Guardian, 27August 1968.
64 For details on cases ofrecruitment by kidnapping and the attitude ofthe Zambian government see reports in The Guardian, 27 August 1968;The Rhodesia Herald, December 1970;Shay and Vermaak, op. cit., pp. 27-32.
65 See, for example, Colin Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, Annual Survey and Documents, 1971-2 (London: Rex Collings, 1972), pp. B266-67.
66 Details ofthe arrests, under Section 31 A(a) of the Zambian Preservation of Public Security Regulations and the names of those detained, contained in a special Zambian Gazette no. 901 (24 June), were reported in the Rhodesia Herald, 2 July 1971.
67 Reported in The Times of Zambia, 21September 1971
68 The Cape Argus, 24 August 1968.
69 The Sunday Mail(Salisbury), 4 April 1971 and 11 April 1971.
70 The Rhodesia Herald, 7 December 1972.
71 Mr Vorster said to a mass rally at Rustenburg: ‘But Isay to Kaunda that if he ever tries to use violence against South Africa we will hit him so hard that he will never forget it’ (Rand Daily Mail, 16 October 1967). Mr Botha said in the House of Assembly that the countries harbouring terrorists must realise that provocation can lead to hard retaliation, in the interests of peace and self-respect’ (The Mercury (Durban), 4 April 1968).
72 The Rhodesia Herald, 7 October 1971.
73 Press Conference in Lusaka, reported in The Rhodesia Herald, 17 August 1971
74 The Times,31 January 1973
75 Quoted by Colin Legum in The Observer, 17 December 1972.
76 See Ruth First, Johnathan Steele and Christabel Gurney,The South African Connection: Western Investment in Apartheid(Temple Smith: London, 1972). Despite increasing investment by the United States, France, West Germany, Italy and Japan, Britain remains the largest foreign investor. Sterling Area investments, which are almost entirely British, stood at £1,983m. by the end of 1970.
77 See, Paul Whitaker, ‘Arms and the Nationalists: Where and on What Terms Do They Obtain Their Support and How Important is External Aid to Their Revolution’, Africa Report, vol. 15,May 1970, pp. 12-14; and The Sunday Telegraph, 4 May 1969.
78 See, ‘From China with Love’, an account related to Musosa Kazembe in The Guardian, 8 April 1968.
79 This point is referred to by Keri Phillips, ‘The Prospects for Guerrilla Warfare in South Africa, International Relations, vol. IV (Journal of the David Davies Memorial institute of international Studies, May 1972), pp. 108-117.
80 Keri Phillips, op. cit., p.110
81 See Rene de Villiers, ‘Emerging Black Voices in South Africa’s Stalemated Politics’, Commonwealth(Journal of the Royal Commonwealth Society, April 1973), pp 30-31. Also Adam Raphael in The Guardian, 22 December 1972.
82 In a speech to the Rhodesian National Affairs Association, Rhodesia Herald, 19June 1971; and in an inaugural lecture, Rhodesia Herald, 5 November 1971.
83 See, Edward Mortimer, ‘How Portugal has clung to her African Empire’, The Times, 11 July 1973. This article gives a good summary of the arguments explaining Portuguese reluctance to withdraw from her colonies.
84 For an explanation of Mondlane’s assassination see, David Martin, ‘Interpol solves a Guerrilla Whodunit’, The Observer, 6 February 1972; and for an explanation of Cabral’s assassination see, Basil Davidson, ‘The Men who killed black Africa’s top guerrilla’, The Sunday Times, 8 April 1973.
85 Africa Contemporary Record, 1971-2, op.cit., p. B423.
86 For quantitative details on the GNP, military power, and defence expenditures of South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal this paper has used, unless otherwise indicated, information from The Military Balancefor 1972-73 and 1973-74 (London: IISS, 1972 and 1973).
87 Viriato da Cruz, ‘What Kind of Independence for Angola?’, Revolution, vol 1, January 1964, p. 15. Quoted in Richard Gibson, op. cit., p. 213.
88 Ronald Waring, The War in Angola – 1961 (printed in Lisbon).
89 See, Lars Rudebeck, ‘Political Mobilization in Guinea Bissau’, Journal of Modern African Studies, vol 10, May 1972, pp. 1-18.
90 The Times, 30 April 1973.
91 Ronald Watts, ‘Nominal sign of autonomy for Angola’, The Guardian, 13 July 1973.
92 For an analysis of the incentives and constraints operating on the South African option to acquire nuclear power status see J. E. Spence, `The Republic of South Africa and Nuclear Proliferation’, in Joel Larus and Robert M. Lawrence, eds., Nuclear Proliferation: Stage II (forthcoming). I am indebted to Professor Spence for kindly allowing me to see his article, upon which the discussion of this topic is based.
93 See Geoffrey Kemp, `South Africa’s Defence Programme’, Survival, July-August 1972, p. 159. For an assessment of the obstacles to mounting a conventional attack on South Africa see Deon Fourie, War Potentials of the African States South of the Sahara, South African Institute of International Affairs, 1968. For an assessment of the difficulties confronting insurgency-type warfare see Sheridan Johns, `Obstacles to Guerrilla Warfare – a South African Case Study’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 11, 2 (1973), pp. 267-303; L. H. Gann, `No hope for violent Liberation: A Strategic Assessment’, Africa Report, February 1972, pp. 15-19.
94 See Patrick Keatley, `Inside the White Stockade’, The Guardian, 19 July 1969.
95 For instance Air Commodore Mussell told a meeting of the Rhodesia National Affairs Association that until a political solution was found to the question of Rhodesian independence there was little hope of improving the Air Force, which was essential if Rhodesia was to keep pace with the independent African States which were acquiring better and more sophisticated aircraft, The Rhodesia Herald, 10 March 1973.
96 For a discussion of Portugal’s dependence on NATO see, Robert A. Diamond and David Fouquet, `Portugal and the United States: Atlantic islands and European strategy as pawns in African Wars’ and Basil Davidson, `Arms and the Portuguese: What kinds of aid does Portugal get from its NATO allies and what is its role in the Colonial Wars?’, Africa Report, vol. 15, May 1970, pp. 15-17 and 10-11 respectively.
97 See, for example, a report by Philip Jacobsen in which he mentions several encounters said to involve Rhodesian operations within Mozambique, including one incident in which at least five insurgents were killed by a Special Air Service Unit. It also suggested that Rhodesian forces have followed insurgents into Portuguese territory on a `hot pursuit’ basis, The Sunday Times, 11 June 1972. See also Wilf Nussey’s report in The Star (Johannesburg), 27 August 1973 and Peter Nieswand in The Guardian, 16 November 1972. Following this report Nieswand was tried in a secret court. In an account of this trial he quotes the Secretary for Law and Order, the main prosecution witness, who stated `I am saying that Rhodesian forces were there (i.e., in Mozambique), but we were embarrassed by reports saying that they were there’, see Guardian Extra feature, The Guardian, 12 September 1973.
98 See Cabora Bassa and the Struggle for Southern Africa (Geneva: World Council of Churches 1971); also White Power: The Cunene River Scheme, published by the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea (Bissau), 1972.
99 For an elaboration of these arguments see J. E. Silence, The Strategic Significance of Southern Africa (London: Royal United Services Institute, 1970). p. 25. See also, J. E. Silence and Elizabeth Thomas, `South Africa’s Defense: The Problems of Internal Control’, Security Studies Project (University College of Los Angeles, 1966).
100 It is interesting to note that this is not a new concept. Dr Verwoerd’s remark (which was off the record at the time) to Douglas Brown that ‘he would rather in the distant future see a strong black government in Salisbury than a weak white one’ (quoted in the Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 1969) is significant. More recently, the conclusion of two `war games’ studies have extended the debate about the possible expendability of Rhodesia. See R. H. Bates, `A simulation study of a crisis in Southern Africa’, African Studies Review, 13, September 1970, pp.253-264. Also, J. Friedmann and C. Stevens `Anatomy of a Crisis’, Millenium, (LSE) Summer 1971.
101 The Times, 28 February 1973.
102 For discussions by well-informed academics on possible scenarios for the future of southern Africa see the following works in particular: Kenneth W. Grundy, Guerrilla Struggle in Africa: An Analysis and Preview, (New York: Grossman, 1971); Christian P. Potholm, `Toward the Millenium’ inRichard Dale and C. P. Potholm (eds), Southern Africa in Perspective: Essays in Regional Politics (New York: Free Press, 1972)pp. 321-331;and L. W. Bowman, `The Subordinate State System of Southern Africa’, International Studies Quarterly, 12, No. 3(September 1968) pp. 231-261.