Ethnicity, Integration adn the South African Armed Forces

Greg Mills and Geoffrey Wood

Greg Mills is Lecturer, Department of Political Studies, University of the Western Cape, and Research Associate of IDP and in the Centre for Defence and International Security Studies at Lancaster University in the UK.

Geoffrey Wood is Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Rhodes University, South Africa

Published in South African Defence Review Issue No 12, 1993


Recent intellectual concern around the causes, effects and international security implications of ethnicity has arisen for a number of reasons. First, as Michael Brown argues1 , for many years the most serious threat to international security was the East-West conflict and the possibility of nuclear war. The intellectual energies of students of strategic sand political integration and growing international economic interdependence. In times of crisis and poverty, however, such unity is fragile and vulnerable to local challenges and demands.

Yet armed forces have long tended to reflect something of the wider social reality of the society they are drawn from. Ethnic divtudies were thus concentrated mainly in this area. Second, authoritarian and totalitarian rule served to dampen ethnic problems and national aspirations in areas around the globe, including Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and parts of Central and East Asia and Africa. Finally, national and ethnic identities were stifled by moves towards regional economic isions in society, particularly in Africa, have impacted on recruitment and promotion policies. In as divided a society as South Africa the composition of the armed forces is of particular importance. Indeed, key to the stability of a future South and southern Africa without apartheid, is the ability to integrate or demobilise currently distinct and conflicting military and paramilitary forces, thus creating a force structure which is both efficient and politically acceptable.


Integration refers to the process of amalgamation of previously opposing military forces. This involves the integration of the variety of distinct military forces including the current South African Defence Force (SADF), the armies of the TBVC states, the African National Congress's (ANC) guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Pan-Africanist Congress's (PAC) Azanian People's Liberation Army and others in the creation of a new SADF.

This process contains a number of questions relating to the military's internal structure and composition as well as to its wider role in external society. And integration in its complete sense involves not only change within the military institution but also 'change across a society at large, either led, reinforced, or reflected by the actions of the military...'
2 Intra-military (as opposed to inter-military) integration involves also the targeting of racial, ethnic and cultural groups. Political settlement in South Africa will not, after all, necessarily create a homogeneous army devoid of these divisions. Any programme for inter-military integration should take into account these social barriers.

South Africa's peculiar history has led to complex racial and ethnic divisions in the armed forces. This has involved intra- as well as interracial group division, such as that between English and Afrikaans-speaking whites. Race as well as nationalist considerations have thus in this paper been broadly framed (and examined) under the term ethnicity.

Yet South Africa is clearly not alone in facing such issues. To understand fully the implications of present and potential integration scenarios, it would be useful to analyse the historical legacy and the experiences of other countries who have faced similar issues of ethnic and racial tension, conflict, compromise and reconstruction.



Immediately following the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), the Commando system of the former Boer republics was abolished. General defence remained in the hands of the victorious Imperial Army, whilst a South African constabulary comprising largely former soldiers, was established. The 1912 Defence Act brought into being a 2 500 member permanent force composed of former all- volunteer regiments such as the Cape Mounted Rifles and the Mounted Police, with a partial conscripted citizen force and citizen force reserve. Fifty per cent of white men between 17 and 25 were to enroll in the new Defence Force, with provision being made for conscription should there be insufficient volunteers.3 The remaining white men within the defined age bracket were to join rifle associations, similar to the old commandos, whilst coloureds could volunteer for military training.4

It was hoped that differences between ethnic groupings and urban and rural cultures could be kept to a minimum, whilst the Union Defence Force (UDF) could build constructively on the different military traditions of the white population.5 For example, whilst part of the same army, predominantly Afrikaans speakers from the platteland could serve in mounted units and English-speaking town dwellers in infantry.6 The command of the UDF was drawn fairly equitably from members of both Boer and British armies.

Symptomatic of the compromises that underlay the formation of the UDF was the proviso that all were liable to serve 'inside or outside the Union'.
7 This provision was open to a great deal of different interpretations, with Smuts including Africa south of the equator.8 The outbreak of the First World War resulted in rebellion, which included a mutiny within the UDF over the question of foreign service, more specifically of 'fighting England's wars'. Although underlying causes included widespread discontent amongst smaller white (and predominantly Afrikaans farmers) with state agricultural policies, the rebellion revealed the extent of disquiet between English and Afrikaans speaker in the UDF.9 It also revealed tensions between those Afrikaners who were willing to compromise in the interests of broad national unity and those who were not, those who had benefited from economic transformation in the rural areas and those who faced increasing impoverishment. Involvement in the suppression of the 1914 and 1922 miners' strikes embroiled the UDF further in controversy and reinforced perceptions of its political and language bias.

The vote over South Africa's entry into the Second World War which split the fusion government, shifted the ruling United Party's support base to a party of English-speakers, a fate similar to that of the old South African Party. As Grundy notes, this led to the re-emergence of the old debate over overseas service, what constituted South Africa, and more specifically whether service against the Italians in East Africa was permissible.
10 Members of the Citizen Force and all new recruits were asked to serve anywhere in Africa, thereby taking the so- called red oath which entitled the signatory to wear an orange shoulder flash.11 This resulted in obvious pressure being placed on those who refused to volunteer, and many Afrikaners were forced to leave the UDF, including a future Commandant- General, Hiemstra. However, many Afrikaners did stay and fight. This was similar, Packenham notes, to the close of the Boer War. There was not only rivalry and tensions between English and Afrikaner, but also between two manifestations of Afrikaner nationalism, the uncompromising Nationalists and the pragmatists.12


After 1948, the National Party introduced a vigorous affirmative action programme for Afrikaners within the civil service, including the armed forces. A comprehensive policy was introduced by the first Nationalist Minister of Defence, F.C. Erasmus, to give the armed forces 'a less British, more South African flavour"
.13 Many senior English officers were forced into early retirement, whilst the requirement for bilingualism for all officers, NCOs and new recruits discouraged English recruitment, the force increasingly being filled with Afrikaners with little or no combat experience.14 The bulk of promotions to senior rank were politically inspired, leading to many English speakers feeling unwelcome and destroying aspects the British regimental tradition.15 These changes led Lt.-General G.E. Brink, wartime commander of the First SA Infantry Division, to comment that:16
    A once magnificent defence organisation has become a political toy, seething with discontent and frustration... Men without war service are being appointed to command active Citizen Force units... while we have witnessed the supercession, dismissal and degredation of men who played prominent and distinguished roles as leaders in the field.
New uniforms and rank insignia were introduced, whilst the orange flashes were discontinued and orders were issued for all of them to be burned.17 The government even attempted to introduce a new rank system in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with ranks such as Field Cornet (Lieutenant), Chief Sergeant (Staff Sergeant) and Combat General (Major-General).18 However, this proved unworkable and all the new ranks, with the exception of the rank of Commandant, were subsequently scrapped. And despite these pressures, the British tradition remained strong in the Navy and certain Citizen Force regiments.


In 1915, a coloured infantry battalion, known as the Cape Corps, was formed. This unit served with great distinction in East Africa and the Middle East during the First World War.19 In the Second World War, coloured and black volunteers were deployed in a supportive capacity.20

Indeed, a strikingly high percentage of UDF troops (30% in the Second World War) who volunteered for service in both world wars were members of the Indian Malay (IM), Cape (CC) or Native Military Corps (INM). Despite their non-combat role, a high proportion were either killed or captured, and there were a number of cases of outstanding individual heroism.21 See table 1 for statistics.22







65 000
17 000
82 000
2 000
1 190
3 190






78 000
29 000
18 000
125 000
1 690
1 121
3 274
3 411
1 032
4 626

By 1985, only about 1 500 black veterans and 20 000 coloureds were drawing War Veteran's Pensions (WVP). Most blacks, many who originated from rural Venda, are apparently unaware of their entitlement.23

After the Second World War, the government persistently restated its total opposition to blacks serving in any combat capacity. The Cape Corps, which had been upgraded to a fully fledged Permanent Force Battalion in 1947, was disbanded in 1949 and replaced by an auxiliary service battalion.24 In 1963, its status once more became that of a Permanent Force (PF) unit - the Coloured Corps - though no coloureds were permitted to become officers or serve in an active combat capacity.

In August 1970, the Minister of Defence stated that members of the Coloured Corps were used for auxiliary services and certain work in the Navy.
25 Under no circumstances could coloureds serve as fighting soldiers, but they would nonetheless be taught to use weapons 'to protect themselves in wartime'. While 'coloureds and Indians would be commissioned", this would not be in command of white servicemen.26 Yet it was possible for coloured soldiers to rise to the rank of Warrant Officer.27 And despite some difficulty with coloured recruitment, the government hoped to establish voluntary special service battalions, providing recruits with 10-12 months training, to be followed by postings in the Army and Navy.28 It was ultimately hoped to extend the scheme to Indians in Natal. With these separate systems of recruitment, 'in the 1960s and early 1970s, the SADF was as racist as any institution of Verwoerdian apartheid'.29

By the mid-1970s, following Angolan and Mozambican independence, the government reconsidered its opposition to coloureds serving as fighting soldiers. In 1975, Minster of Defence P.W. Botha announced that as soon as 'suitable terrain was found, the training of coloureds as infantry would begin'
.30 Coloureds could now become officers and steps were taken to bring their service conditions closer to those of whites.31 But concrete steps taken to redress pay imbalances were only taken in 1977, and then only in the operational areas.32

In 1977, the government approved the establishment of a voluntary Citizen Force Maintenance Unit and infantry training for coloured students.
33 Although the Cape Corps was now officially part of the Permanent Force, P.W. Botha stated that as long as he was Minister of Defence, 'large Coloured units' would not be established.34 Nonetheless, by 1979, the SADF formally accepted the need to expand the army to include 'representatives of other population groups', and began to debate the possibility of extending compulsory national service to coloureds and Indians.35 As F.W. De Klerk put it in 1982:36
You can't ask a man to fight for his country if he can't vote. Among the terms of the new dispensation [the tricameral parliament] is the guarantee that Coloureds and Indians will get full voting rights. It follows that their responsibilities will increase accordingly, which means that they will hold obligations to defend these rights.
Following the readmission of coloureds to combat status, coloured recruits within the Corps were trained at the (renamed) Cape Corps Battalion and the South African Cape Corps Maintenance Unit. From 1976, coloureds served 'combatting terrorism' in the operational area.37 Coloured soldiers received invitations to join commando units, whilst the (Citizen Force) Kimberley Regiment opened its doors to those who had trained at the Cape Corps.

Despite the re-establishment of the Cape Corps as a combat battalion, advancement of the coloureds in the upper ranks of the SADF proved slow. Furthermore, limitations in accommodation and training facilities restricted coloured recruitment. There was, however, a modest increase in the number of coloureds in the Defence Force: up by some 22% in the 1982-84 period.38 During 1984, 6 000 men were wait listed for the Cape Corps.39 Most of those recruited came from the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.40 In the same year, a record number of 4 080 coloureds volunteered for National Service, with 1 550 being accepted.41 During June 1984 a second training unit for coloureds was opened, at Nelspoort in the Karoo, which was not only to provide military training, but also skills training for those who were not educationally qualified for admission into the Cape Corps. In addition, a second Cape Corps Battalion was established during December of that year. During 1989, a third Cape Corps Battalion was established at Kimberley. Symptomatic of greater integration in the Defence Force, the Cape Corps School for Junior Leaders was closed, as most coloureds were already receiving officer training at the existing service schools.


The South African Navy (SAN) began recruitment of Indian South Africans in the 1970s. This included national service volunteers. The Navy created a separate training unit, the SAS Jalsena at Durban, for this purpose. By 1979 coloureds and Indians formed 20% of Permanent Force members in the Navy. Although there was little increase in the numbers of Indians in the SADF during the first half of the 1980s, this figure had risen to 29% for coloureds and 13% for Indians by 1993.

By 1986, two intakes totalling 150 men were taking place annually at the Jalsena.
43 Indians sailors have been employed in a variety of musterings. This included the Marines until its disbandment in 1990, and the Citizen Force SAS Inkonkoni. By 1986, 3% of voluntary Commando members were Indian.44 During 1978, the Air Force (SAAF) had also begun to recruit Indians, starting with a modest intake of less than 50.45

The racial composition of the main segments of the Defence Force in 1982 is presented in table 2 (all figures as percentages).46













The government's coloured and Indian policy in the armed services after 1945 thus changed from outright opposition to a gradual acceptance of their role. However, it was only during the 1980s that pay and service disparities were eliminated and recruitment of coloureds and Indians rapidly increased. The government's policy towards blacks underwent similarly dramatic changes during this period.


In 1970, the Minister of Defence announced that blacks could only serve in the auxiliary services as labourers: 'if the Bantu wants to build up a Defence Force, he should do it in his own eventually independent homeland'
.47 Nonetheless, as early as 1972, fully-armed black policemen were serving in the Caprivi strip.

In 1973, a group of blacks were trained at the Prisons Service Training Centre at Baviaanskloof for service as security guards in the SADF and then as Instructors to train the first black full Permanent Force members at the new 21st Infantry Battalion at Lenz, near Johannesburg.
48 During the same year, the Chief of the SADF, Magnus Malan stated that 20% of soldiers serving in the operational area were blacks (probably mostly Namibians), and 'doing outstanding work'.49 Initial intakes were small. Of In 1977, only 82 of 217 black applicants for the Permanent Force were accepted.50 At this time blacks were permitted to join commandos in auxiliary capacities, for service as guards, etc.

Despite vigorous resistance from both elements in the Defence Force and within the ruling National Party, the Commandos were shortly thereafter permitted to recruit blacks for service in a combat capacity.
51 In May 1980, black members of the combat elements of auxiliary units were divided up into regional units. In line with separate development, the SADF was to assist in 'designing and setting up' national security systems for the new states.52 This involved the training of a regional battalion for each national group later to be handed over to the new 'independent' state. This process was given the greatest priority in Namibia, 'so the inhabitants of SWA can make a greater contribution to their own protection'.53

By 1985, many black recruits were still being trained at Lenz, as members of 21 Battalion. The SADF's primary emphasis remained on the 'development of ethnic regional units of the various national states', where 'after independence, such units are absorbed by the Defence Force of the independent state'
.54 Such regional units include 111 Battalion (Swazi-speaking, based at New Amsterdam), 113 (Shangaan, Phalaborwa), 114 (mixed-training, Pretoria), 115 (Ndebele, Sustershoek), 116 (North Sotho, Messina), and 121 (Zulu, Josini). The Venda 112 battalion was handed over to that homeland to form part of the Venda National Force in 1981. Since that time two additional North Sotho battalions have reputedly been formed, 117 and 118. In line with this, 116 has been converted into a multiethnic unit. A south Sotho-speaking unit, 151, has been formed operating in Qwa Qwa. Some battalions are allegedly larger than others. However, these strengths vary as units complete their service contracts, and exact figures are thus difficult to establish. It is estimated that 21 Bn. is approximately 1 200 strong; 111 - 1 000; 113 - 1 000; 114 - 1 000; 121 - 1 700; 115 - 1 200; 116 - 1 000; 117, 118 and 151 are 6-700 strong each. By 1985, members of 21 Battalion and the regional units had already performed service in the operational area.55 About 50% of 21 Battalion's recruits originate from Soweto.56

More controversial has been the role and status of the Lusaphone 32 Battalion. This unit was established in 1976, originally in secret. During the 1975 Angolan civil war, refugees of the FNLA had settled in Northern Namibia as refugees. By 1976, many had begun training as members of the SADF. By 1984, 15 of the Angolans had begun officer training. After Namibian independence, 32 Battalion was relocated in South Africa, along with 31 Bushman
Battalion. Both these units were disbanded during 1992 with many members being posted elsewhere in the SADF.57


Despite the increasing role of blacks in the 1980s, the SADF remained predominantly white and Afrikaans-speaking. In 1986, the SADF was 76% white, 12% black, 11% coloured and 1% Indian.

Significantly, 47% of the full time members of the SADF in 1986 were white conscripts, and approximately one-third were PF Members.59 This would perhaps account for the government's reluctance to scrap whites-only conscription. Without it the ethnic composition of the Defence Force would be less overwhelmingly white (and Afrikaans). At this time, many of the blacks in the SADF were still serving in an auxiliary capacity, or as civilian labourers.60

Political pressures from within black communities, educational qualifications, lack of training facilities, etc. help to explain the limited numbers of black, coloured and Indian soldiers.61 The central reason remained racial prejudice. A major constraint on black recruitment was the lack of facilities in the early 1980s, when rigid apartheid in basic training was still enforced. As late as 1987, the Ministry of Defence had stated that apartheid in basic training remained official policy, although it hinted that some future relaxation was possible.62

The limited political reforms introduced during the 1980s did not significantly reduce this numerical imbalance. In 1987 (after coloured intakes had been sizably increased), blacks, coloureds and Indians constituted some 31% of the PF.63 On the one hand, the SADF had had to draw increasingly on black manpower, especially for service in operational areas and the townships. On the other, blacks remained junior partners in defence. In the operational context there are signs that the black forces - particularly those recruited in Namibia - were deployed in front-line roles to a much greater extent proportionately than whites. The casualty statistics and fighting record of 32 Bn. would bear this out.64

With the onset of negotiations in the 1990s, the position of blacks appears to have changed substantially, at least numerically.65 Disregarding white national servicemen, blacks now outnumber whites in the army, though the SAAF and Navy remain majority white. There is no racially based discrimination within the SADF, though there is discrimination in pay and service conditions between the various service systems (Citizen Force, PF, Auxiliary Service, Service Volunteer System and others) which are allegedly dominated by one race group over another. For example, the poorly paid Auxiliary Services are mostly black.

Black advancement in the SADF (but obviously not the TBVC forces) has been slow. In 1990 there were ten black officers in the SADF, the highest-ranking black a Captain in the Public Relations Section.66 Today the highest ranking coloured officer is a Brigadier, while there is an Indian naval Commander and black Major. Only in 1991 were the first black students admitted to the military academy in Saldanha.67 During 1992, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt.-General Pierre Steyn, announced that the SADF accepted the need for affirmative action in promoting blacks. Whilst black advancement had hitherto been delayed owing to educational difficulties, this problem was now being redressed.68 This was reiterated by the Chief of the SAN, Vice- Admiral Robert Simpson-Anderson, in March 1993. The first two black midshipmen graduated from the Naval Staff College in 1992.69

It should also be noted that the majority of whites in the PF are Afrikaans-speaking. In 1986, Afrikaans-speakers made up the bulk of white uniformed PF members.70 The Army - the largest of all the arms of service - has the greatest Afrikaans-speaking component, whilst the Navy, by comparison, has retained a strong English tradition.71


As mentioned above, the homelands were given, at 'independence', military units to form the kernel of their new 'national' armies. Despite the fact that the homeland armies have in the past often been led by seconded SADF officers, they have established themselves as semi-autonomous bodies with a variety of political allegiances as in Transkei. All have been heavily involved in politics.
72 Seconded and ex-SADF men probably number no more than 100 members in all the TBVC states together.


A Bophuthatswana National Guard was trained by the SADF in time for independence celebrations in 1977. Bound by a non-aggression treaty with South Africa, Bophuthatswana has always acted strongly against the ANC, to the extent of threatening to launch 'hot pursuit'
raids into Botswana during 1984. The BDF continues to use a limited number of seconded South Africans and should not be seen as materially different from other ethnic battalions that remain within the SADF. The BDF active strength is today 3 500 men plus 5 300 reserves. Although Bophuthatswana, like the other TBVC states, includes 'other' ethnic groups, the BDF can be taken to be predominantly Tswana speaking.


Together with the police, traffic police, prison services and the Ciskei Intelligence Services (CIS), the Ciskei armed forces were grouped under the umbrella of the Ciskei Combined Services at Ciskei's independence in 1981. Today's Ciskei Defence Force under the leadership of Brigadier Oupa Gqozo, has a close relationship with the SADF. Again it is not a totally autonomous force since, like all the TBVC armies, it is dependent for advanced training on the SADF and its budget is met by the South African government. The 2 000-strong force (plus 2 000 reserves) is overwhelmingly Xhosa in origin.


On Transkei's 'independence' in 1976 the fledgling Transkei Defence Force (TDF) consisted of a single infantry battalion, a number of supporting groupings and a mounted detachment. Under Major-General Bantu Holomisa the force has gained in size and has developed a good working relationship with both the PAC and ANC, and their respective armies. As such, it will form an important component of any restructured national army. With an active strength of 3 500, the paramilitary and reserves total an additional 3 300 men.

The TDF originally included representatives of all of Transkei's nine cultural ethnic groupings on a proportional basis, though this proviso has since been scrapped. As is the case with the other homeland armies, the tribal elite is less well-represented than in the civilian civil service. However, General Holomisa and the Commander of the TDF, Maj.-General T.T. Matanzima, both have close ties to the tribal establishment. There is a sizeable Sotho minority in Transkei, but it would seem that the TDF is Xhosa speaking.


As was the case with the Ciskei, a National Force was established on Venda's independence in 1979, combining policing, prisons and defence functions. These functions were later separated. The military coup led by Lt.-Colonel Gabriel Ramushwana in 1990 has resulted in an uneasy relationship with the ANC and PAC. In spite of the presence of seconded SADF officers, the 1 800-strong (2 000 reserves) Venda Defence Force (VDF) appears to enjoy a degree of autonomy from the SADF. The force is predominantly Venda speaking in origin.



A political settlement will include a dispensation for the creation of a new SADF. Yet, little is known of the 'other armies'
that will comprise this force. As with any guerrilla struggle, it has become difficult to separate rhetoric from reality in efforts to appreciate the size, nature and training of the various forces involved.

Because of the secrecy of the organisation, it is difficult even for active MK members to ascertain the exact strength of the wing. At its peak it operated out of four camps in Angola in the 1980s, each housing between 500-800 cadres. In addition, some 250 soldiers would be training abroad at any given moment; others would be operating also out of Tanzania and Zambia and within South Africa. According to one MK operative, a figure of 10 000 soldiers is a reasonable estimate during this time. It is probable that all these men and women received the basic guerrilla training in small-arms, fieldcraft and sabotage techniques. Specialised instruction was given in communications, anti-aircraft defence and artillery in the Angolan camps. Most of those selected for further training were sent abroad. From 1976 to 1986, two groups of 40 students were sent for six-month courses in East Germany; two groups of 60 each to the Soviet Union; and smaller units to Cuba, Ethiopia, Algeria and Yugoslavia.

Many of those who served in MK during this period have returned to South Africa and no longer take part in military activities. Given the high levels of unemployment and extreme violence inside South Africa, however, many have undoubtedly found life problematic. In their place, some 12 000 cadres are currently being trained in camps outside the country in a bid to strengthen MK's position in a new SADF.73

Until recently there was no formal hierarchy within MK. This is now being addressed to expedite integration with the SADF. Previously, a camp would be structured along the lines of Camp Commander, Political Commissar; Chief of Staff; Company Commander and Company Commissar; and Platoon Commander and Platoon Commissar. The attendance of some 20 MK members on staff courses in India will presumably formalise requirements for cadres for senior command positions within the new SADF.

There have been claims of tribalism within the organisation. According to one cadre, Mr. Mandela's personal security force is uniquely Xhosa. While the Transport Division is run by Tswanas, Military Headquarters is 'dominated by Sothos with a few coloureds'. Tribal affiliations were apparently at their strongest in the camps. It is notable that the majority of the returned MK group that have set up opposition to the ANC under the banner of the 'Returning Exiles Committee'
as a result of the atrocities in the Angolan camps are reputedly Zulu-speaking. Yet in countering these allegations, some have pointed out that the heroes of the ANC and MK, past and present, have been Xhosas, whites, coloureds, Indians and so on. Little emphasis is given to stressing one group in this regard over another.

Others within MK argue that as recruitment for the organisation has taken place mainly in urban areas, that tribal/ethnic affinities have no relevance. In support of this, they would argue that a sample of MK's (and the ANC's) past and present leadership would bear this out. Indeed, although Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Charles Nqakula, Walter Sisulu, Linda Mti and Steve Tshwete were born or brought up in the Transkei area, Joe Modise, Peter Mokaba, Peter Mayibuye, Joe Nhlanhla, Siphiwe Nyanda and Tokyo Sexwale were all raised in the Transvaal. Prominent white MK members include Ronnie Kasrils and Joe Slovo, while Mac Maharaj and Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim are Indian, and Robert McBride coloured.

There are doubts as to how many men might prefer to join a new SADF. Those of the pre-1976 generation are in their late-thirties to fourties and are apparently 'not that keen' while a significant percentage of the younger 1980-generation returnees, 'the young lions'
, would apparently be prepared to serve. This uncertainty could complicate any future racial or ethnic quota planning.

As with the majority of South Africans, the expectations of MK soldiers upon returning home was high, yet they have been exposed to the harsh realities of unemployment and a mother organisation that cannot supply their needs. A new government should learn from the experiences of Namibia and Zimbabwe: that soldiers of both sides, whether they belong to MK or 32 Battalion, need to be retrained and found employment if they are not to be a disruptive force. After all, ethnic links will generally only become an issue over such grievances.


Although APLA has recently stolen the headlines because of its attacks on white targets, the organisation was relatively dormant until the mid-1980s. In 1986, two APLA members of a party of between six and ten, were arrested at the Botswana frontier. It seems that 150 APLA members were trained by Libya, its principal backer, by 1986.74

One source of APLA recruits seems to have been from the Western Cape Muslim community and the Islamic fundamentalist grouping, Qibla. Qibla emerged as a loosely structured grouping, drawing heavily on the PAC's organizational structures in the 1960s.
75 After a long period of dormancy, it re-emerged following the Iranian revolution and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. It has been argued that 'the PAC's Libyan backing enhanced it in the eyes of Qibla adherents, who admired Libya's Colonel M'uammer Quaddafi as a Muslim statesman'.76

Nonetheless, the PAC remains a predominantly black grouping and the around 200-strong (though levels of military training are hard to assess) APLA does not appear to be dominated by members of any single ethnic grouping. In practice, however, APLA excludes whites (the only known white PAC member was Patrick Duncan). APLA leaders see the SADF simply 'as an army of occupation' of the 'racist illegitimate settler colonial regime'
and is critical of the ethnic basis of the bantustan armies.77


Little is known about the tiny AZANLA, AZAPO's armed wing. Like APLA, AZANLA is probably only a few hundred strong. One of its principal backers was the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Army. AZAPO members have claimed that military training facilities exist inside South Africa and attacks are regularly mounted (yet not reported by the authorities) on police stations and the like. Again, there are no reports of domination by any single ethnic grouping.


Some 200 members of Chief Buthelezi's Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party were allegedly trained as bodyguards by the SADF during 1986, although it is unclear how many more have been trained by this core group. Added to this are a small number of KwaZulu policemen who are mostly Inkatha members. Like many of the other homeland/national state police forces, the KZP has a strong paramilitary tradition and will have to be taken into account in any military restructuring.


The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), led by Eugene Terre'Blanche, has the Wenkommando and the elite Ystergarde under its command. However, due to the largely secret nature of such political organisations, it is difficult to determine their exact size; estimates range from 40 000 combat-trained commandos to the 300 conscripts who appeared when all uniformed members of the AWB were called up to appear at a political rally in 1992. In addition to the AWB's 'army', there are numerous other small right- wing paramilitary groups including the Boereweerstandsbeweging, the Boerekommando Pretoria, the Afrikaner Resistance National Front, the Boer Republican Army and the Wit Wolwe


In the excellent volume on Ethnicity, Integration and the Military
, the case studies complied by Henry Dietz, Jerrold Elkin and Maurice Roumani demonstrate the continuing importance of ethnic linkages in the composition of military forces. As they put it:78
Ethnicity remains a matter of salience both for designers of government policy and for minority elements; the latter's sense of separateness may well be heightened by skewed recruitment and career progression patterns favoring the dominant group and its allies.
However, as was stated early on in this paper, it is important to define what is understood by 'integration' as it is posed in this context. Although it has been narrowed to include problems in integrating opposing military forces into a single force structure, it is important also to take stock of the issue of ethnic and racial integration as well. In these areas the military generally has not taken the lead in integration: Ethiopia, Nigeria, China and Israel are cases where this 'generalisation is especially well drawn', while Greece, Turkey and the United States have made considerably more progress in this area.79 Unusually, it could be argued that the SADF took the lead in the 1980s in this regard, and that this programme of racial expansion/integration found blacks occupying positions in the military not mirrored in the civilian sector.

In South Africa, the creation of separate homeland defence forces, separate ethnic battalions in the SADF, and Indian and coloured units have all reinforced these tribal and racial divisions. Popular perceptions of political parties (Inkatha is an obvious example of this) along tribal lines does little to offset this conciousness. Moreover, the experience of other nations does little to suggest that ethnic/tribal nepotism and patronage will not take place in a future, integrated force anywhere in Africa.

In Zimbabwe, the racial and ethnic balance of forces in the ZNA has been problematic. These relate to the distinction between regular and irregular (guerilla) forces and to the particular situation of Zimbabwe. The British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMATT), which assisted with the integration process, found that some of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) officers were put into positions in the new Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) when they should not have been, often overlooking better qualified candidates who were either white or from Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). Even today, the highest ranking white member in the ZNA is a Lt.-Colonel, whilst there are only two ex-ZIPRA Brigadiers.

In Namibia, there appears to have been come concern among SWAPO supporters that the majority of security portfolios in the first Namibian government were given to members from the Kwanyama district of Ovamboland.80

The Nigerian army was established from the colonial West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF). In building the Force, the British had been influenced by their experience in India, with recruits being drawn from members of 'martial races'
from remote areas.81 Particular attention was given to recruiting Muslims from the north. By the outbreak of the First World War, 80% of the force was Muslim.82 However, by the 1940s, a conscious attempt was made to recruit from the southern ethnic groupings. A quota system was introduced, half the places reserved for Muslim Hausa from the north, and half for southerners (25% each for Yorubas and Ibos).83 Yet the concentration of good schools and the emphasis placed on good education as opposed to martial traditions led to Ibos dominating the officer corps, whilst Northeners constituted the bulk of the rank-and-file.84

After independence, ethnic tensions led to a series of coups and the bloody Biafra secession - 'the fate of the Nigerian Army decided the fate of the nation'.
85 At the end of the civil war in 1970, over half of the Biafran officers were successfully reintegrated into the federal army, yet 'such a gesture did not extend to the rank and file Biafran soldiers who were forced to disband'.86

These conciliatory polices meant that a significant Ibo presence remained in the officer corps until Christians from the Middle Belt came to dominate the officer corps in later years.87 This dominance was only challenged in the 1990s. In 1990, Nigerian leader Ibrahim Babangida sacked a number of key army leaders. All the Nigerian Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of Police are now Muslims, as were the main contenders in Nigeria's aborted presidential elections. This is a possible sign of a new Muslim ascendancy in both military and civil spheres.

Since independence the story of Nigeria--like Ghana and others - has been that of bitter ethnic rivalry, jealousies, conflict, domination and coup d'etats
.88 All these and other cases point to the dangers of ethnic favouritism in recruiting and promotion policies.


South Africa enjoys the dubious distinction of being possibly the only country with at least eight separate armies: the SADF, the four homeland and the three liberation armies. Other paramilitary groupings include Inkatha and the numerous white right-wing units.

What then are the racial and ethnic implications of the restructuring of the SADF? The force structure will in the future be determined by its role and tasks, the level of political violence in the country, other political considerations (affirmative action and the like) and money. The military's role and function relate to threat perceptions. These, in turn, hinge on the nature of the political settlement, as well as on regional and international security considerations. In addition, the creation of this force will have to take into consideration a multitude of factors, including the nature of the SADF's past role, the current force structure of the security agencies as well as the other military and paramilitary groupings in South Africa, and external factors such as the experience of integration elsewhere in southern Africa.89

On the important and highly emotional issue of personnel, there are two realistic options: first, a conscript army with a professional core, as now, but with conscription selected by ballot or, second, an all-volunteer force. Blanket conscription is not justifiable in terms of any threat scenario, is unaffordable and logistically impossible. In both cases, analysts agree, various categories of short- to long-term military service could be offered, in addition to full-career service.




3 500


2 000


3 500


1 800


65 000ab


12 000c









An integrated, all-volunteer SADF containing elements of MK, TBVC armies and the other forces would probably be larger than the current force and should provide sufficient staffing as the SADF moves from one system to another. Given the high level of unemployment in South Africa, post-apartheid security forces will, in all probability, be swamped by applications, particularly from those sectors of the population hardest hit by the current economic recession. Recent estimates indicate that only 1% of those leaving school in 1993 can expect to find employment in the formal sector.

The defence force could therefore provide a small but essential training and educational service to the country. A precedent exists for this. A special service battalion (SSB) was formed in 1933 with the object of providing beneficial occupation for youths who could not find employment on leaving school. The 'youth corps' recently proposed by Nelson Mandela to honour Chris Hani could conceivably operate in this manner.

The establishment of the recently-touted peace-keeping force scheme (as distinct from the 'youth corps') as a permanent third element of the security forces, could serve to supplement the SADF in times of crisis. Concern has been voiced, however, about the high degree of politicisation of professional armies versus conscript forces in Third World nations and the consequent increase in the possibility of a coup d'etat
. Yet, it is implausible, for example, that a non-racial government would continue to entrust to a force with a white majority, especially when a large percentage of that force are perceived as sympathetic to the former domestic order. However, the establishment of an all-volunteer system would likely lead to a more black defence force, thus exacerbating the security concerns of many in the white minority.

With all this in mind, the new SADF will probably consist initially of a force of about 55000-65 000 troops. Although this figure could be too high for South Africa's projected needs, unemployed soldiers could form a potentially disruptive element in the transformation period. Demobilisation, recruitment or retraining, whichever is required, is likely then to follow rather than precede integration.

There is little doubt that conscription will be scrapped. It can be argued that it would be best replaced by a slimmed-down professional army supplemented by short-service volunteers drawn from all ethnic groupings. A reserve will probably be maintained for times of crisis, though initially this will comprise largely white former National Servicemen already on the reserve list.

Whatever military staffing option is chosen, emphasis will be given to 'social betterment' of the educational role the armed forces might play. In addition to offering a relatively low- turnover of personnel, a short-service system could also provide an immediate option - and political safety-valve - for the 'lost generation' of unemployed youth.

There should be little difficulty in finding suitable volunteers for such a force, even if there were minimum admission requirements, such as a matric certificate. For example, the TDF has been able to expand rapidly, despite such minimum admission requirements. Furthermore, the SADF seems to have little difficulty in getting sufficient numbers of white conscripts to report for duty, despite the fact that racially-exclusive call-ups are arguably now legally unenforceable.


The question of integration in the creation of this force is perhaps the most controversial of all. This relates to both the forces that will be involved in the process as well as the manner and means whereby a new SADF might be created through the negotiation process. For the process adopted will have a bearing on the future shape of the SADF.90

Initial discussion has centred around the setting-up of a multiparty Transitional Executive Council (TEC) which will create the conditions for the transition to democratic government. Apparent agreement also exists for the establishment of what has been termed a Multi-Party Defence Committee (MPDC), as one of 4 or 5 TEC sub-councils, as well as for an advisory Council of Defence.

The MPDC is expected to be established during 1993. Multilateral negotiations are also to begin as soon as possible on the formation and composition of a Council of Defence to provide expert policy input. Prior to national elections scheduled for April 1994, joint control of the various armed forces will have to be established and an extensive audit conducted, thus inhibiting unilateral restructuring and establishing accountability.

The creation of a Council of Defence would help to make easy many of the problems now apparent in military affairs. By changing the unilateral nature of current government policy decisions and by providing expert input, this body should also ease acceptance of some of the difficult decisions that will have to be made. Recommendations about military manpower requirements, integration, civic education, rationalisation, international involvement, sponsored violence and other matters including racial and ethnic balances could be legitimately addressed by this body. For if political directive rather than expert opinion could hold sway, as before, the new SADF might find itself accused of being a political tool, especially if its composition is not truly national in both ethnic and racial character.


If it is taken that the majority of the current SADF standing forces (including the ethnic battalions), MK, APLA, the TBVC armies and elements of the other armies (Inkatha, AWB, etc.) are to form the basis of the new SADF, it would be useful to perform a rough racial extrapolation of the new force. Race, after all, is as important to some in South Africa as political allegiance is to others.

The professional element of the SADF standing forces is made up of the Permanent Force (30000 members), and the 10 000-strong mainly black Auxiliary Service. In addition, at any given stage in the military, there are approximately 25 000 white National Service conscripts who serve for an initial one-year period, as well as 27 000 civilians. Thus the total standing force is in excess of 90 000.

Whites are said to comprise some 46% (18 400) of the professional component of the standing force, of which the vast majority are Afrikaans-speaking. Blacks (Africans) make up roughly 40% (16 000). The ethnic battalions (Zulu-, Swazi-, Shangaan-, North and South Sotho- and Ndebele-speaking-units) total 7 000 troops, and three multi-ethnic battalions (21, 114 and 116) some 3 200 men. The ex-Namibian forces make up about 2 000, leaving 3 800 'other' blacks employed in a variety of roles including ordnance, transport, maintenance, the "parabats" and special forces.

There are an estimated 4 800 coloured troops (12 per cent), most of whom are stationed at 9 SA Infantry at Eerste River (the old Cape Corps) and 3 SAI at Kimberley. Finally, there are approximately 1 200 Indians in the employ of the SADF.

Although other ethnic groupings exist within their borders, roughly speaking the TDF and CDF make up 5 500 Xhosa troops, the VDF 1800 Vendas, and the BDF 3 500 Tswana speakers. If allegations are founded (and the authors would welcome any information on this point) MK could be around 12 000 in strength, with a strong Xhosa-speaking contingent. Yet, because many of these cadres are being trained in Uganda and Tanzania - hardly well- springs of military professionalism - the military value of their training is debatable. But the ANC will presumably demand the inclusion of this force in the integration process.

Inkatha could possibly add 500 trained Zulus, and the same number could be provided by the ethnically heterogeneous (but exclusively black, coloured or Indian) APLA and AZANLA. Despite claims of a 500,000-strong white right-wing army, the AWB currently only has about 500 'soldiers', and it is unlikely that many of these would want to be part of an integrated SADF.

There are many permutations as to the future size and role of the SADF, but if integration occurs en masse
amongst the SADF professional forces, MK, the TBVC armies and other smaller forces, and if conscription is abolished, then blacks will form the majority (40 000) of this 65 000 strong force. This level of integration, however, is unlikely to apply immediately to the officer corps, which will go some way towards allaying white fears. Although a lack of information prevents a similar extrapolation on the basis of ethnicity or home-languages, suffice it to say that the various language groupings will be represented, although Afrikaners and Xhosa-speakers would likely form the vast majority and Zulus (the majority in wider South African society) only a smaller percentage.91

Two outstanding issues in this regard are whether ethnicity and race will be sources of conflict in the new SADF (and, indeed, in the wider society) and whether they will translate into important political differences. There are essentially two possibilities. Following the official ANC line, one is to claim that no tribal divisions exist in South Africa: that is, although there might be differences in language, these do not translate into corresponding interest groups. Alternatively, efforts can be made to assess the potential ethnic composition of the South African military. This would require both MK and SADF co-operation. Although this is a sensitive topic, if a new SADF is to be truly representative, then its ethnic makeup should be assessed along with racial and political considerations. This is especially so given the past experiences of the Union Defence Force and the SADF, as well as those of African countries elsewhere.

As an indispensable component of the wider political settlement, and as a key prerequisite for future stability, military restructuring will have to take into account questions of race, ethnicity and regionalism. Here there a number of points to be made. First, if the new SADF is to be a fair reflection of the racial and ethnic nature of wider South African society, then considerable restructuring will have to take place. This could involve a reduction in the number of whites through redundancies/retrenchments, while recruiting blacks on short-service (voluntary) commissions.

If the SADF is to reflect wider ethnic proportions, there will have to be a reduction in the number of Afrikaans and possibly Xhosa-speakers in the military, along with a dramatic influx of Zulu. Once stabilised, this could be maintained by a quota system.

It could be argued that there is a place for ethnic battalions (such as the TBVC armies) in a reconstituted SADF. Other armies, including the British Army have successfully deployed such units for many years without any negative repercussions. However, steps would have to be taken to ensure that none of these units was seen to be accorded a privileged status, nor be allowed to expand disproportionately to the others. Also, it would be best that such units be based in the area from which recruits were drawn to avoid creating the impression of any 'army of occupation'. Greater stress could thus be placed on the 'regional'
rather than ethnic make-up of such forces. Great caution would also have to be exercised in their deployment, and the national- interest would have to be maintained through strict standards of professionalism and accountability.

On the other hand, a regimental-based system of recruitment could be preferable, particularly as this would induce feelings of loyalty that would go beyond racial or ethnic divisions which were so crudely exacerbated under apartheid. The experience of the Indian Army which was structured by the British in a way that did not mix religious or caste groups, could prove useful to both the ANC and the TDF who are presently involved in a training programme with the Indians. The caste and social system in India is still maintained to provide a mixture of 'pure' regiments retaining exclusive recruitment from the traditionally martial races of India such as the Jats and Sikhs. Some regiments are mixed in terms of race and religion only up until company level, and a few mixed throughout.92 The new South African regiments could similarly be totally 'mixed' through a racial and ethnic quota. However, geographic and familial considerations could encourage the bulk of the homeland forces and ethnic battalions to remain in their 'home' bases.

One might well ask whether the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia is an omen for other highly-armed, multi- ethnic states. As racial conflict in South Africa subsides, it is sure to be replaced by a wide range of tensions which reflect other societal divisions. And as John Chipman notes:
93 'Ethnicity might once have been the primordial repository of cultural definition, but it has become the ultimate resort of the politically desperate'. If the question of racial and ethnic balance is satisfactorily handled, a reconstituted SADF could serve as a model for broader reconciliation. If not, the history of South Africa and post-colonial Africa points the way to instability and uncertainty.


This paper was originally prepared for a conference on 'Ethnicity, Identity and Nationalism in South Africa: Comparative Perspectives', Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 20-24 April 1993. As some of the information here was obtained through confidential interviews and correspondence in South and Southern Africa, some accredations can, unfortunately, not be made. It should be noted, too, that neither the SADF nor MK is prepared to release exact force level statistics. Thanks are also extended to Jakkie Cilliers and Koos de Beer who commented on various versions.
  1. See M. Brown, Editor's Note, Survival 35, 1 (Spring 1993): p.3.

  2. H. Dietz, J. Elkin, and M. Roumani (eds.)., 1991: Ethnicity, Integration and the Military, Westview, Boulder, 1991, p.3.

  3. A. Little, Origins and Development of the South African Defence Force, Militaria 12, 2, 1982, p.7. For an enthralling account of the early years (and battles) of the UDF, see P. van der Byl, 1971: From Playgrounds to Battlefields. Howard Timmins, Cape Town, 1971. Major van der Byl was one of the few South Africans to have won a rowing Blue at Cambridge University, and served with with Generals Botha and Smuts with distinction in South-West Africa and East Africa respectively. He attended the first SA Military Course at the Staff College in Bloemfontein in 1912 with great Republican soldiers such as General Jan Kemp, Maritz, Brand and Jack Pienaar who had all fought against the British, and men such as Tanner, Dawson and Jack Collyer who became Generals and senior commanders in the First World War. The creation of the UDF in this way contains great similarities to the situation facing South Africa today.

  4. Ibid., p.7.

  5. R. Williams, Historical Parallel or Historical Amnesia?: The Formation of the Union Defence Force, South African Defence Review Issue No.2, 1992, p.21.

  6. Ibid., P.21.

  7. K. Grundy, Defence Legislation and Communal Politics, Ohio University International Studies Africa Series 38, 1978, p.8.

  8. Ibid., P.14.

  9. M. Lacey, The Role of the Union Defence Force, in J. Coch, and L. Nathan (eds.), War and Society, Ravan, Johannesburg, 1989, p.36.

  10. Ibid., p.32.

  11. South African Forces in World War 11, Militaria 19, 3.

  12. T. Packenham, The Boer War, Jonathan Ball, Bervlei, 1979, p.576.

  13. A. Rudburn, South African Army Ranks and Insignia, Militaria 20, 2, 1990, p.2.

  14. Lacey, op cit., p.34.

  15. See: The SADF: A Survey, supplement to Financial Mail, 10 July 1987; and Financial Mail, 11 October 1991.

  16. Star, 12 March 1952.

  17. One story concerns the burning of these tabs by disenchanted officers in their mess in Potchestroom, who then placed them in a wooden urn to be used in contention during annual cricket matches between Potchestroom and Vootrekkerhoogte. Upon hearing of the ashes and their origin, Defence Minister Erasmus dispatched an army officer to Potchestroom to destroy the urn and its contents. After carrying out his mission, the officer concerned was thrown into the camp swimming-pool by persons (officers?!) unknown. See Star International Weekly, 9 August 1989. See also H. Klein, 1946: Springbok Record. (South African Legion of the British Empire Service League, Johannesburg), p.3.

  18. Rudburn, op cit., p.2.

  19. A.M. Le Roux, Die Rol van Kleurlinge in Suid Afrika se Militere Verlede, Militaria 19, 3, 1984, p.53.

  20. C.J. Neethling, The Role of Non-Whites in the South African Defence Force, Militaria 16, 2, 1986, p.47.

  21. See, for example, the case of L/Cpl Job Masengo MM in The South African Defence Force Yearbook 1987, p.89-91.

  22. These figures were kindly supplied by Colonel Ossie Baker (rtd.), formerly of the South African Military History Museum. See also SA's forgotten heroes, The Star, 20 June 1988.

  23. See The Star, 11 December 1985.

  24. See Le Roux, op cit., p.59.

  25. Hansard 7, Cols. 2939-44, 1970.

  26. Ibid.

  27. See Rand Daily Mail, 11 December 1970.

  28. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1972, p.68.

  29. Financial Mail, 11 October 1991.

  30. Republic of South Africa, White Paper On Defence, 1975, Department of Defence, Pretoria, p.4.

  31. Ibid..

  32. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1977, p.85.

  33. Ibid.

  34. Ibid.

  35. Republic of South Africa, White Paper on Defence, 1977, Department of Defence, Pretoria, p.3.

  36. Cited in G. Cawthra, 1987: Brutal Force, IDAF, London, 1987, p.69.

  37. White Paper on Defence, 1977, op cit., p.16.

  38. Republic of South Africa, White Paper on Defence and Armaments Supply, 1984, Department of Defence, Pretoria, p.13.

  39. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1984, p.745.

  40. Ibid..

  41. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1985, p.417.

  42. These figures were released by Vice-Admiral Robert Simpson- Anderson, Chief of the SAN, at a conference held by the South African Institute of International Affairs (Cape Region) and the Institute for Defence Policy on Maritime Forces in the New South Africa at the Breakwater Lodge, Cape Town, 3 March 1993.

  43. White Paper on Defence, 1986, op cit., p.18.

  44. Ibid., p.18.

  45. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1978, p.55.

  46. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1984, p.197 and SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1985, p.417.

  47. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1970, p.34.

  48. Neethling, op cit., p.75.

  49. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1977, p.85.

  50. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1978, p.55.

  51. Ibid., p.55.

  52. H.R. Heitman, 1985: South African War Machine, Bison, Johannesburg, 1985, p.116.

  53. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1978, p.55.

  54. White Paper on Defence, 1986, op cit., p.19.

  55. Ibid..

  56. SAIRR Race Relations Survey, 1984, p.746.

  57. Some have allegedly joined the CDF. See The Economist, 19 September 1992.

  58. White Paper on Defence, 1986, op cit., p.17.

  59. Ibid., p.18.

  60. In 1984 black auxiliaries accounted for 3 per cent of the SADF's total manpower composition. See White Paper on Defence, 1984, op cit., p.13.

  61. It should be noted that the SAAF, which has the highest educational requirements for admission, remains the most overwhelmingly white arm of service. See Cape Times, 18 February 1992.

  62. Cape Times, 20 February 1987.

  63. Financial Mail, 10 July 1987.

  64. See J. Breytenbach, They Live by the Sword. Lemur, Alberton, 1990.

  65. Private correspondence.

  66. Interview, DHQ Pretoria, 10 September 1990.

  67. Cape Times, 18 January 1991.

  68. Cape Times, 3 September 1992.

  69. Maritime Conference, op cit..

  70. Pickard, J.H., English... where do we go from here?, Militaria 19, 2, 1989, p.2.

  71. Ibid.

  72. See G. Mills, and G. Wood, A Handful of Armies, South African Defence Review Issue No.5, 1992, pp.1-8.

  73. Sunday Times (Johannesburg), 11 April 1993. For an appreciation of MK's make-up, see H. Barrell, MK: The ANC's Armed Struggle, Penguin, Johannesburg, 1990.

  74. G. van Staden, Return of the Prodigal Son, SAIIA International Affairs Bulletin 12, 3, 1988, p.42.

  75. Ibid., p.48.

  76. T. Lodge, et al., All, Here and Now: Black Politics in South Africa in the 1980s, David Philip, Cape Town, 1991, p.196.

  77. The Role of the Armed Forces During the Period of Transition. Paper presented by APLA at a TDF symposium on Military Reintegration, Tracor Centre, Umtata.

  78. Diets et al, op cit., p.17.

  79. Ibid., p.15.

  80. Africa Confidential 31, 10, 18 May 1990.

  81. W. Gutteridge, 1969: The Military in Africa, Methuen, London, 1969, p.9.

  82. Ibid..

  83. Ibid., p.11.

  84. Ibid., p.17.

  85. Ibid., p.11.

  86. Dietz et al, op cit., p. 185.

  87. W. Gutteridge, Military Regimes in Africa, Richard Clay, London, 1975, p.136. See also I. Campbell, Army Reorganisation in K. Panter-Brick (ed.), Soldiers and Oil, Frank Cass, London, 1978, p.60.

  88. For an analysis of the role of the Ghanaian military in politics, see S.J. Baynham, The Military and Politics in Nkrumah's Ghana, Westview, Boulder,1988.

  89. For an examination of the wider issues, see G. Mills, Plus ca Change... South and Southern African Security After Apartheid. Bailrigg Paper Series Number 12. Centre for Defence and International Security Studies, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, 1992.

  90. Cape Times, 1 April 1993.

  91. The percentage breakdown of the new force would be: Whites, 29%; Coloureds, 7,7%; Indians, 2%; and Blacks, 61%. The South African population breakdown is 13% White (5,129,900), 8,5% Coloured (3,354,200), 2,5% Indian (1,007,300) and 75,8% Black (29,889,600) making up a total of 39,381,000. Zulu is the most widely spoken language, with 21,9% of the population, then Xhosa (17,4%), Afrikaans (15,7%), Tswana (9,1%), North Sotho (8,7%), English (8,7%), South Sotho (6,7%), Tsonga/Shangaan (3,4%), Swazi (2,3%), Ndebele (1,9%), Venda (1,9%) and others (2,4%). SeeSAIRR, Race Relations Survey 1992-3, pp.254-256.

  92. See India in War Machine 117, 1985, p.2940iii.

  93. J. Chipman, Managing the Politics of Parochialism, Survival, 35, 1, Spring 1993, p.143.