Rhosarian 2019

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The Rhosarian 1/19



Magazine of the Flame Lily Foundation

October 2019


for non-subscribers

The Rhosarian 1/19



Opportunities and Humour


National - Contents & Objects 1

- Chairman's Report 2

- Notice Board 3

- Editorial 4

Msasa Mail - Remembrance Service 5

- Mary's Meander 6

- Members' News 7-8

- CG Tracey's Epilogue 9-11

- Opportunities & Humour 12

Ridgeback - Chairman's Message 13

- Rhodie Golf Day 14

- Out on a Limb 15

- Contact Details 16

Fish Eagle - Chairman's Message 17

- Coming Events 18

Honorary President:

Honorary Vice-Presidents:



Air Vice Marshal C.W. Dams

Dr J.R.T. Wood,

Mr J.C. Pirrett

001-747 NPO

Registered in terms of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997

October 2019



Fish Eagle - Rhodes' Cottage 19

- Milton School's RoH 20

- Remembrance Service 21

- Birthdays & Contacts 22

- Special Meeting 23

Operation Uric - Veterans 24-25

- Memorial Parade 26-27

BSAP - 130th Anniversary 28-29

Pensions - Zim Gov Pensions 30

Promotions - Rhodesian Books 31-32

Looking Back - All for Nothing? 33-37

Looking Ahead - Accommodation 38

- In Case of Death 39

- Remem. Services 40

The FLAG - Zimbabwe Review 41-46

Opportunities - Funeral Scheme 47-48

Cover: Chimanimani Scenes - photographer Marianne Buttress


To provide or facilitate residential accommodation for persons over the

age of 60, in particular for those former residents of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe

who have settled legally in the RSA.

To give help in particular to the aged and the disabled.

To preserve the history and heritage of Rhodesia.


Rhodesians/Zimbabweans and South Africans over the age of 18 who subscribe

to the objects of the Foundation.

Single: R90,00 - Couple: R100,00 to 31 March 2020

Life Membership: Closed


The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily shared by the Editor or the

Management of the Flame Lily Foundation.


The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019





The National Managing

Committee (Natmancom)

has dutifully met eight times

this year. Minutes of these

meetings have been sent to

branch chairmen to keep

them and their committees

fully informed of what is

happening at national level.

Our committee has

recently been increased by co-opting two new

members, namely Terry Leaver and Alan Strachan.

John Pirrett (Honorary Vice President) and Spyros

Blismas (Chairman Pretoria Branch) have made

regular appearances at our meetings.

John and Mary Redfern still shoulder most of

the day-to-day running from the office in Pretoria.


This year has seen a drop in membership due to

the dissolution of our Pietermaritzburg Branch,

natural attrition, emigration and administration


At the end of December 2017 we had a total of

1395 members (1051 Annual Members, 299 Life

Members and 45 Privileged Members).

Membership has since dropped by 74 in number at

31 December 2018.


Stilfontein is still our main operation and longer

term concern. The average monthly subsidy has is

around R14,000. All the flats are occupied at


Grateful Gran, OSPA, and PnP gift cards are

continuing. In the past year we have dispensed

R307,250 compared with R373,680 in 2017,

including branch contributions through PnP gift


Most branches have provided money for PnP

gift card holders’ quarterly grants. When added to

Grateful Gran grants the quarterly PnP grants

have usually exceed R50,000.

Our Reference Library contains over 710 titles

dealing with the history, the lifestyle and the ethos

of Rhodesia.

Members of Natmancom have attended several

memorial services such as Delville Wood, Puma

164, Armistice Day and Elands River. The RFMC,

chaired by Alan Strachan, organised and conducted

the annual Remembrance Service on 11 November

at Dickie Fritz MOTH facility. Alan has now

come onto the Natamncom as our Memorials



We are most grateful to regular donors who

support Grateful Gran, but we have not received

sufficient funds to meet all our commitments. We

therefore continue to dig into our capital in order

to subsidise Stilfontein and to cover our other



We have at last found an honorary web designer/

webmaster to update our website.

The Rhosarian, published in October, has again

been well received. All the branches contributed,

but the editor has sometimes struggled to get these

contributions in time and in the correct format.

We produce the FLAG supplement to coincide

with the Msasa Mail, and we invite branches to

distribute this to their members, together with

their own newsletter.


We have been able to meet most goals set out

in our Repositioning Plan, without the very

necessary succession by younger people. It is sad

to see the dissolution of branches, but that was

anticipated and accepted as inevitable if the

younger generations fail to become involved, or

value their heritage.


National Chairman

4 May 2019

The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019



Our thanks to members and

friends of the Foundation who

make regular donations to our

Project Grateful Gran.

National currently assists Rhodesian

pensioners with grants on a quarterly

basis. Branches assist many others.

All donations received are very

much appreciated.

Corporate donors and individuals

may claim an Income Tax rebate

of up to 10% of taxable income.


Many elderly members cannot

afford to contribute financially to

the FLF, as much as they might

wish to do so. Some have no close

family to inherit all or part of their

Estate. By bequeathing something

to the FLF, they can contribute

towards the needs of others after

they have passed on.

Please contact Mary on 012

460 2066 if you need any help

or advice in this regard.


Donations to the Flame Lily

Foundation may be tax deductible,

in terms of Section 18A of the

Income Tax Act, 1962.

Donations of R500,00 or more to

the FLF, including stop orders,

will be receipted accordingly, so

long as donors provide the

National Secretary with their full

names and postal address.


Widows Pension application

forms for Zimbabwe government

pensioners can be obtained by

writing to:


PO Box 95474

0145 Waterkloof

or e-mail:


National Bank Details

Name: Flame Lily Foundation

Account No.: 1500 680 799

Bank: ABSA

Branch: Brooklyn Court

Code: 335345



Chairman: Mr Mike Russell

Vice-Chairman: (vacant)

Treasurer: Mr John Parsons



Mr John Redfern

Mr Terry Leaver

Mr Alan Strachan

The Rhosarian 1/19




October 2019

Change is inevitable.

drawn from a fading memory, scribbled diaries or

Sometimes change is letters preserved for posterity. They may, with the

welcome, sometimes not. passage of time, be useful in piecing together

“For everything there is a history. For this reason, we promote non-fiction.

season, and a time for every Feelings expressed in poetry or prose are also

matter under heaven: a time important in preserving the emotions of people in

to be born, and a time to their time, so we see the need to promote these in

die”. Most times we are sad book form as well.

when someone we know I have endeavoured to explain under

dies. This year we mourn STILFONTEIN why our principal object is the

the passing of the FLF’s provision or facilitation of affordable

Honorary President, Hilary accommodation. It is sometimes argued that we

Squires, and more recently spend too much money on too few people by way

the sudden death of Lewis Walter, one of our three of our homes at Stilfontein. Rather sell the houses

Honorary Vice-Presidents. On the other hand, (our only fixed property) and distribute the funds

most Rhodesians and millions of Zimbabweans to more people in need. There are pros and cons to

rejoiced at news of the death of erstwhile President both sides of the argument. As it now stands, the

Robert Gabriel Mugabe. We have devoted the FLF is committed to retaining our fixed assets and

whole of THE FLAG to a denunciation that is to provide a place for some fellow Rhodesians,

probably the most accurate published. Possibly who rely on a monthly State grant of only R1 800,

more than anyone else in the past 50 years, Mugabe to live with dignity. It is also essential to our status

and his Zanu(PF) forced change upon the lives of as a Public Benefit Organisation.

Rhodesians/Zimbabweans, black and white alike. In the previous two Rhosarians, we advertised

Change can be good and welcome. In previous a group funeral insurance scheme with AVBOB.

editorials I have warned that the onset of age is The entry age limit is currently set at 82. Some of

threatening the future of the FLF, whose committee our members have already benefitted from this

members are mostly in their seventies and eighties. opportunity. Our members in the Cape Province

We know from the results of our 2016 membership have, in addition, access to a special deal with

survey that the average age of our members is Ferns Funerals. I encourage you to avail yourself

currently 80. The good news is that our Cape of one of these schemes. Read LOOKING AHEAD

Peninsula and Durban Branches now have for advice on this subject - something many of us

chairmen in their late fifties or early sixties, prefer not to dwell on.

bringing new life and energy to the FLF.

We no longer enjoy any income from advertisers,

Concerning remembrance, this year we have so we are using the space to promote Rhodesians

commemorated the 40 th anniversary of the Viscount Worldwide magazine, owned and edited by Chris

Umniati tragedy and Operation Uric, the Whitehead. It is the only Rhodesian publication of

penultimate major military battle for Rhodesia. its kind and is well worth reading.

We also celebrated the 130 th anniversary of the The Pretoria and Cape Peninsula Branches

BSA Police, with the unveiling of a statue (yet to produce regular bi-monthly newsletters for their

be named) alongside the RLI’s Trooper in Dickie members. Both are available in digital form as

Fritz MOTH Shellhole’s Garden of Remembrance. well. At present, members of our Durban and

We are indebted to the MOTH organisation for Highveld Branches receive the Msasa Mail. Unless

allowing us to share this part of their property, someone with the requisite skills volunteers to

along with that set aside for Special Forces take over from me, this will probably be the last

at Queensburgh, KZN.

edition of The Rhosarian magazine.

Many Rhodesians are writing or have written JOHN REDFERN

autobiographies and anecdotal histories. Some of Honorary National Secretary

these may not always be accurate, and most are Editor

The Rhosarian 1/19


Mail Vol




October 2019


Flame Lily Foundation

(Incorporating the Rhodesia Association of South Africa)


No. 5/19


Remembrance Sunday Service

10 November 2019

10h30 for 11h00

Dickie Fritz MOTH Shellhole, Edenvale

(See page 40)

The Pretoria branch had, for

many years, organised a

Remembrance Sunday service at

various sites around Pretoria,

including Rooihuiskraal and the

Voortrekker Monument chapel.

Our services in Pretoria were

drawing fewer people every year,

while the attendance at Dickie Fritz

Moth Shellhole in Edenvale,

Johannesburg was growing,

breaking all records last year. From

2018 we decided to join the Rhodesian Forces

Memorial Committee (RFMC) parade and

service at Dickie Fritz.

The unexpected increase last year was to

some extent due to the participation of

Rhodesian high schools associations in separate

groups, each school being represented by a

dedicated wreath layer.

500 people were estimated to have attended

last year. My old school, Saint George’s, was

the first boys high school to be opened, at first

in Bulawayo then in Salisbury. However it

was very thinly represented by four of us; I

now look forward to seeing more Old

Georgians this year.

There is no entrance charge but donations

This year there are 26 school committees are accepted and any profits from sale of

that are registered to attend. At the time of mementos go towards covering costs. The

writing, representatives for Allan Wilson, Moth Shellhole keeps the bar takings.

Falcon and Peterhouse are being sought by

their school’s committee to lay a wreath for


Spyro Blismas


Pretoria Branch

The Rhosarian 1/19



The big surprise in

August was a pension

payment by the

Zimbabwe Government.

All indications before

this, were that Forex was

in short supply and that

pensions were at the

bottom of the list. Unfortunately, some

pensioners had given up hope and let their

Standard Bank accounts lapse. Others are

more fortunate. One lady went to close her

account and, to her amazement, she discovered

that there had been a payment the week before.

Another pensioner managed to reopen his

closed account, but he now has the problem

of finding out from the Pensions Office if he

is on the list. See more about pensions on

page 26.

With our Web page now working, we are

getting more and more enquiries. If we had

received the request from the lady with young

children 30 years ago (see OPPORTUNITIES

further on) , we could easily have helped her.

When we were much younger, we arranged

sports days and Christmas parties for children.

Another frequent query is accommodation

for pensioners living on the South African

social grant. Only very few homes accept

these pensioners as they need to be subsidised.

We have the problem at Stilfontein where

most rents barely cover the cost of water and

electricity. With food prices rising daily, we

hesitate to increase the rents to match

municipal increases.

In Zimbabwe, it can take up to a year to get

a passport renewed. With this in mind, John

was pleasantly surprised by South African

Home Affairs in Centurion. Being a pensioner,

he was ushered to the front of the long queue,

both when applying and when collecting. The

biometric process was completed without John


October 2019

even having to provide the required form.

Everything was done on computers. He had

applied on Tuesday and on Friday of the same

week he received an SMS saying that he could

collect his passport.

Displaying the pre-1994 South African flag

gratuitously is now legislated as hate speech.

This prompted a church minister to delicately

request that Rhodesian flags should not be

displayed at the Rhodesian remembrance

service in November. We are waiting for

someone to point out the old SA flag fixed to

the rear window of our car that we bought in


In this issue we are publishing the last

extract from C.G. Tracey’s book All for

Nothing?. It really grieves me to read how the

assistance and willingness by the Zimbabwe

Promotional Council to help the new

Government was wasted when we see

Zimbabwe today.

I would like to encourage everyone to

attend the annual Remembrance Sunday

Service at Dickie Fritz on 10 November. Last

year 24 Rhodesian Schools’ Associations laid

wreaths and displayed each school’s Roll of

Honour. Wreaths were also laid by former

members of the Security Forces, some of

whom had marched on parade, proudly

wearing their Regimental Association attire.

Best wishes,


“Keeping the Flame alive”



TURNER, Ohna passed away peacefully

on 26 September 2019.

WALTER, Lewis passed away suddenly

on 24 September in Fish Hoek.

The Rhosarian 1/19



From a grateful


On visiting Standard

bank yesterday with the

intention of closing the

account, imagine my

surprise to find that Zim

Pensions had finally

come to the party after

five years. A deposit of fourteen thousand

rand and it could not have come at a better

time. Please thank your contact in Zim for all

his hard work and many visits to the Pensions

Office. I am sure that I am not the only person

who has a lot to be thankful for all his dedicated

work on our behalf. My thanks to you and

your team for making this possible. Paul my

late husband was a dedicated soldier and he

would have been thankful to other Army

personnel who were as dedicated as he. I will

be giving a small donation for now to Flame

Lily. Warmest wishes, Pauline."

Barry Woan wrote from the South


For one reason and another we have not

communicated for some time.

We are all well down here on the Sunny

South Coast and continue to hold regular get

togethers including two Bring and Braais at

the Mills Moth Shellhole in Warner Beach

with both attracting over forty members.

We also hold two luncheons at Cinder

City Shell hole when we attract about 100

members every time…both are great


Some of us were on the second [pension]

list and we all received a nice present of just

over 12 K, except Garth Butch Von Horsten


October 2019


who got nothing. Eight of us traveled together

and visited the Pretoria Embassy.

Two, David Owen and Jac Parker, were on

the first list and paid many months ago. The

other six including Von Horsten were on the

second list. Five of us received our money,

Sakkie McKay, Roger Brownlow, Courtney

Walton Buddy Charsley and myself.

Have you any suggestion as to what we

should do about this?

My second query is what is going to happen

to those who were too ill or infirm to travel to

visit the Embassy but who up until that time

were receiving a pension?

We have one such person in Peter Michael

Huson. Is there anything I can do from this


Kind regards, Barry

[Editor: see PENSIONS on page 30 for


Response to previous Msasa Mail

Captions suggested:

“Knee high to an elephant” from Chris


“Photoshop?” from Lewis Walter

“Affricar’n’Elephant!!” [Best read

aloud with feeling!] from Phil


The Rhosarian 1/19



We welcome the following new members.

COOPER, Veronica - Linkhills (Transfer

from Pmb)

RIVETT, Robin and Des - Howick (Transfer

from Pmb)

TANCRED, Lenor - Faerie Glen, Pretoria

We have had a disappointing response

from former members of the erstwhile

Pietermaritzburg and Districts Branch of the

FLF, to whom we wrote inviting transfer of



COUSINS, Les passed away in Cape Town

on 21 July 2019 after a long and painful

illness. He is survived by his wife, Cal and

their three sons. [Submitted by Dave


JACKSON, Neill (1953-2019) passed away

in Johannesburg on 29 August 2019. He

had been suffering for sometime with

cancer. Neill served with the RLI as a

Troop Commander with Support

Commando for three years. He was coauthor

of the book The Search for Puma

164, the SAAF helicopter which had been

shot down during Operation Uric in

September 1979, resulting in the deaths of

14 Rhodesians and the crew of 3. Neill is

survived by his wife Johanna, four children

and two grandchildren.

NEL, Margie passed away in November 2018.

She was a long standing member of the

Flame Lily Foundation and sadly missed

by her son Shawn.

POWLEY-BAKER, Margaret (née Redfern)

passed away in London on 10 September

2019 after a short illness. She is survived

by her sons Wesley and Bernard.

ROBERTSON, William Balfour (Bill)

passed away in Scotland on 27 August


October 2019

2019 at the age of 93. He was a veteran

who served in France and Germany with

the 51st Highland Division towards the

end of the 2nd World War. He joined

Dunlop in Edinburgh on his return from

service and in 1961 was transferred to

Dunlop Rhodesia Limited in Bulawayo.

His wife Eleanor died in 2014. [Submitted

by David Owen.]

THOLET, Jeanne (née Smith) died in the

Vincent Palotti hospital on 28 August 2019,

having been admitted the previous

Saturday. Jean was the only daughter of

Ian and Janet Smith. She married Clem

Tholet, well-known Rhodesian song writer

(“Rhodesians Never Die”, and other

ballads) who died a few years ago. Jean is

survived by her brother Robert.


Les Cousins (1936-2019)

Born in Gwelo and educated at Chaplin

and the University of Natal, Les worked as a

research scientist with the Tobacco Research

Board for over 40 years, initially at Trelawney,

then at Makaholi and finally at Kutsaga, where,

as Officer in Charge, he guided much of the

development that created this internationally

recognised research station. Over this time he

became well known in the tobacco farming

community and was ultimately appointed

Director of the TRB. Les was also recognised

by tobacco research and industry leaders

around the world and on three occasions he

was awarded the prestigious international

CORESTA Medal for his research work. As

a significant contributor to the TRB’s scientific

output, Les was part of that group of

researchers and farmers who made the

Rhodesian tobacco industry, in its day a major

contributor to the country’s GDP. Les is

survived by his wife Cal and their three sons

and four grandchildren.

[Submitted by Dave Donkin]

The Rhosarian 1/19


Why was C.G. Tracey


(See article “Thrown off our land” under


[From All for Nothing? by CG Tracey]

Zimbabwe started off with a strong

foundation of well-educated people who were

able to participate in the new government.

Robert Mugabe, leader of ZANU(PF),

returned to Zimbabwe in January 1980 and

spoke to a packed and ecstatic audience at the

Rufaro Stadium. Early the following morning,

I had a call from a man who introduced

himself as Emmerson Mnangagwa, a member

of ZANU(PF)’s Politburo. He said he was

aware that we had been giving seminars,

lectures and meetings to the four existing

political parties regarding the civil service

and the economy but that his party had not

been a participant. I replied that we would

have been pleased to have afforded them the

same opportunity but, as they were a party in

exile, it was not feasible to travel to

Mozambique for this purpose.

He conceded the point but said that

nevertheless they wished to catch up. Robert

Mugabe asked me to put together the best

available team of people to speak about all

aspects of the economy, for a full day session

two days later. This showed the importance

that they attached to the state of the economy.

We grasped the challenge and brought

together a dozen of the best-informed men

from all sectors. We had representatives of

finance, banking and the stock exchange,

industry, commerce, farming, tobacco,

mining, tourism, transport. The briefing

continued throughout the day and finally we

had supper with some members of their


October 2019


Central Committee. That experience, for some

time, helped to enable and maintain dialogue.

This was the first occasion for Mugabe to

hear other views on the current state of affairs

in Zimbabwe - the negative and the positive.

I asked Denis Norman, then president of the

Rhodesia National Farmers’ Union (soon to

be re-named the Commercial Farmers’ Union,

CFU), to speak on agriculture. In the question

session, he and Mugabe got on well and from

that first meeting their acquaintance


Soon afterwards, Mugabe asked Norman

to become his first Minister of Agriculture.

This wise decision gave confidence to the

commercial farming community and to the

whole country. Norman had been a British

farmer and, on arrival in Rhodesia, had learnt

the tobacco-growing trade. In due course, he

bought his own farm from the McGills at

Norton. He became a council member of the

RNFU, representing the maize commodity.

He subsequently became vice-president, and

then CFU president in 1980, before being

appointed Minister of Agriculture.

At the second election in 1985, Norman

was not reappointed to the cabinet but

remained close to Mugabe. He became

chairman or director of many companies.

Mugabe later asked him to return to politics

and he became Minister of Transport and was

invaluable in bridging the gap between

Zimbabwe and other countries. Importantly,

the briefing we had been asked to arrange

provided face-to-face contact with members

of the Central Committee and the Politburo,

some of whom later became ministers, and in

particular with Nathan Shamuyarira, who often

provided a bridge between government and

the private sector. Educated at Oxford and

Princeton, USA, he was a courteous person

and, although our opinions were often

dissimilar, he was prepared to listen.

The Rhosarian 1/19


During the transition period, a vacuum

developed, with almost no contact between

the Permanent Secretaries and Mugabe’s new

team. The Zimbabwe Promotion Council

(ZPC), as it had become, was asked if we

could arrange an informal meeting with some

of the Permanent Secretaries to meet Mr and

Mrs Mugabe. About a dozen came, and each

spoke on his ministry.

It was very worthwhile, and we had the cooperation

of almost all of them. The meeting

was unusual, the private sector introducing

members of the administration to a new

political entity. David Lewis was helpful at

these meetings, and Mrs Sally Mugabe was

charming and served all the participants at

the tea table. Lewis later wrote of that time:

‘At the time of assuming office, Mugabe was

an outstanding person who had a complete

capacity for statesmanship, reasonable

approaches to problems, and was prepared

even to follow lines or courses which were a

reversal or different to his own courses or


One might estimate that this capacity

continued to be the case until arguably about

1993. It was believed that his wife Sally

played an important role in those early years.

At the meeting of Permanent Secretaries,

David Young, Secretary of the Ministry of

Finance, showed tremendously good sense

and advice to those who sought it, and

particularly to his fellow Secretaries of


After that introductory meeting, we took

members of the ZANU(PF) Central

Committee to see aspects of the economy

such as tobacco, cotton, mining, secondary

industry, the major Lowveld irrigation

development for sugar, and other

development projects. We believe that this

helped them appreciate the jewel they were

inheriting. As a non-political organization,

the ZPC emphasized the productive and


October 2019

developmental sectors of the country.

Samora Machel had told Mugabe that many

of Mozambique’s problems stemmed from

the loss of confidence by their Portuguese

inhabitants, who had left in droves taking

their skills with them, and it is said that he told

Mugabe, ‘In particular, don’t lose your

farming expertise.’ After independence in

1980, the ZPC continued its role, although

the methods we used were quite different

now that the country was recognized

internationally. ...

At independence, Rhodesia had been

largely isolated from the outside world for

fifteen years, and it was clear that a concerted

effort was needed to get leaders and opinion

formers from the overseas and private sector

and in some cases, from governments, to see

for themselves the developments that had

taken place.

Before independence David Lewis and I

had an introduction to Dr Bernard Chidzero,

who at the time was based in Lausanne,

Switzerland, heading the UNCTAD team for

the United Nations. He had been groomed to

return to Rhodesia as soon as politics permitted

and was to become a key member of the new

cabinet with his experience of international

organizations and finance. On his appointment

as Minister of Economic Planning and

Development, Chidzero became an important

link for us with government and, for example,

with senior UN staff. We, at the ZPC, were

also able to help him, as some members of

government lacked sophistication and had

little understanding of First World economic

affairs. His assistant at that time was a young

man called Kombo Moyana, who later became

the first black governor of the Reserve Bank.


I was amused to read how the press saw

me. In London, Frederick Cleary of The Times

wrote a Business Diary profile on 18 February


The Rhosarian 1/19

C.G. Tracey, Rhodesian ubiquitous

.... Of Tracey, Dr Isaac Samuriwo, a

Salisbury black businessman and senator

in the last parliament, said, ‘Through his

efforts, many whites have learned that

there were blacks of the highest calibre in

any field. We need people like C.G. Tracey

in the new state of Zimbabwe ... people

who are dedicated to the cause of unity and

who know no colour bar.’ ...

Although firmly apolitical, Tracey was

drawn unofficially more into the shadowy

world of diplomacy as successive

Rhodesian governments struggled vainly

to reach a political settlement.

Regarded as a man who could be trusted

implicitly, and with his vast network of

contacts, he was soon to be seen in

Whitehall, in Washington, in Paris. His

lean, angular figure flitted from continent

to continent and like some restless shadow

he popped up in the homes and offices of

some of the most important and famous

people in the western world.

The travel restrictions imposed on

Rhodesians after UDI seemed rarely to

hinder this subtropical Kissinger. ... ‘It

was tragic when in 1965 UDI came and

sanctions were imposed,’ Tracey said. ‘I

never agreed with UDI but equally I

considered sanctions to be immoral. Once

UDI had taken place, I felt that it was

imperative that all of us should defend our

country to the best of our ability, regardless

of our political beliefs.’

I was delighted to read the following, from an

article in the Harare Sunday Mail of 27

November 1983, by Tendayi Kumbula:

Tracey: A human dynamo with flair for

innovation. Mr Edward Padya, one of the

first two blacks ever appointed to the Cotton

Marketing Board in 1978 at Mr Tracey’s

insistence, said the other day, ‘He is a very

good person. He battled the colonial regime


October 2019


to get black representation on the Cotton

Marketing Board. Although it was opposed

for a long time he finally succeeded and so

Mr Axon Gumbo and I were appointed.

In the early meetings he helped us a lot,

even translating the proceedings into Shona

for us so we could keep up with the

discussions. In short I can say we have lost

a man [on retirement] who has a great love

for Africans. He did a lot for us and for

other African farmers, including taking

some of us outside Zimbabwe so we could

see what other people did with the cotton

they bought from us’.

The greatest compliment paid to me was by

someone who said I was a true patriot. So my

love of my country is the right way, I suppose,

of describing overall what motivates me. I

happen to think that this is the best country

there is, and I am determined to try and keep

it this way for all people, black and white.


Looked at objectively, the situation is more

than depressing and bleak and, as I write this

in 2008, no one can guess what the next few

months will bring. ...

I look back over the last 80 years and apply

the old phrase, ‘What if ... ?’ But that is

academic. Zimbabwe is in danger of joining

the ranks of derelict African countries - its

agriculture, and particularly its tobacco and

food sectors, have been mortally wounded.

An atmosphere of mistrust and corruption is

widespread. To correct these alone would be

a major task. ...

Those eight decades of progress cannot be

taken away, although the developments of

which we were proud have been so misused.

The title of this book was discussed at

length. Finally we settled for Wendy’s choice:

All for Nothing?...

G.G. Tracey

Harare, August 2008

The Rhosarian 1/19





October 2019

Rhodesian contact wanted in


I am an ex-Rhodesian recently moved to

the Johannesburg area (Midrand). I have 2

young boys (9and 10) and am looking for

other families/groups with whom we can

socialise and in so doing educate my boys

about our shared history, culture etc. Any

information or advice will be very much

appreciated. Lisa Seymour (née Cobban).

[Editor: I suggested they attend the Service

at Dickie Fritz. As our membership is aged,

perhaps there is someone who has children

or grandchildren who would like to contact

Lisa. Please contact Mary on 012 460 2066

or email rasa@iafrica.com]


Politicians and diapers

should be changed often

and for the same reason.

Really, mate?

“Traditionally, most of Australia’s imports

come from overseas.”

Kep Enderby QC was an Australian politician

and judge. Died 2015.


Secretary: Mary Redfern

Tel: 012 4602066 (during office hours,

otherwise an answering machine is in use.)

Chairman: Spyro Blismas

Tel: 012 6676647

Postal address: E-mail:

PO Box 95474 rasa@iafrica.com

0145 Waterkloof www.flf-rasa.co.za


Philip Garbett remembers that in Rhodesia

during the mid-1960s he encountered the

American literary curiosities known as Tom

Swifties. These were/are somewhat similar to

the Lexophiles published in the August-

September 2019 Msasa Mail. So as to illustrate

- here are ‘six o’the best’ of those Tom


“I love hot dogs,” said Tom with relish.

“I’ll have another Martini,” Tom mumbled


“I’ve decided to come back to the group,”

Tom rejoined.

“If you want me, I shall be in the attic,” stated

Tom loftily.

“I’d like to stop by at the mausoleum,” Tom

said cryptically.

“Get to the back of the boat!” Tom said


From the Wor


In conclusion, my friends, fill your

minds with those things that are good

and that deserve praise: things that

are true, noble, right, pure, lovely,

and honorable.

Phillipians 4:8 (GNT)

RASA Pretoria banking details

Account Name: RASA Pretoria

Account Number: 1631005235

Bank: Nedbank

Branch: Brooklyn Branch

Branch Code: 163145

The Rhosarian 1/19


October 2019


The Ridgeback

Newsletter - October 2019

RASA Durban


The AGM was conducted in July 2019 and despite widespread rumours that we

as a branch were either going to form a “sub-branch” or “dissolute” the branch, there

were a few members that did not wish for this result and offered their nominations

to stand on a new committee which was duly elected and installed in a special

meeting held on 31st July 2019 at Musketeers, Westville. Your new committee and

details of such are detailed at the end of this report.So, it requires me to now

introduce myself as your new Chairman for the foreseeable future. My name is Nick

Skipworth-Michell, aka Skippy Michell, I have been in Durban for the last 13 years

having transferred down from Johannesburg. I am Rhodesian born and bred and

schooled initially at Oriel Boys in Chisipite, after completing education I then signed

on regular force and served with RLI as a medic badged RhAMC for 3 years.

I currently serve as the Chairman of South African Legion North Coast Branch, Old

Bill of Journeys End Shell hole and Regional Representative of The RLI Regimental

Association in KZN, as well as being a member of KZN Parabats Canopy – so yes,

I am busy but at the same time have a great network of not only Rhodesians but also

Military Veterans.

I believe that I have a great team in my new committee, most of whom have been

with RASA Durban long before I arrived on the scene and I respect and value their

experience.Plans are afoot for the annual Poinsettia braai as well as the annual golf

day at Toti and details will be communicated as we firm arrangements up.

I look forward to serving you as your new Chairman and welcome any suggestions

as to how we may improve.

Before I sign off it would be remiss of me not to make special mention of both Eddie

and Jill de Beer as well as the previous committee who have stood down after a

lifetime of commitment to the Association and words are not enough to thank them

for what they have done for our Nation and people…THANK YOU EDDIE & JILL!!

Nick Skipworth-Michell

The Rhosarian 1/19




October 2019


Our annual Rhodie Golf Day will again be held at Toti Country

Club. There will be a braai and live music at the 19th hole.

Please confirm with Skippy Michell on 082 372 0000 or

skipworth61@gmail.com for more detail.

RASA Durban AGM August 2019

Judge Hilary Squires Obituary 31 July 2019 Westville Durban

Herewith a copy of what I delivered on behalf of RASA Durban

“I am humbled to be asked to say a few words in the presence of such an audience.

As the representative here today of both RASA Durban (a Branch of the Flame Lily Foundation)

and The Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association it is my priviledge to say a few words.

As I never knew Judge Hilary Squires personally I contacted John Redfern at the Flame Lily

Foundation in Pretoria, who knew him well, to ask if I could convey any message on his behalf

and the following was his response to me. “Hilary was a great supporter of the Foundation and

attended most, if not all Foundation meetings. He was an extremely generous man in an

unassuming manner and over the years Hilary donated from his own pocket vast sums of money

in support of the Foundation of which we are eternally grateful”.

From a Military perspective and as a serving member of the Rhodesian Light Infantry at the

time that Mr Squires was our Minister of Defence it is only appropriate that we are here today to

pay our respects and honour a man who held a very difficult post in a very turbulent time.

Rest in Peace Sir!”

The Rhosarian 1/19


October 2019


It is not my intention to use this forum as my personal Ad space but it just so

happens that I have written a book which may be of interest to some of our

readership, details posted below. Should you wish to order a copy please e mail me

on skipworth61@gmail.com at only R200 each.

The following is an excerpt from my book OUT ON A LIMB and I think many a

Rhodesian will relate to this piece of history which played out in September 1980 - 39

years ago this month!

Oh When the Saints ...

The late afternoon sun sparkled off shiny

buttons grouped in twos on RLI Number

One Dress Greens. The Battalion was on

parade for the last time, waiting for the

order to march off. Watching from the side

lines were the wounded also dressed in

their Greens with brilliant buttons, shiny

medals for valour and perfectly shaped

berets with their cap badge over the left

eye. In their wheelchairs, or on crutches or

with a pressed empty sleeve pinned to their

tunic they watched their mates on parade.

Solemn words had been said, "Courageous

people. Splendid land", the Colours cased

and all that was left was for Charlie Aust to

give the word of command for him and his

Battalion to march off - into history. An

Alouette pirouetted at altitude in a solitary

RhAF fly-over in acknowledgement of the

great deeds of these men. Ex defence

minister PK Van Der Byl stood in the crowd

as an ordinary member of the public,

unofficially and unannounced, to pay tribute

to these young men. The Jacarandas were

in bloom, the mature eucalyptus bordering

the parade square filtered and dappled the

sunlight as the sun began to accelerate its

descent now that mid afternoon had passed.

The Commanding Officer gave his

commands and the Battalion formed two

ranks to march off. Six beats of the drum

and the staff band began the jaunty 'Oh

When the Saints…'.

Three hundred whip thin, ultra fit men

marched in perfect step in a display of good

order and military discipline, and - above all

else - with pride. Big Red, 2 Commando,

The Lovers and Support Commando led by

their OCs marched off in quick time followed

by the Signals Corps Band. Mine was not the

only wobbly chin. Mine was not the only

escaped tear. Me and the wounded could

not escape the evocative emotion of those

on parade. We could not blank out the

emotion through the exertion of marching in

step, swinging our arms and listening to the

Drill Sergeant's sotte voce commands, "look

up! "Keep your dressing". We stood or sat

in the puddle of our raw emotions, we cried.

Damn it. We were over. The crowd whooped,

hollered and cheered.

The gospel spiritual of The Saints is lost

on nearly all of us, as is the irony. A slow

southern black man's hymn that was jazzed

up as a ditty, popularised by the jazz

musicians of New Orleans in the 1930s. The

tempo 'revved' so that a generation later,

and on a different continent, it was chosen

as the Regimental Quick March for an allwhite

unit. The phrases too, like most

literature, could have a double meaning.

The lyrics adopted by the Regiment could

not have been more appropriate, and

somewhat bloodcurdling. These very young

The Rhosarian 1/19


men really did 'want to be in that number'

taking the battle to the enemy wherever

they were. They fell like stars from the sky

in Zambia, Mozambique and within

Rhodesia. On operations like the Mapai raid

their 'fire blazed' and like the horsemen of

apocalypse swept through the enemy. And

although in the last year of the Rhodesian

war we lost 30 ouens the RLI was accredited

with a kill rate that went from 35-1 to 50-1.


October 2019

In context, 3,000 terrorists must have died

at the hands of the RLI in 1979 alone; 'the

moon turned red with blood'. No wonder

they were known as the 'killing machine'

and little wonder that ZANLA and ZIPRA,

even with their superiority in numbers,

studiously avoided contact with the RLI,

preferring to prey upon the soft rural poor,

or defenceless missionaries, who they could

easily brutalise and murder.

RASA Durban Branch Committee


Contact details

Nick Skipworth-Michell (Chairman) 082 372 0000 skipworth61@gmail.com

Peter Shattock (Vice Chair) 082 512 6056 pshattock@telkomsa.net

Lana Skipworth-Michell (Treasurer) 072 617 7443 lana4@live.com

Marlene Camps (Secretary) 079 798 1595 marlenecamps55@gmail.com

Jacqui Kirrane (Welfare) 072 080 0385 jkirrane06@gmail.com

Heather Walker (Stalwart) 083 322 3236 heather@hospice.co.za

Rob Walker (Stalwart) 084 532 559 Rowa34@gmail.com

The Rhosarian 1/19


October 2019



VOL. 15 No. 5 - October November 2019


Monthly Meetings

The Cape Peninsula branch meets at 10am on

the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Moth

Hall in Fish Hoek. We have had a number of

guest speakers at the Teas, including Frontline

missionary, Alieske van’t Foort, who reported

back on the plight of pensioners in Zimbabwe

and gave a PowerPoint slide presentation on

the situation in the country, delivery of Boxes

with Love to pensioners in Bulawayo and some

of the heart-warming testimonies of resilient

pensioners in desperate situations.

Another guest speaker, Dr. Michelle House,

gave an interesting presentation on

Archaeological Excavations and theories

concerning the Zimbabwe Ruins.

On the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, I

gave a presentation on that extraordinarily

important and decisive battle which ended the

25 years of French Revolutionary wars and

ushered in nearly 99 years of general peace in

Western Europe.

Rhodes and Founders

Our Rhodes and Founders lunch was a

tremendous success and much enjoyed by all.

Despite financial constraints, we still sponsored

a number of pensioners to enjoy the banquet.

Our Rhodes and Founders lunch this year, 17

July, coincided with the date when Cecil John

Rhodes, at age 37, became Prime Minister of

the Cape Colony, 1890.

One of the written responses we received from our

latest Rhodes and Founders lunch: “Thank you very

much for arranging the very successful Rhodes and

Founders lunch today. Your efforts show your love

for what was once our country. The food was

excellent and it was enjoyed by everyone present.

It was wonderful to see some of our less fortunate

members attending as guests. Certainly the

highlight of their year. You epitomise one of the

main aims of our establishment of this branch of

FLF-CP so many years ago - to bring a little light

into the lives of our senior citizens who did

everything in their power to develop Rhodesia into

the jewel of Africa.”

Social Media

Within a week of being elected Chairman, I

launched the Flame Lily Foundation - Cape

Peninsula Facebook page on social media. Just

since 5 April, our FLF-CP page has Reached 265,208

people, with 57,977 Engaged (that means likes,

reactions and shares). We have over 600 regular

Followers on the FLF-CP page, with a tremendous

amount of comments and shares amongst

Rhodesians Worldwide, Last of the Rhodesians, Our

Rhodesian Heritage, Rhodesia Herald, Rhodesian

and African Military History and responses from

literally all over the world. Some of the written

responses have included: “Fantastic to have these

records of our history. Thank you.”; “Magnificent

pictures of a truly amazing country!”

Through social media we have communications

with Rhodesians literally worldwide. Pictures and

memories are being shared, people are

The Rhosarian 1/19


discovering old friends and contacts and

fascinating aspects of our history and heritage are

being made known to a wider circle of people.

Upcoming Events

We have upcoming plans for FLF-CP events, to

recruit the children and grandchildren of

Rhodesians, including a guided tour of the Rhodes

Cottage in Muizenberg and a home education day

focused on Rhodesian History. We will also be

hosting some Teas in Rondebosch to reach those

who are geographically distant from our regular

venue in Fish Hoek. Our Remembrance Sunday

service is scheduled for 13:00 on Sunday, 3

November at Fish Hoek Methodist Church.

Any Rhodesians visiting Cape Town are

encouraged to get in touch with us and join in the


Dr. Peter Hammond



Lawyers should never ask a Rhodesian grandma a

question if they aren’t prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a small Rhodesian

town prosecuting attorney

called his first witness, an

elderly woman to the stand.

He approached her and asked,

“Mrs Jones, do you know

me?” She responded, “Why,

yes, I do know you, Mr

Williams. I’ve known you since you were a boy,

and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to

me, you lie, you cheat on your taxes and you

manipulate people and talk about them behind

their backs. You think you are a big shot when you

haven’t the brains to realize you’ll never amount

to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher, yes

I do know you.”

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else

to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs

Jones, do you know the defence attorney?”


October 2019

She again replied, “Yes I have known Mr Bradley

since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy,

bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He

can’t build a normal relationship with anyone,

and his law practice is one of the worst in the

entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his

wife with three different woman, one of them

was your wife. Yes I do know him.” The defence

attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both

counsellors to approach

the bench and in a very

quiet voice said, “If either

of you asks her if she

knows me. I’ll have you

both hanged”.

OBITUARY - A flame lily gone from our


It was with shock and sorrow that we learnt of the

passing of Shirley Green who was laid to rest at

the Methodist Church in Fish Hoek on 16th


Those who served with her late husband Gerry

Green in the Rhodesian Corps of Chaplains had

to cope with the most heartbreaking calls to break

the news to wives and families of the deaths of

their loved ones during the war years (read

“Reflections of a God Botherer” by Bill Dodgen).

Shirley was a lovely lady and a dedicated and

active Flame Lily member. She is survived by a

son, Mike, in Mocambique. Requiescat in Pace

Dear Shirley

By Skatie


Is it the twinkling passage chandeliers, the

plunging thatch roof, or the distant sound of bugle

calls rekindling a long forgotten history of a

Cottage once graced by a man who many years

ago opened the door to an unexplored land,

initially referred to as British South Africa, Sofala,

The Rhosarian 1/19

Monomatapa, (and others), and eventually its true

handle, Rhodesia?

This Story is dedicated to Joye and Brian Gibbs;

two curators who spent many years at Rhodes

Cottage, and who worked tirelessly to promote

Muizenberg, its Historical Mile, The Muizenberg

Historical and Conservation Society, to better

educate our locals, including visitors from all over

the world, and to promote Mr Rhodes, his

achievements, and, most importantly what

Rhodesia achieved in the short space of ninety

years. Sadly Brian passed on in 2018, and Joye, a

previously-elected Town Councillor, followed her

husband Brian in 2019.

A gurgling stream, born high on the Muizenberg

Mountain, gurgles into a quaint weir behind the

Cottage before flowing into an open canal

stretching the length of the garden, then galloping

under Muizenberg Main Road before flowing into

the ocean after swirling below the railway-line and


Many Writers have described this Cottage of

dreams in lucid terms over many years, but the

only way to really experience its magic is a long

overdue visit to a home steeped in history.

A number of us Flame Lily volunteer curators ‘walk

this beat’ every week, sharing something almost

indescribable, other than to say most of us

experience a sense of peace and tranquility in each

and every room. If only walls could talk - to be

honest, they sometimes do exactly that!

Curator entry to the Cottage is via the back door

as the front entrance is severely locked-down with

inner sliding bolts, leaving one guessing how many

volunteers have ‘sprung’ these over a sixty long


October 2019


year period after the Cottage was bestowed with

‘museum status’. We walk into a small foyer, unbolt

the heavy door leading into the ‘diningroom’, and,

out of morbid fascination, avoid all light switches

in an effort to capture a very special moment in

the shadows of time.

The creaking floor then leads to the main passage

and front door with its thunderous sliding bolts,

breaking the silence before permitting the early

morning sun to flood its warmth into every nook

and cranny, leaving us wondering about the

number of times this door has been opened and

closed since 1823 - now close on two hundred years


Winter is a time of rain, billowing gales and gutsy

seas whipping ‘white horses’ of salty spray as the

waves bellow their ‘war-cry,’ akin to a banshee’s

howling and screaming, announcing the death of

a loved one,


thousands of

miles away: one

w o n d e r s

whether the

tranquillity of

Bishop Stortford

- Mr Rhodes’

birthplace in England - was in any way disturbed

on the night of his passing at the comparatively

young age of forty nine?

Cecil John Rhodes purchased 246 Main Road,

Muizenberg in 1899 where he sought refuge on ‘R

and R’ days, travelling by road on his ‘two horse’

coach to and from his stately Groote Schuur home

below the gloom of Devils Peak.

The ‘Oubaas’ died of heart failure after being

confined to his

simple, single

bed for a period

of ten days: the

26 of March 1902

was one of the

w a r m e s t


weeks on record,

with temperatures melting into the early forties,

aggravated by heat maliciously trapped under the

corrugated iron roof, compounded by a perhaps

The Rhosarian 1/19


unwise decision to punch a huge hole in the

southern wall to encourage a flow of fresh air,

which, more than likely, swept wave upon wave

of suffocating heat into an already confined


Cecil John Rhodes passed away quietly and

without ceremony in the presence of his close

and dear friends as the sun gently touched the

Cottage before quietly sinking below the

towering Muizenberg Mountain range.

The man after whom Rhodesia was named in

1896 was entombed in the Matopos Hills on 10

April 1902 after lying in State at his Groote

Schuur home, the Houses of Parliament, the

Funeral (Coach) Train to Bulawayo, the Bulawayo

Drill Hall, and his final Gun Carriage journey to

“Worlds View” in the harshness of dusty

Matabeleland, yet his memory lives on in the

Cottage’s tiny “Matopos Room” where a diorama

of his final resting place remains an awesome

reminder of a great man who today ‘ghosts’

through the Cottage when the wind climbs under

the eaves and rattles the shutters.

Not long after the death of C.J.R. the Cottage

remained closed for over thirty years - much the

same as the Fort Tuli Police Outpost in the old

Rhodesia (fourteen years) - bringing to mind the

haunting poem, “The Listeners:” ..........

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,’

Knocking on the moonlit door, And his horse in

the silence chomped the grasses of the forests

ferny floor................. enough .... call it up on the

internet - Walter de la Mare will tell you more!

Come and see for yourself one of these fine days.

Coincidentally, Ian Smith, the last Prime Minister

of Rhodesia, passed away at the St James

Retirement Hotel in 2007, barely a kilometer from

Rhodes Cottage, on the same side of the

mountain, facing the sea.

Ian Smith was cremated in Cape Town, and his

ashes scattered on his farm and across the

rippling waters of Gwenora Dam in the Selukwe

District: the first, and last born and bred

Rhodesian Prime Minister!


October 2019

The staff and carers at the Retirement Hotel in St

James still speak highly of ‘Smithy’: a gentleman

and a scholar; a soft spoken man whose last wish

was to return to Selukwe: his place of birth in the

lush, green valleys. GOD took him Home.

Take the word “RHODESIAN” - ‘Rhodes and Ian’!

Best wishes.




Milton High School, Bulawayo, was opened in July

1910. Four years later, the First World War broke

out, and old boys and teachers volunteered for

service. Ten lost their lives in the ensuing conflict,

a high number for a new and fairly small school.

Their sacrifice was recorded on an impressive

bronze plaque in the school.

Twenty-nine years later, the Second World War

broke out, with old boys and teachers again

volunteering their services. By the end of the war

in 1945, 115 had given their lives in the cause of

Britain and her allies.

On 2nd April 1948, two bronze plaques honouring

these men were unveiled at a touching service in

the impressive Beit Hall at Milton School. They

were placed on either side of the earlier memorial,

flanked by the Union Jack and the flag of the British

South Africa Company.

The Headmaster, Mr. A. Ball, opened the service

with a prayer and reading of a lesson. This was

followed by the Chairman of the Old Miltonians

Association, reading with deep feeling the Roll of


The Rhosarian 1/19

The Last Post was then sounded by a bugler of the

School’s cadet band, and a well-known former

Milton headmaster, Col. J.B.Brady O.B.E., D.S.O.,

gave a dedicatory address and unveiled the

plaques. Col. Brady was both a soldier and a


Mr Ball, the current headmaster, offered a

dedicatory prayer, and the bugler sounded

Reveille. This was followed by the school

hymn, “O valiant hearts, who to your glory

came.....”, voices of families of those being

honoured, Old Boys remembering their

schoolfellows and comrades, and the present

scholars all melding in unison.

The very memorable service ended with the laying

of wreaths at the base of the memorials, and

singing of “The King”.


October 2019


Once again, please remember to make our

agreement with Fern Funerals known to your


Fern Funerals offer only Flame Lily members a

special rate, which is currently R5,300 for a full

funeral package. This is an incredibly good price

and this information needs to be shared with next

of kin before the event, whilst we are still 100%


A reminder to all our members of

the date and time of our annual

Remembrance Service

In recent years, the plaques were moved to the

entrance foyer to the Beit Hall, and were joined

by smaller plaques in memory of

old boys who lost their lives in the bush war. They

were said to be well-kept and respected. Any

current information would be appreciated.

By Lewis Walter (at that time a fifteen-year-old

boarder in Pioneer House)

As always………

An ongoing big thank you to Salty Print!

The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019



P.O. BOX 43821, FISH HOEK, 7974

Registered in terms of the Non-profit Organisations

Act 1977: Re. No. 001-747NPO

Chairman: Dr Peter Hammond

Tel: 021 689 4480

email: (mission@frontline.org.za)

Vice-Chairman: Skatie Fourie

Tel: 021 785 5620 Cell: 072 463 8044

email: (skatief@polka.co.za)

Treasurer: Rosalie Holmes

Tel: 021 782 5237 Cell: 082 877 1301

email: (rosalieh@mweb.co.za)

Secretary/Scribe: Tony Rozemeyer

Tel: 021 788 7274 Cell: 084 674 0700

email: (tony.rozemeyer@gmail.com)

Carer: Jean Bowen-Davies

(pachelabd@gmail.com) Tel: 021 785 3074

Cell: 072 602 8231

Newsletter Editor: Cherry Douglas

Cell: 083 461 8458

email: (cherry@douglasproperty.co.za)


Please remember to join us for tea on the 3rd

Tuesday of every month at The Moth Hall in Fish

Hoek. R10 per member and R20 per nonmember.

Please bring a small plate of eats if you

can. All proceeds go towards helping our elderly


We thank the Battledress Shellhole, Fish

Hoek for permitting us to continue to use

their hall for our teas.

A huge thank you to the Battledress

Shellhole, Fish Hoek!

The Rhosarian 1/19

Special Meeting of the Cape Peninsula

Branch of Flame Lily Foundation, held on

17 September

In common with a number of other organisations

our branch faces the problem of diminishing

finances and lack of active involvement by


With the aim of finding solutions to remedy the

situation and making decisions as to the future of

the branch, a special meeting was called on 17

September at the Moth Hall in Fish Hoek, in

conjunction with the monthly tea.


October 2019


Editor’s Note: Our current committee, largely in

their 80’s, work tirelessly to find

better ways to do things, raise

funds, save on costs, answer

needs, recruit volunteers, make

connections and mend bridges. All help, in any

form, is requested and will be most welcome.

Thank you so much to the loyal group of

members who attended this fruitful meeting.


With summer on our doorstep, cool delicious

drinks come to mind.

The key question was, do we carry on doing our

best to continue assisting our needy elderly by

giving them help? Or do we discontinue the

payments to the elderly and carry on only as a

social and cultural group that enjoys self-funding

teas, outings and meetings?

After substantial discussion, the members

unanimously agreed that we should continue to

assist our elderly folk by whatever means we can.

It was resolved that the branch should try to

increase membership, urgently source funding

and recruit assistance in the day-to-day function

of visiting and calling on the elderly folk, running

boot sales, selling raffle tickets and finding

sponsors. It was agreed that our communications

need to be stronger and more affective.

We will continue to run our monthly teas, on the

third Tuesday of every month, both as a social

event and as a fund-raiser and urge as many

members as possible, old and new, to join us.

In the course of the meeting, a member, Tony Gray,

offered his services in various of the essential

functions and was invited to be co-opted onto the

committee, which he graciously accepted. The

meeting closed on a positive note and a

welcoming resolve. We request Cape Town

Rhodesians and Zimbabweans, please come and

re-join us so that we can continue to give our very

best in love and comfort to our elderly folk.

Good old-fashioned ginger beer

You will need some 2 litre drink

bottles, preferably dark ones, to

minimise light penetration.


8 tablespoons white sugar per 2l bottle, dissolved

in 3 cups boiling water

1 tsp yeast dissolved in a cup of warm water

½ cup ginger syrup (Mixadrink or similar) per 2l

bottle. Fresh ginger root, chopped up, optional

Warm water to fill 2l bottles

Thoroughly wash bottles and lids and, using a

funnel, pour in the ginger syrup and add the sugar

solution. Allow to cool to tepid. Add yeast solution

and optional chopped ginger root. Top up the

bottles to normal level and fasten lids. Vigorously

shake to dissolve sugar residue. NB - This is the

first, last and only time that the bottle is shaken.

Store in a cool dark place for 24 hours. For the

next two days, check the bottles. They should be

turgid with pressure. If they become misshapen,

take outside and slowly open to release pressure,

then refasten. On fourth day, refrigerate. When

chilled, drink and enjoy!

BEWARE - bottles sometimes explode which can

be messy and noisy. Best stored on a veranda.


The Rhosarian 1/19




October 2019 The Rhosarian 1/19

October 2019


Air Force veterans (left)

Engineer Corps veterans (below)

Rhodesian Light Infantry veterans (below)

Map from "Africa's Commandos" - courtesy JRT Wood

The Rhosarian 1/19


Each year the Rhodesian Light Infantry

Regimental Association (RLIRA) and the

Rhodesian Corps of Engineers Association join to

remember the Rhodesian casualties in a South

African Air Force (SAAF) Puma helicopter which

was shot down during Operation Uric on 6

September 1979. This year, former members of

the Rhodesian Air Force led the memorial service,

as the Air Force had played a major role in the


The following address was given by Wg Cdr

Steve Baldwin (Retd) (Flt Lt during Op Uric)

Welcome to you all

on this solemn


occasion, particularly

the loved ones, family,

relatives and friends of

those brave young men

who lost their lives in

defence of their country

from the forces of evil and who are honoured on

this occasion of dedication.

I was asked to address this gathering since I

had an intimate knowledge of Op Uric. Number 4

Sqn flying Lynxes often had to lead Air Force first

strikes on external operations usually with an

airborne army commander on board to control the

battle. In fact, looking in my logbook I see I flew

Lt Col Bate - with us here today - on Op Chamber

in June, Capt Willis on Op Fiddle in July, and Maj

Armstrong in Op Uric in September of that year


The reason for this was that Lynxes were

armed with 37 mm rockets with white phosphorous

to make dense clouds of white smoke used as

target markers for the following jet strikes with

their heavier armament.

A lot has been written about the whole war and

particularly Op Uric but unfortunately it’s not all

accurate. But I suppose it’s largely irrelevant


Op Uric was significant for a number of reasons:

Firstly: it was the penultimate major external

operation of the war (Op Miracle was the last.).


October 2019

Operation Uric Memorial Parade

Secondly: All available Rhodesian aircraft: 6 Lynx,

12 Dakotas plus the command Dakota

(nicknamed Warthog), 28 Alouette 3s / Bell

205s, 8 Hawker Hunters, 6 Canberras as I

recall. Also SAAF Pumas, Super Frelons,

Dakotas and Canberras.

Thirdly: it was the first time the SAAF was

overtly involved with Rhodesian operations.

Fourthly; and by no means least from an Air Force

perspective, the loss of Puma 164 with 3 SAAF

aircrew and 9 RLI and 5 Engineer Corps, and

Bell 6098 with a flight engineer.

For an op like this there would be top secret

briefings with the Air Force and Army units,

followed by clandestine deployments of specialized

army units in the field. At the aircraft forward

bases the Lynxes and Daks (Dakotas) arrived on 1

September. The helicopters were being deployed

already by that time.

The operation did not start well. It was planned

to start 2 September. Bad weather precluded that.

For 2 / 3/ 4 Sep aircraft were grounded by bad

weather. Frustrating for all. The operation finally

took place between 5 September and 7 September,

with major attacks on Mapai and Barragem.

Thereafter other lesser targets were attacked,

primarily with airstrikes.

Mapai was a major FPLM (Frelimo) base with

their 2 Brigade HQ together with ZANLA, heavily

defended with 37 mm AA, 23mm ZPU4, SAM 7

Strela anti aircraft infra red heat seeking missiles.

Also there was a significant Russian presence.

Around Barragem there were 5 bridges. They

were to be blown up by the Engineers and SAS to

disrupt supply lines to FPLM forward bases.

The operation started early morning 5

September. Major Pat Armstrong was with me in

the lead Lynx as the airborne ground forces tactical

commander. The ‘Warthog’ command Dak orbited

at high level. They maintained communications to

the respective HQs. Air Cdre Norman Walsh, AF

DG Ops and Lt Gen Peter Walls, Commander

Comops were on board for any strategic decisions.

Our lead Lynx was specially prepared for long

endurance. Extra fuel, no guns but 2 x 37mm

rocket pods each with 18 rockets for the jet strike

The Rhosarian 1/19


marking / close air support to ground forces. We

could be airborne for anything up to 10 hours at a


All the aircraft took off from Chiredzi (Buffalo

Range airfield) at the appointed time. Following

the 5 Lynxes were Daks with paratroops, and

helicopters with other support troops. Hunter and

Canberra jets were already on the way .

We then put in the first white phosphorous

rocket strikes, closely followed by the Hunter

strikes and the Canberra bombers. The Daks were

already dropping the paratroopers and the

helicopters their officers and troops, and the combat

began. Other targets were similarly being attacked.

Major Pat Armstrong then took over the tactical

control of the ground forces by means of

instructions radioed to the callsigns on the ground.

It never failed to amaze me on ops like this how

the airborne commander managed to handle radio

transmissions back and forth using two radios to

move, relocate and take reports from the ground

callsigns and give them new instructions in the

battle. Like handling a gigantic chessboard with

deadly pieces. But they did it very effectively.

So the battle continued for three days. However

not quite how it was planned with the very effective

defences at Mapai, with their Russian designed

zigzag trench system and some 20 AA guns, 37

mm anti aircraft airburst shelling, 23 mm ZPU 4,

12.7 mm as I seem to recall.

A major setback to the operation and shock to

us all were the major disasters; the loss of Rhodesian

Bell 6098 and flight engineer LAC Alex Wesson,

and SAAF Puma 164 with aircrew Capt Paul

Velleman, Lt Nigel Osborne and Sgt Dirk Retief,

together with the 14 Rhodesian officers and troops.

Major Armstrong controlled the ground

callsigns flying for some 6 hours each of the first

two days before leaving for debriefing. The Lynxes

and helicopters continued to provide close air

support, and the jets their heavy bombardment of

the targets.

After the third day of the operation General

Walls and the senior officers in the command

Dakota decided to curtail the assault on Mapai and

make a strategic withdrawal. So ended Operation

Uric; all that remained was for the helicopters to

pick up all the ground troops and return to the

forward bases.

October 2019


Interestingly, a captive FPLM soldier

subsequently revealed that they were extremely

tired, demoralized and short of supplies. Had we

continued for another two days they would have

been completely defeated.

To complete this short resumé of Op Uric, not

many people know of the extent of the South

African involvement. Of course because of the

Puma tragedy, the support of a good number of

helicopters is well documented. But to supplement

the Rhodesian air effort, they also supplied

paradrop Dakotas and Canberra bombers. Also

elements of 1 Recce Commando were parachuted

into the frays to support the Rhodesian troops. All

this was secret at the time, and code named

Operation Bootlace by the South Africans.

As the Air Force strike leader with Major

Armstrong, I was fully involved in the operation

and have written a couple of accounts when so

requested. But the memories dim with advancing

age, so I hope that this address reflects events

accurately, but all here who were there at the time

will remember.

God Bless you all.

Editor’s Note

Although Op Uric failed to achieve all the

tactical objectives, it was a strategic success in

that the operation led to Samora Machel, the

President of Mozambique, putting pressure on

Robert Mugabe to take part in the Lancaster House

conference talks. He wanted to prevent

Mozambique from being dragged further into the

war with Rhodesia, which had already seriously

damaged its economy.

This is the background to Op Uric; tactical

details of the operation itself can be found on

the Internet at the following link:


The Rhosarian 1/19


Over the Anniversary Weekend of 20-22

September 2019, the Transvaal Branch of the

BSA Police Regimental Association entertained

former members from far and wide with a fantastic

reunion, celebrating the 130 th anniversary of the

formation of the BSAP.

Brainchild of Rob

Bristow, the main

event was a memorial

service in the Garden

of Remembrance at the

Dickie Fritz MOTH

complex on Saturday

21 September. The

service was preceded

by a march-on of BSAP

veterans, led by a

Scottish pipe band. The

unveiling and dedication of a life-size bronze

statue of a policeman in the reverse arms salute

position followed the sermon delivered by a former

policeman, Bishop David Bannerman (7705).

The Roll of Honour was read by John Sutton.

Dave Holmes gave the

address, explaining the

historical significance

of this occasion. The

service ended with the

“Last Post” and

“Reveille”, with the

laying of wreaths,

rendition of ‘Rise O

Voices of Rhodesia’ by

Steve and Dana

Prophet, and reading of

“I was there” by John Sutton.

The MOTH ladies at Dickie Fritz prepared a

light lunch alongside The Ridgeback pub, while

balladeer John Edmond carried the reunion into

the afternoon with his entertainment.

A formal luncheon took place on Sunday 22

September, presented in the usual efficient way

that we have come to expect from the BSA Police

Regimental Association. Old friendships were reestablished,

including some from as far afield as

the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and

the UK.

Congratulations to all those who had a part in

organisaing and conducting the event.


October 2019

The following extract comes from ‘The History

of the BSAP’ by Peter Gibbs, for the benefit of

those not familiar with how the BSAP came into

being 130 years ago, or have simply forgotten.

It is a little unusual for the police force of a

country to be created before that country actually

exists. But although Cecil Rhodes’s pioneers only

entered the territory that lies between the Limpopo

and Zambezi rivers in July 1890 - and only formally

occupied Mashonaland by raising the Union Jack

at Fort Salisbury in September - the first troops of

what were to become the British South Africa

Company’s Police had been established and

recruiting had been started, outside the country, as

early as November the previous year.

Before long the force was to play a formidable

part in what has been called “the scramble for


The history of southern Africa, after the advent

of the white man in 1652, has been written many

times and has been given as many interpretations.

Especially where the British are concerned, the

interpretations range from the heroic to the

iconoclastic - from a blind reverence for honourable

intentions to accusations of undiluted perfidy.

The idea of obtaining a Royal Charter for his

newly proposed company, the British South Africa

Company, to occupy, and operate in, the new

territory, has often been credited to Rhodes. The

belief that it was Rhodes’s original notion has

more recently been challenged. But whether or not

it was his own idea, it appealed to him immensely.

If his new company (which would, of course, be

controlled principally by his own de Beers) were

to be granted a Charter by Queen Victoria he could

have the best of both worlds:

the venture would be “colonial” in that in

practice it would be undertaken and controlled by

the people on the spot; it would be “imperial” only

so far as it would receive from the British

Government political backing and, if the worst

happened, military protection. But before

petitioning the Crown for a Charter it would

clearly be necessary to obtain from the people at

present in the territory at least some semblance of

the right to operate there - some claim to preference

over anybody else who might be after the same


The Rhosarian 1/19

A man named Charles Rudd, on behalf of

Rhodes, obtained from Lobengula, the Matabele

chief in Bulawayo, a concession to “win and

procure” all the “metals and minerals situated and

contained in my Kingdoms, principalities and

dominions”. ... The new British South Africa

Company successfully petitioned the Queen for a

Royal Charter. The Charter acknowledged, in

appropriate legalese, “That the existence of a

powerful British Company, controlled by those of

Our subjects in whom We have confidence, and

having its principal field of operations in that

region of South Africa lying to the north of

Bechuanaland and to the west of Portuguese East

Africa, would be advantageous to the commercial

interests of Our subjects in the United Kingdom

and in Our Colonies,” and empowered the

Company to promote “trade, commerce and good

government (including the regulation of liquor

traffic with the Natives)”, to suppress “the slave

trade - of which there was no evidence at all - and

open up the territories “to the immigration of

Europeans”. The Company would also “to the

best of its ability preserve peace and order” and

for this purpose was authorised to “establish and

maintain a force of police”. ...

The occupation would be a commercial

undertaking; the whole business of founding a

new country would be put out to contract for

recruiting, provisioning, equipping and paying a

pioneer force of nearly two hundred men, who

would become the first white settlers in the new

country; also for making “a good wagon road”

from Palapye, in Bechuanaland, to Mount

Hampden, which was to be the destination in

Mashonaland; and for “holding and occupying”

the new territory until 30 September 1890, after

which the Company would relieve Johnson of his


Frank Johnson’s tender was £87 500, which

was a lot of money in those days.

Rhodes believed at first that this was all it

would cost him to occupy the country. He certainly

promised Johnson and his partners - and, indeed,

all the pioneers - free land and free mining claims

when they reached Mashonaland, but as these

were costing him nothing he could afford to be

generous. But there was one factor he had

overlooked - or had probably chosen to disregard:


October 2019


the danger of sending a body of men into a

wilderness inhabited by warlike savages without

some protection against attack. The British

Government - as represented by Sir Henry Loch,

the High Commissioner in Cape Town - was

adamant that the pioneer force must be provided

with an adequate military escort.

Naturally Loch was not prepared to recommend

to his Government that it should assist in financing

Rhodes’s commercial enterprise by supplying

troops at the expense of the British taxpayer. He

made it clear to Rhodes that he would have to

arrange the escort at his own expense. Rhodes

demurred; but when Sir Henry Loch threatened to

recommend to Britain that the Charter should be

cancelled if he refused to comply, Rhodes realised

he had no option.

At first, Rhodes proposed raising a police force

of only a hundred men. ... But as the later idea

developed of two hundred pioneers - who would

really only be civilians, although it was agreed to

attest them for the duration of the march - making

their perilous way to Mount Hampden, four hundred

and fifty miles inside the Matabele-dominated

country, even less cautious characters than Sir

Henry Loch were beginning to feel that a force of

only a hundred men would be a far from adequate

escort. Frederick Selous himself, who had been

appointed to act as guide to the pioneer column and

knew the territory as well as anyone, persuaded

Rhodes that he needed at least two hundred and

fifty. This disturbed Sir Henry Loch even more;

indeed the High Commissioner was by no means

the only person in high places who was growing

nervous; and from a number of quarters Rhodes

was prevailed upon, finally without too much

demur, to persuade his co-directors in London to

authorise a force of five hundred - all to be paid for

by the Company.

The authority was given; but the concept of this

escort for the pioneer column had now clearly

grown. It was becoming a formidable force in its

own right, needing a separate organisation and a

distinctive identity, and it would march with the

pioneer column into Mashonaland, to become a

permanent feature of the establishment. And so it

was that the British South Africa Company’s Police

came into existence before anyone had set foot as

a settler in the new country.

The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019

"Concern for

our Aged"

Zimbabwe Pensioners Association

(A division of the Flame Lily Foundation)


Everyone was taken by surprise by the

Zimbabwe Government pension payment on 16

August. In the past, we had been told that there is

little or no Forex in the country and there is not

even sufficient for medicines etc. Pensions are a

government debt under International Monetary

Fund (IMF) scrutiny, which might account for

the recent payment.

Changes in Pensions Office

Since the latest payment, anomalies have been

reported to us, which Mr Robert Anderson has

taken to the Pensions Office. He has visited three

times since the August payment, but has been

unsuccessful in finding someone able to answer

our queries. Mrs Sweswe used to be the contact

person. She has been moved to the post of Deputy

Pensions Master and the person replacing her

was unwilling or unable to answer queries. The

new lady at the widows’ desk was also unable to

help. All desks are piled with new files.

Meeting with Pensions Master

Mr Anderson was due to have a meeting with

the Pensions Master, Mr Makiwa, before the end

of September but this has not come about. We

have prepared lists of queries for him, with a

copy for Mrs Sweswe. Hopefully one of them

will be able to get the staff to sort out any


Mr Terry Leaver, has undertaken to find out

from the Zimbabwe Consul General in

Johannesburg if Certificates of Life can still be

completed by pensioners who have not yet done

so, and if biometric equipment is now available

for this purpose.

The unfair predicament for bedridden

pensioners has not been solved, this in spite of

numerous appeals to the Pensions Master and


Mr Anderson has not been able to establish

which time period was paid. The Pensions Master

was not able to give him the information. It is all

rather confusing as we have established that some

pensioners have been paid both in 2017 and 2019.

Contact Persons

In 2017, Mr Makiwa advised us that pensioners

should contact or ask for one of the following staff

members on the telephone number listed below:

1. Mrs Sweswe (Deputy P Master) : 225 2371

2. Mrs Mazengeza (Widows Sec): 270 2047

3. Mrs Chiwu (PA to Mr Makiwa) : 225 2372

4. Mr Makiwa (Pension Master): 270 2032

The international dialing code for Harare is 00

263 24, followed by the telephone number given



Answers will not always be forthcoming, as a

pensioner’s file may have to be drawn, so callers

should ask when they should call back.

Our main concerns at present are as follows:

• No answer could be given as to when future

schedules will be paid;

• ALL pensioners have to report in person at a

diplomatic office in Cape Town, Johannesburg

or Pretoria to renew their Certificates of Life;

• No provision is being made for pensioners

who are bed-ridden or otherwise unable to

report in person to a consular office;

• Application forms for a Widow’s Pension can

be obtained from the FLF’s office in Pretoria.

The Zimbabwe Embassy in Pretoria and

Consulates in Johannesburg and Cape Town can

provide the required Certificate of Life forms.

Applicants need to provide a copy of their

Zimbabwe ID card or passport when applying,

plus two recent passport-size photographs of


The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019


In September 1978 and February 1979 two

Rhodesian Vickers Viscounts were brought

down by Strela missile attacks from ZIPRA


Neither Viscount was Strela modified despite

documentation being provided to aviation

authorities that there was a potential vulnerability

to the missiles.

The Viscounts had left Kariba Airport heading

for Salisbury. Both aircraft went down within

minutes of take off.

The Western world and the media left the

downing of the aircraft and subsequent death of

numerous passengers un-condemned.

My journey to writing this book started after

reading the book Viscount Down by Keith Nell. It

left as many unanswered questions as it answered.

In this book, I will present the evidence and

you the reader are the jury.

You the reader, make the final call. Was it

Strela ground to air missile strikes or acts of


To understand the processes taken to come to

an informed conclusion in any case of such

magnitude, one would as a forensic auditor present

possible scenarios. In the case of the Rhodesian

Viscount tragedies there are two possibilities.

These are described in Chapter 2 of my book.

In any forensic investigation all possibilities,

alternatives and factors need to be considered,

including benefits and motives. The latter are

discussed in the final Chapters.


I have presented the evidence, the co-incidences

and possible explanations.

As I stated at the start of this narrative, you the

reader are the jury and in many ways can be the

judge. I have my own views on the matter.

I doubt that anyone would have thought that a

top secret Strela or Sam 7 missile technical manual

would be available within the time frame of

Rhodesian lives. The process to gather the

information in this book has taken over five years.

All that is disclosed here and the revelations fly

in face of history and current thinking. ...

Geoffrey Alp


This is not a simple book for the average reader

as it contains technical descriptions and what may

be advanced mathematics.

The arguments are strongly unfavourable to the

use of Strela in the Viscount attacks, and imply

some very dubious motives to the British


We (Dakotas on 3 Sqn) used 14,000 ft (4,200

m) and above, or 500 ft (150 m) and below as

altitudes safe from Strela or small arms fire. These

figures were based on limited knowledge and

practical experience, and they certainly worked

for us.

Mike Russell

Flt Lt (Retd), Rhodesian Air Force

The book is available online through Amazon,

both in paperback and in e-format which

requires a Kindle type reader from Amazon.

The Rhosarian 1/19


This book is the

personal story of

Digby Pocock, a

member of the BSAP

who served in

Special Branch (SB)

through most of the

bush war. He led a

small detachment of

pseudo terrorists to

pick up information on

terrorist infiltration into

various kraals and protected villages in his area of

responsibility. However, in telling the stories of

his groups missions, successes and failures, he

denigrates the actions of the Selous Scouts, the

originators of “pseudo” tactics lin the Rhodesian

bush war. He fails to mention the debt owed to the

use of “pseudos” in the Palestine Police, in the

anti terrorist campaign in Malaya in the 1950s and

their use by the Kenya Police in the Anti-Mau

Mau struggle of the 1050’s.

This is an interesting book but, as one man’s

story, tends to be a little egotistical. Although

wounded and injured several times the author

survived the war and went into a well-earned


Technically most of the book’s photographs,

coloured or black and white are poorly reproduced

with many of the main subjects unrecognizable;

The proof reading, too, was poor with many

spelling and grammatical errors.

However, generally the book gives a good idea

of the problems faced by security forces in the

tribal lands, and latterly, the problem of inadequate

training in the territorial forces.

It shows too the problems faced by married

men fighting far from their homes and families,

and equally it shows how the families coped in the

absence of their menfolk. I was sorry that the story

of the author’s early life, until he joined the

police, was not slightly expanded to more clearly

show the contrast between 1960 and 1980 in terms

of normal family life in Rhodesia.

Mike Russell

Note: Promotion of this book was published in the

Msasa Mail 2/19




by Chas Lotter

October 2019

The pieces which

make up this monumental

work on the Rhodesian

journey from the Pioneer

Column days to the

present day are all falling

into place. Even the

prophetic poems, written

in 1980, about the coming ruination of the country,

the oppression of its people and the ultimate fall of

Mugabe have been included.

The search for original documents and photos to

illustrate the original poems is almost over. Many

of the poems have never been seen before. A good

number of the photos and documents used in this

book have never been published.

Input and guidance from Dr JRT Wood, Dr

Mike Hagemann, Dr Iona Gilburt, Professor Andrie

Meyer and Professor Innocent Pikirayi is lifting the

presentation of the work to a new level – especially

in respect of the detailed chronology of Rhodesian

events, which is included as an appendix.

This chronology still requires further work to

ensure that it is as accurate, as detailed and as

complete as possible. That is the major work of the

coming months and is on track.

Publication has been set for the middle of 2020.

Rhodesia, The End

We were a strange, quarrelsome folk

We were many. We were all the peoples

Of this troubled land of many names,

We believed in destiny, and when ignited,

Even by leaders themselves misguided,

We moved, we strove, we wrought.

We drossed our metal in the fire of war.

We moulded a nation

Where tribes existed before.

Note well.

Our time has not ended, our future is not


It has merely changed its shape.

The Rhosarian 1/19

Thrown off Our Land

“All for Nothing?” by CG Tracey

Let me relate the

happenings on Mount

Lothian, our farm.

Scene 1

Our first sign of

danger was at the end

of 2001, when we had

a lunchtime visit one

Sunday from four

people who asked

permission to make an assessment of the farm.

They refused to identify themselves, had no

documents, and we told them that the farm had not

been listed for acquisition and that they must be

mistaken. They denied that this was so and said

that if we refused to allow them to make their

assessment they would make up one from a map.

Scene 2

Some weeks elapsed and then, in February

2002, we had another visit, this time from a suave,

well-dressed man who announced himself as

Retired Colonel Godfrey Matemachani, saying

that he had come to introduce himself as the new

owner of Mount Lothian. We told him that we had

not been served with any acquisition notices and

that I was certainly still the owner. He replied that

it was easy for him to go to Marondera, the

provincial head-quarters of Mashonaland East

province in which the farm is situated. His very

senior contacts there would provide him with a

Section 8 order. In other words, the decision to

take the farm of his choice was his alone. He liked

it. He demanded a Section 8 order on Mount Lothian

from his friends in government and he got it.

Scene 3

Shortly afterwards, we were called to our

security gate one afternoon.

There was a yelling mob of about 100 people,

men and women armed with pangas (broad-bladed

knives) and heavy sticks, some evidently under

the influence of alcohol and drugs, headed by the

infamous self-appointed chief war vet, Joseph

Chinotimba, a junior employee of Harare


October 2019


Municipality. I greeted him through the locked

mesh gate and asked what he wanted.

He said that he wished to talk to me. I invited

him to do so but he refused unless we opened the

gate. It was obvious to me that once the gate was

opened the mob would surge through, so I declined.

He then, in quite a matter-or-fact way and with a

pistol in his hand, told me that my choice was

simple: either to let them in, or he would shoot me.

He said he would then bring further reinforcements

and destroy our house, equipment and tractors.

Arguments of legality went right over his head.

One of our black managers said to me, ‘Mr Tracey,

my advice to you is to let four or five of them in and

then deal with the matter’. So I agreed that

Chinotimba could bring in four people to discuss

the situation. We then endured the normal lecture

of having stolen the land from their forebears, that

we supported the opposition party, we were bad

employers, and so on. After an hour they left, to be

followed a few days later by another group, who

broke down the security fence and came on to the

lawn in front of the house with violent threats.

They turned to [my wife] Wendy and told her to

cook a meal for fifty people immediately. Hoping

to buy time, I ordered a sheep to be slaughtered and

the meal to be cooked in our workers’ canteen. We

were then over-run.

I went in to telephone for help, but the phone

was wrenched out of my hand and out of its socket.

Eventually they dispersed. The police stood by

and provided no assistance whatsoever - on the

grounds that this was a political matter and not a

police one.

Scene 4

A few days later, at about 11 a.m., one of our

black managers, Edward Hermes, said that we had

been summoned to go to the lower football ground

where there was to be a meeting between our

workforce and the war vets. Our grandson Nicholas

went down in the car with Wendy and me. We met

the group of war vets in the late morning. This

group was led by a particularly notorious and

uneducated man named Kapesa, who acted like a


Kapesa and his cronies had compelled the entire

village population to assemble on the football

grounds for a show of force. He addressed the

The Rhosarian 1/19


whole village community - men, women and

children - plus his own war vet contingent. He

said that Mount Lothian was a very bad farm and

that we treated our workers very badly, that Wendy

and I were supporters of the opposition party, the

MDC. He commanded five of our management

team to step forward from the group of workers:

our number one, Edward Hermes, the second-incommand,

Magodi Mvula, and three others.

They were told to sit down some way from the

crowd and take their Shoes off. This had

traditionally become the start of a season of

violence and flogging, as we had learned from the

terrorist war. After they had called Edward and

questioned him before the crowd, when he

courageously told the war vets that there was no

substance to any of the charges they were making,

they called Magodi. The same accusations were

levelled at him and, because he was responsible

for allocating work, he was regarded as an enemy

of the workers. They said he had subjected the

workers to unreasonable tasks. They said he was

a womanizer and that he would have to leave the

farm. By this time, passions were extremely

inflamed by mob frenzy. Magodi was then told to

lie down on the ground (all the war vets were

armed with strong sticks) and they said he was

going to be flogged. I stood beside him and spoke

quietly and said that he had earned our loyalty and

that he should not lie down and that I was not

going to allow him to be beaten. We walked up to

Kapesa and I told him exactly that. Then they

started assaulting Magodi and beating him.

Nicholas came to his aid and got soundly thrashed

for his pains. They did not actually attack me but,

after two or three minutes in the melee, they

ceased hostilities.

I admonished the war vets in Shona in the

strongest possible words and told them that what

they were doing was illegal and would be reported

to the police and the authorities. Meanwhile, the

police had arrived and became interested spectators

only. The war vets urged us to go back to the house

to discuss their grievances. We sat down on the

lawn and started to talk. Shortly, a message came

from the top village, where Magodi had his house,

to say that a group of war vets and some of our

own hostile women employees, who were enjoying

the opportunity of venting their fury on one of our


October 2019

two senior managers, were looting his house.

Magodi’s family had a pleasant threebedroomed

home, which was well equipped with

modern conveniences. The war vets were hurling

the furniture, the beds, mattresses, his small electric

stove, TV and refrigerator, and odds and ends on

to the grass outside. Their actions were akin to a

maddened swarm of bees. Magodi, his wife and

small children were understandably terrified.

The war vet leader said Magodi should leave

the farm immediately and that if he was not gone

by sunset they would take him and he would never

be seen again. They said they knew where he lived

and that other war vets would be watching him at

his home in the rural area. Magodi asked me if he

could have the use of one of our three-tonne farm

trucks to take his goods, or what was left of what

had been accumulated over years, to his home in

the communal lands at Centenary. He and his

family left the farm to threats or retribution if he

was ever to return.

We renewed contact with Magodi a week later,

and for 18 months we met each month in Harare.

We had undertaken to pay his salary until the

madness subsided.

It was rumoured widely enough to be believed

that our ‘settler’, Matemachani had orchestrated

the whole scene. It seemed that the plan was to

take the farm from us and then to instil an

atmosphere of fear and intimidation throughout

the whole workforce to ensure compliance.

The war vets dispersed. I spoke to our own

employees and their families, told them that they

had our complete support and that we were farmers,

not politicians, that we were well known for the

way in which we looked after our workforce and

that they would be supported. The next day

everybody was at work until lunchtime, when the

agitators returned and co-opted six of our farmworkers.

These people went around the farm

telling workers to leave their jobs and go home.

Scene 5

Early next day the war vets returned in force

and said that the farm was not to operate in any

way. The pigs were not even to be fed or watered,

the cows should not be milked, irrigation was to

cease, and if anybody was found doing those jobs

they would be severely punished.

The Rhosarian 1/19

Land was not truly the issue, and the

intimidation of the work force was intense. The

cattle were not milked until later that night, and

for 24 hours the pigs were not fed and were

obviously suffering and in a bad way. A couple

of loyal stockmen went out to feed and water

the pigs on their own initiative after dark, when

all was quiet. But we had to prevail on the war

vets to allow us thereafter to deal with the

livestock and general crop farming. I had to

threaten them that, if there was any further

interference in those two jobs, I would go

directly, without hesitation, to the government

in Harare. (To go to the police would have been


Reluctantly they agreed and for the next few

days we were able to get on with farming.

Scene 6

After a week, there was a resumption of

sporadic strikes and we resorted to the

Magistrates’ Court in Harare to seek an eviction

order against four women and two men, the

farm-workers who had earlier been co-opted

by the agitators. These were the main troublemakers,

constantly urging illegal work

stoppages. The case was heard and an order

was given for the Messenger of the Court to

remove these six people and their belongings

from our farm. The Messenger came with a

removal van to execute this court order.

However, the political leaders in the district

were soon alerted and they intervened, telling

the Messenger of the Court that his jurisdiction

was no longer valid, that he should leave

immediately; and that the six people were not

required to leave the farm. ...

The war vets’ hostility then was focused

directly on me. They summoned me to a meeting

at the top village. Again I was accused of

abduction. They were armed with machetes

(axes) and the leader rushed at me and was on

the point of slashing me when he was restrained

by some of his mates.

If it hadn’t been for my grandson Nicholas’s

quick intervention I should probably have been

wounded. I told the war vets to leave

immediately and that I would inform the police.


October 2019


Scene 7

Later that week, I was telephoned by the

Marondera police, under whose jurisdiction we

fell, and asked to go to the charge office to make a

statement about this incident. The police had a

technique of asking farmers to go to a police

station to make a statement on a Friday afternoon.

Once a farmer arrived there, he would be charged

with various alleged offences. It was often

impossible to get a lawyer to come to a detainee’s

aid and apply for bail late on a Friday afternoon.

The unfortunate individual would then have to

spend the weekend in disgusting over-crowded

cells, which usually had only one sanitary bucket

in the corner, until a court hearing on the Monday.

Sometimes ten to fifteen farmers, and sometimes

their wives, were incarcerated in this way. It was

a form of intimidation and harassment.

I told the police that I was otherwise occupied

and that, if they wanted to see me to take a

statement, I was ready to give one, but preferably

at the farm or with my lawyer. On the following

Monday, the CID came to the farm and asked me

to give them a statement. I declined to do this

unless I was in the presence of my lawyer, Alex

Masterson, so we travelled the 35 kilometres into

Harare. A suitable statement was prepared and this

I signed. We heard no more. It was just another of

the many attempts at intimidation.

Contingency Plans

After the unsettling war-vet violence on Mount

Lothian and on every farm in the district, it was

necessary to make a number of contingency plans.

The farm was almost fully developed. The main

sectors were hybrid seed maize, zero virus potatoes

for seed, wheat and vegetables, all under irrigation,

greenhouses for export flower production, and we

had sufficient arable land to grow enough maize

for our 800 pedigree pigs, and grazing for our herd

of pedigree Limousin beef cattle and the Jerseys

for milk. When we were served our Section 8,

which gave us ninety days to leave the farm, it

appeared that the inevitable had finally come.

During that time we had to close down the whole

pig section. This was the oldest pedigree registered

herd in Southern Africa, started in 1934. Genetics

had been imported from South Africa and,

subsequently, from the UK, Finland, Sweden and

America. In three months, 64 years of genetics

were swept away.

The Rhosarian 1/19


Scene 8

As we had been ordered to cease production,

all work in the greenhouses came to an abrupt

halt. We were not allowed to continue during that

fortnight to irrigate, fertilize or harvest the crops

in the greenhouses, so it was pointless to throw

good money after bad. We were then, after all,

allowed to stay on, but with two ‘settlers’.

Mount Lothian is a small farm of just over 550

hectares, of which only 250 hectares are arable.

Its size complied with the maximum farm size for

this area, as laid down by government. But it

seemed that government policy was to make

farmers downsize their farms and co-exist with

either Al peasant farmers or A2 large-scale settlers

who wished to farm commercially, with the

previous owner farming the rest of the land.

Government policy sub-divided the settlers

into two categories, Al and A2. The former were

allocated 10 to 30 hectares, depending on the

Natural Region, in many cases hardly enough for

their own requirements. They were grouped

together to facilitate the distribution of fertilizer

and seed. But there was no provision for

infrastructure such as wells, boreholes and

buildings. These Al settlers were just dumped on

the land and largely left to fend for themselves.

The A2 settler group consisted of people who

were allocated substantial areas, sometimes part

of a white-owned commercial farm, or more often

the whole farm. They were given 200 to 400

hectares, depending on soil and rainfall and

therefore the Natural Region division, and in

theory had adequate financial resources of their

own to supplement government loans. There was,

however, no acreage limitation for the elite, and

many simply seized a number of farms.

It was in the A2 category that every High Court

judge, except two, and four of the seven judges of

the Supreme Court took one farm or more, as did

almost every Cabinet minister and senior official

in the public service. Importantly, they were

supposed, immediately on occupation, to start to

build their own house, workshop and other farm

buildings and facilities, and, if they were not

going to live on the farm themselves, to employ a

manager. But many simply used the farm as a

weekend retreat. Of course, production fell


October 2019

dramatically. In most cases not only was the

original farmer evicted but all his workers and

their families were as well.

Many of the best farms in Enterprise, one of

the best farming areas in the country, had been set

aside for the elite. The two ‘settlers’ allocated our

farm were the then Judge President of the High

Court, Mr Justice Paddington Garwe, and a retired

army colonel, Godfrey Matemachani.

Although under ministry of Agriculture

regulations, the farm had been classified as too

small for subdivision, we undertook to downsize

it to half its previous area, so that we farmed half,

while Garwe and Matemachani farmed the other

half. The Provincial Office approved the

downsizing and the subdivision of the farm. We

agreed to co-exist and to help and teach the new

farmers the basics of farming. But they had no

experience, no equipment and minimal capital.


We believed that if we did not downsize and

co-exist we would probably lose the whole farm.

It was obvious that both the settlers needed us in

order to farm at all. They were quite frank about

this, and admitted they had no farming experience.

The judge did not have much money to invest and

the retired colonel worked for the Commercial

Bank of Zimbabwe in a management position.

We therefore negotiated that the farm would

be subdivided on a 50-50 basis and we would do

everything for them to start them off. The

agreement we produced, with top legal advice on

our side, took months to conclude but was

eventually signed by all parties in February 2003.

This formal legal agreement laid down that we

would manage the settlers’ section for the first

year, they would pay only for direct costs and

there would be no charge for my time or for

overhead costs. At the same time we would try to

teach them the fundamental aspects of practical

agriculture. What we did was a gesture of goodwill

and we hoped to provide a demonstration of what

could be done. How wrong we were!

Insidious Takeover

We tilled the land, we planted the land, we

grew the crop, we harvested the crop, we helped

them source fertilizer and chemicals for the crop.

We sold the crop and they got the cheque. We

The Rhosarian 1/19

deliberately did not charge for overhead costs, nor

did we look for any payment for management,

either for myself or for our black managers. We

grew a good crop for them; which gave them a

gross margin of over Z$350 million, which in

2003 was a substantial amount of money. We had

kept our toe in the door, but they had

simultaneously put their foot in and were using

the agreement to play for time. They did not

occupy our house. They bought only a minimal

amount of their own equipment and did no capital

development at all, although that had been required

under their offer letter.

Scene 9

They then reneged on the terms of our

agreement and in September 2003 told us to get

out of the house and off the farm. They gave us 48

hours to pack up both farm houses (our own house

and that of our grandson Nicholas). They refused

to allow me or any of my family onto the farm to

pack up, so my secretary and our two black

managers had to do it all. In the haste a number of

documents were damaged or lost. I was glad that

Wendy was away in Australia and did not have to

go through that traumatic experience. We later

managed to get agreement that we could continue

farming our side of the farm, and I travelled out on

most days from Harare. But we still had the

Section 8 hanging over us, under which we could

still be displaced, invaded or kicked out at any


During those first twelve months the situation

had gradually become more difficult, as the

occupants intruded more and more on to our side

of the farm. They were supposed, under the A2

scheme, either to live on the farm and run it

themselves, or to employ a manager. ...

Labour Legislation

In addition to all these problems, labour

legislation made farmers pay a very substantial

redundancy package to workers who had

previously been permanently employed and who

now had to leave because of the farm take-overs.

This package included items such as outstanding

leave pay, transportation to their homes, and one

month’s pay for every six months worked,

calculated at current wage rates with no ceiling.

People who had worked for us for many years had


October 2019


enormous gratuities, far more than they could have

expected, and this was on top of the normal pension

scheme to which we had been contributing for

them for many years. After we made these

redundancy payments we still continued to employ

those workers who wished to stay on, but under a

new contract. ... On some farms the packages were

so crippling that farmers were unable to pay them

even after selling their assets. We had to payout

over Z$75 million in 2003 and 2004, at that time an

enormous amount of money. ...

Failure to Implement

In May 2003, the President appointed a

commission to advise government on land

settlement and to plan the future. In fact, it was

nothing more than a delaying tactic. Headed by Dr

Charles Utete, who, for many years had been the

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, it had

some good men on it, though I would have preferred

fewer academics and more practitioners. ...

The Utete Commission did a thorough job and

exposed many people who were supposed to have

only one farm but had grabbed up to half a dozen.

They compiled a list of existing farmers who were

prepared to subdivide and co-exist and who were

working as far as possible on the original formula

- one farmer, one farm - within the maximum

hectarage allowed for that Natural Region.

We had two meetings with this task force,

constructive, congenial and forward-looking, and

they quickly realized the deficiencies of our two


When they finished their report at the end of

2003, they presented it to the President, who

accepted it. It was put to the Politburo and Central

Committee of ZANU(PF) and eventually to

Parliament, all of whom accepted its

recommendations, though few were implemented.

The Final Blow

By 2004, I was living in Harare, so unsettled

and threatening had the situation become. Then we

were struck another blow, Wendy, my wife of 58

years, died on 20 January 2005. A few days later

the gates to Mount Lothian, the farm were finally

closed. I was warned by the Judge and the Retired

Colonel of violence should I attempt to get back

onto the farm.

(See MSASA MAIL pp 9-11)

The Rhosarian 1/19




The Flame Lily Foundation’s principal object

(aim) is to provide or facilitate residential

accommodation for persons over the age of 60, in

particular for those former residents of Rhodesia/

Zimbabwe who have settled legally in the RSA.

How is this achieved?

We provide affordable accommodation at

Stilfontein in Northwest Province. The FLF owns

five houses, subdivided into ten garden flats. Five

flats can accommodate couples, and the other five

are suitable for single persons. Our main criteria

for tenants are as follows:

1. They must be in possession of a pension grant

provided by the State, full or partial, and/or a

regular pension or annuity.

2. They must be fully independent, preferably

having their own transport.

Each FLF branch should be able to facilitate by

providing information on what affordable

accommodation is available for pensioners in

their area. This is particularly difficult when it

comes to persons whose only source of income is

an Old Age Pension grant provided by the State.

Most homes for the aged require a rental which is

more than the grant itself. Others, such as MOTH

(Mesca) and SA Legion have criteria such as

previous military service. These may also have

long waiting lists, or an age limit for entry. Homes

with frail-care facilities are particularly difficult

to find or afford. The only alternative might be in

a Shelter provided by a welfare organisation such

as the Salvation Army.

Why choose Stilfontein?

Our attention was drawn to Stilfontein, where

mines had recently closed down, placing about

6,000 houses on the market at very attractive

prices. We did a ‘recce’ and identified a small

block with ten houses, which would have been

ideal for those who could afford to buy, including

RASA (as we were then known); we had sufficient

funds for only one house. We asked the agent to

reserve the block while we advertised Stilfontein

to our members, resulting in four houses in the

block being sold to Rhodesians. Before we could


October 2019

get buyers for the remaining houses, the agent -

despite our request for more time - sold them to

outsiders. We subsequently bought two of the

Rhodesian-owned houses in the block, and another

house in the same block, giving us four houses

linked together. We also bought a fifth Rhodesianowned

house in another part of Stilfontein, to meet

the demand for accommodation.

Through our advertising, no fewer than 20 other

houses in Stilfontein were sold to Rhodesians,

including a mine manager’s house bought by

General Peter Walls. We thus facilitated in the

purchase of affordable housing for a wide range of


Stilfontein proved to be very attractive, being

located 8 km from Klerksdorp, where there are

hospitals, shops, banks and all the facilities needed.

At the time we bought in Stilfontein, it was a

village with its own municipality, clinic, essential

shops, banks, a hotel and a lovely golf course

which had belonged to Anglo-American - and no

robots! Much changed after 1994, with Stilfontein

being absorbed by the Klerksdorp (now Matlosana)

municipality and the establishment of a kilometerlong

shopping mall between Stilfontein and


Who are the Residents?

At present we have ten residents, one of whom

is our manager/caretaker. Eleven of our former

residents have since passed away. Others left our

homes for accommodation elsewhere, mainly

because they were no longer able to care for


In addition to GRATEFUL GRAN grants which

we make quarterly to pensioners in financial

distress, we currently need on average R10,000 per

month to sustain our subsidised accommodation.

We rely on the generosity of FLF members to

donate sufficient funds to meet the need. FLF

Branches which are able to assist with fund-raising

through golf-days or other methods have contributed

over the years, but even they are now ‘feeling the


Is anyone willing to help?

Please contact John or Mary on 012 460 2066

or emial us at rasa@iafrica.com. We'd love to

discuss this with you.

The Rhosarian 1/19


The ICOD Form is used:

♦ To make sure loved ones have the information

needed to see to your wishes with your funeral.

♦ To make sure the necessary passwords,

account numbers and medical aid detail are


♦ To make sure your Will can be found.

♦ To ensure that no family feuds erupt over

small matters when you pass on.

♦ To ensure you know who to contact and keep


♦ To give to the Executor of the estate in order

that a complete and new set of detailed

information is available.

♦ To ensure that your spouse is put through

minimum trauma and stress at this time –

correct and accurate information is readily


An ICOD Form is available on request from the

FLF office, or the Internet at:



The topic of “Funeral” is not that popular or

something we wish to discuss often but is such an

integral part of life. We need to be informed and

make the right decisions for our loved ones. There

are a few things to consider.

Did you know that a funeral cost anything

between R15 000 for a very basic funeral to

R85 000 for more elaborate farewells?

We believe that the life of a loved one needs to

be honoured with special warmth and care. With

a passing you will need to make some important

decisions and will need assistance for the

arrangement of a respectable funeral that honours

the wishes of the family or, if available, the

documented wishes of the deceased.

Have you thought of putting your personal

final wishes onto paper?


October 2019


In the case of death, a funeral service provider

will provide you with an undertaker to assist you

with the immediate funeral arrangements that need

to be taken care of. Traditionally, funeral

arrangements are done at the funeral home,

however, some of the bigger names will offer the

service of doing this in the privacy of your own

home, if so preferred.

See pages 47 and 48 for the AVBOB group

scheme, or page 21 for Fern Funerals’ Package

for FLF members in the Western Cape.

The Funeral Home will arrange with the doctor

to issue a death certificate stating the cause of

death. If a person passes away at a hospital, the

attending doctor will issue the death certificate. If

a person passes away due to unnatural causes, this

must be reported to the police. The deceased will

be removed by them and will be taken to the state

mortuary. A death certificate will only be issued

once an autopsy has been performed to determine

the cause of death. Once the death certificate has

been issued, and the family has done the

identification, the deceased can be released to The

Funeral Home.


There may be members who, in their old age, do

not have close relatives to whom they would

normally leave their worldly possessions when

they die. Some may have specific items that they

know the beneficiaries of their estate might not

need, value or appreciate. Such items may have

intrinsic, historical, or emotional value to the Flame

Lily Foundation and its members.

A CODICIL may be added to your will, stating

your full name and that of the person or organisation

to whom you bequeath the specified funds or

items. You must sign the codicil in the presence of

two identifiable witnesses, who must also sign and

give their full name and address.

In the event that you wish to make a bequest to

the Flame Lily Foundation, the details are given


The FLAME LILY FOUNDATION, 206 Olivier Street, Brooklyn, 0181, South Africa

(Non-Profit Organisation No: 001-747 NPO. Public Benefit Organisation No: 930008979)

The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019


The following known memorial services will be held to honour Rhodesians

and others who lost their lives in the service of their country in armed conflict.


12.30 Sunday 3 November 2019

at the Methodist Church, First Avenue,

Fish Hoek.

(See The Fish Eagle page 12 for



10:30 Sunday 10 November 2019

See below for details.

(Enquiries: Carol Doughty

073 523 5987)

The Rhodesian Forces Memorial

Committee comprises members from all

the Rhodesian Security Forces - Police,

Army, Air Force, Internal Affairs. The

Schools’ Representative is a recent

addition to the committee, contributing

to the increased attendance figures.

Rhodesian Forces Memorial Service

DATE: Sunday, 10 November 2019

TIME: 10h30 for 11h00

DRESS: Befitting of a Memorial Service; Suits, Regimental Blazers, Headdress

and Medals. Private Wreaths may be laid

VENUE: Dickie Fritz Moth Shellhole, 115 Dickie Fritz Avenue off Elm Street,

Dowerglen, Edenvale, Johannesburg

The Rhosarian 1/19




October 2019


Flame Lily Abridged Gazette

No. 5/19

Zimbabwe Profile


The FLAG comprises extracts from media articles and reports on Zimbabwe.

Sources are given, where known, so that readers may obtain the complete

article if they wish.


By Siphosami Malunga

Posted on Saturday, 7 September 2019

The fallacy of the hero-turned-villain narrative

of Robert Mugabe is the greatest trick this devil

ever played.

The closest I have to feeling anything is quiet,

seething rage.

Rage that this man who killed thousands and

destroyed so many livelihoods has died without

facing justice for his atrocities. I am not religious

but want now more than anything to hang tightly to

the promise of purgatory – the halfway house and

hell’s holding cell.

He escaped justice in this life, I pray it is

waiting for him in the next. I hope he is “under

arrest” right now and will be denied bail just as he

arrested and denied the thousands he persecuted in

his four decades in power.

Many say they are conflicted about Mugabe –

The Rhosarian 1/19


whom they call a pan Africanist, father of the

Zimbabwean nation and a hero turned villain. I

personally do not suffer from this conflict.

Liberation hero?

Credited by some for his gallant role in leading

Zanu in the last very short leg of the liberation

struggle from 1975 to 1979 – only four years – he

gets far more credit than he deserves.

The gallantry and heroism, according to his

closest comrades, is manufactured.

His recruiter into the liberation struggle and

companion on the surreptitious journey to

Mozambique, Edgar Tekere former secretary

general of Zanu PF, spoke in his book, of a

reluctant, scared and unwilling participant of the

struggle into which he was foisted because, with

his multiple academic degrees, he spoke and

wrote well compared to the other guerillas.

Much like his cousin and nationalist James

Chikerema who spoke of the narcissistic and selfabsorbed

young bookish boy who threw tantrums

and abandoned other boys when they herded

cattle. Revelations that would help illuminate the

man’s behaviour in later years.

Brutal approach

He wanted everything done his way.

He never tolerated dissent during the liberation

struggle and after. He stoked controversy on his

role in the death of Josiah Tongogara, the Zanla

commander in 1979 in order to ostensibly

consolidate his control over Zanu PF. Tongogara

preferred a united front under Joshua Nkomo.

After independence, having decided Zimbabwe

would be a one party state, he demanded and

required full compliance and loyalty. When his

comrades questioned it, they were sidelined or


He brutalized Joshua Nkomo and his party for

resisting the one-party state. He coveted and

desired absolute power. Always wary and spiteful

of contenders to power in Zanu PF.

He jettisoned erstwhile right-hand comrades

like Edgar Tekere, Edison Zvobgo, Dizikamai

Mavhaire, Margaret Dongo, Enos Nkala, Solomon

Mujuru, Moyo Mutswangwa, Didymus Mutasa,

Emmerson Mnangagwa. Then he toyed with


October 2019

them by bringing some of them back when he felt

they had learnt their lesson.

The lesson that there is only one leader. And

his name is Mugabe. He maintained a divide and

rule system built of fear and suspicion. His

comrades both feared him and mistrusted each

other and could never muster a revolt against him.

Attempts to do so were sure to be fatal with

many dying under suspicious circumstances –

usually car accidents, alleged poisoning or other

undisclosed sudden illness – methods which his

comrades readily used against each other.

To ensure his comrades toed the line, he built

a zero-sum, kill or be killed, do-or-die party system

in which you were either in or out. Once out you

either fled into exile or were stripped of everything

the party had allowed you to accumulate.


He was aloof and cold. Vengeful and

unforgiving. In 1980, fearful of Joshua Nkomo,

his party and better trained guerillas, he spent

considerable resources to build his own army

militia answerable to him and ready to do his

political and ethnic bloodletting.

The Gukurahundi or 5th Brigade was a private

army with instructions to kill, rape, torture and

plunder Joshua Nkomo and his supporters into

submission. He did not stop, until 20,000 people

were dead. He would never have stopped had

Nkomo not capitulated and sworn allegiance to his

authority. Only total submission and subjugation

assuaged Mugabe.

There is nothing in his record that shows

benevolence or democratic credentials. He never

sought to build a nation but stoked and amplified

tribal differences advantaging his Zezuru clansmen

and entrenching a sense of exclusion and

marginalisation amongst other clans.

In the 1980s he spoke of destroying opposition

Zapu and he kept his promise through Gukurahundi

killing thousands of its largely Ndebele supporters.

He left a country more ethnically divided than it

was when the liberation struggle began. He

ethnicised politics and politicised ethnicity,

conveniently labeling the multi-ethnic Zapu as a

Ndebele party as a pretext to destroy it.

His demagoguery left Zimbabwe collectively

The Rhosarian 1/19

carrying his individual guilt and responsibility

and a sense of exclusion and grievance. He

pretended to manage inclusion by appointing yes

men from different ethnic groups with little

intention or desire to deepen inclusion.

Political violence normalised

In 1990, he warned supporters of the Zimbabwe

Unity Movement (ZUM) led by his erstwhile

comrade Edgar Tekere, that one way to die was to

vote for ZUM. The result was an unleashing of

violence which culminated in the shooting of

Patrick Kombayi by officers of his Central

Intelligence Organisation.

He would later give the two officers amnesty

after they were convicted for attempted murder.

He readily gave all his comrades amnesties

whenever they transgressed – including

committing serious crimes like murder and

corruption, a clear indication of his disdain for

rule of law.

He berated judges who made decisions he did

not like and unleashed his militia to intimidate the

Chief Justice in his office to force him to resign.

In the 2000s he unleashed Zanu PF militia

against MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai killing

hundreds. Simultaneously, sensing that he was

running out of cards he turned on white commercial

farmers who had supported him earlier when they

showed disloyalty and support for the MDC.

Land reform

A mastermind – in one master stroke, he struck

at both the white farmers and the MDC and

claimed the ultimate prize of winning back votes

by giving back the land and decimating the

opposition whilst claiming the high anti-colonial

moral high ground in Africa and elsewhere.

No sane Zimbabweans could question the need

to redress the land problem which had been the

basis for the armed struggle. But Mugabe kept the

best farms for himself and his cronies in Zanu PF

and the military who went on a looting spree,

grabbing multiple farms for themselves and their


Always a political opportunist, realising that

the opposition drew its support from urban centres,

in 2005, he unleashed his wrath on the urban


October 2019


population, destroying homes in an operation

known as Operation Murambatsvina (Reject Dirt)

that the UN characterised as approximating crimes

against humanity.

Yes-men and murderers

At the end of the day, his arrogance and hardheadedness

meant that even his comrades were

afraid to contradict and challenge him. It also

meant that he surrounded himself with like-minded

violence mongers who readily did his bidding and

personally benefitted from it.

He was unforgiving and willing to rewrite the

nationalist struggle for independence so that only

he was the pre-eminent and leading nationalist –

despite having only taken charge of ZanuPF in

1977, two years before the ceasefire.

He always placed his contribution above and

beyond far worthier forebears like Joshua Nkomo,

Ndabaningi Sithole, Lookout Masuku, George

Silundika, Herbert Chitepo, Leopold Takawira,

and Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo.

He appropriated the National Heroes Acre as a

private cemetery only for people he approved,

excluding Lookout Masuku, Ndabaningi Sithole,

Chinx Chingaira and others.

In the end, his comrades overcame their fear

and deposed him. That they had to use the army

demonstrated the entrenchment and

instrumentalisation of violence to retain and obtain

political power.

None of the touted democratic process in Zanu

PF would work to remove him. To remove him, his

comrades would need to violate their party and

national constitution and depose him via a coup.

This was the legacy he left, 40 years into his rule.

Compared to other liberation movements in the

region which saw many successive, democratic

and party sanctioned changes of presidential power,

Mugabe bestrode Zanu and Zimbabwe like a

colossus expecting to concede power to the only

thing that did not fear him – death.

Turning on allies

In 2001, on landing at Harare International

Airport, now named after him, he declared that the

white people in Zimbabwe and those in MDC

should go back to England or be imprisoned. He

singled out Roy Bennet and David Coltart, whom

The Rhosarian 1/19


he had personally telegrammed to come back in


Separately, he was unleashing violence against

the new MDC and selectively distributing food

aid when hundreds of thousands faced hunger in

the middle of one of the worst droughts the

country has faced.

I felt compelled to act against what was clearly

an intensification of systematic attacks against

innocent civilians and the opposition. I decided to

write him a letter from East Timor where I was

working in the Tribunal that was dealing with

crimes against humanity – to register my concerns

and to “reprimand” him.

Expectedly, I never received a response but

more importantly, the MDC white politicians

were spared arrest. A few months later, to my

shock, I received information that there were

discussions between the MDC and one of the

former Rhodesian colonels (sic), Lionel Dyke,

implicated in Gukurahundi – on giving Mugabe

amnesty for the most egregious of his crimes.

I tried unsuccessfully to find any of the

implicated colleagues in these secret talks – which

were presumably planned for South Africa – to

get the real story. None was available.

No amnesty

Besides witnessing and being affected by

Gukurahundi directly as a child, as a law student,

I had been a junior researcher and volunteer at the

Bulawayo Legal Projects Centre which had

produced the Catholic Commission for Justice

and Peace, Breaking the Silence Report on the


I had met many of the victims who streamed in

to tell their stories. I was upset that there could be

a discussion of amnesty without hearing the

victims. I was left with only one option. To write.

I called Iden Wetherell at Zimbabwe

Independent and asked whether he would publish

a piece the following Friday. It was Wednesday

and he said he had already completed his layout

and I was too late.

I implored him that this was of national

importance and could not wait until the following

week. It would be too late. Iden – who many may

not know is not just a former ZIPRA cadre but a

holder of a doctorate from before one could

purchase them – gave me a lifeline : “You can


October 2019

send it now. Just email it.” But I have not written

it yet,” I replied. I will write it tonight.” He could

not promise but asked me to send it. I did not sleep

that night and sent to Iden a piece entitled “Amnesty

for Mugabe for Gukurahundi out of the Question.”

I then crossed my fingers and held my breath. On

Friday, I was delighted to see that Iden had

published in his front page. He had apparently

“agreed” on its national importance. In my piece,

I berated anyone including MDC leaders for

arrogantly thinking they could have a mandate to

negotiate an amnesty for Mugabe for Gukurahundi

without a mandate from the victims.

What followed was even more interesting. In

a rally the next day, Morgan Tsvangirai distanced

himself from amnesty talks and said the MDC

would pursue justice. I felt vindicated for the

sleepless night.


The continuous consciousness of an everpresent

and ever-looming danger. That is what

Mugabe represented to me from an early age. This

would not change in my adulthood as I became a

critic of his misrule and advocate for him to face

justice for his heinous crimes. It has not changed


Much will be said by others about his misrule

and economic destruction of the country and its

people’s livelihoods that there is little point in


More about how he allowed, facilitated and

encouraged corruption by his comrades, rewarding

and never punishing it. He revelled in false claims

that he was corruption-free but was just surrounded

by thieves.

Endemic corruption

But which honest person only surrounds himself

with only corrupt people and worse still promotes


There is no doubt in my mind that he too was


From the Fokker Airplane (sic), to Zimbank-

Loral, via National Housing, the Willowvale Motor

Scandal, the War Victims Compensation

corruption scandals and many others, he was clearly

the head of a corrupt system not the victim of

dishonest company.

The Rhosarian 1/19

This would become even more apparent when

his wife looted the national housing scheme to

build a private mansion which she would later sell

for a huge profit, when he leveraged state resources

for his farming businesses, when he forced the

army and police to buy his produce, when he and

his wife grabbed multiple farms.

Selective pan-Africanist

He selectively and conveniently peddled pan-

African credentials to shore up support for his

disastrous economic and political policies. Whilst

killing and beating his own African citizens,

stealing elections, starving opposition supporters

and plundering public resources, he railed against

imperialist forces blaming them for all his failures

because of travel and others sanctions they imposed

on him personally and his lieutenants.

He left nothing to show for ruling a country for

almost 40 years except decay. His touted legacy

of significant investments in education manifest

in a collapsed education system in which in some

rural children still learn under trees, teachers earn

$25 a month, and learners can barely afford fees.

In a twist of irony, he may have invested in his

political longevity as educated Zimbabweans fled

the country in thousands to seek opportunities all

over the world. They would remit money and

food home to relatives when the economy and

living conditions tanked and hyperinflation set in

– effectively saving his bacon.

That he died in a Singapore hospital where he

battled illness for over half a year is testament of

his catastrophic and shameful failure not just to

build a viable health system but to simply maintain

what he inherited from the Rhodesians.

Worst of all, even though he was deposed in

2017, he bequeathed to the country a monstrous

political system run by a small political, predatory

and corrupt elite comprised of his cronies with

greater interest in advancing personal and not

public interest.

In that sense, he never left even in death.

His legacy of stolen elections and violence

continues to determine the primary basis of

political engagement as shown by the army

shootings of August 2018, and the heavy handed

security response to protests in January and August



The narrative game

October 2019

When a person dies, the task of encapsulating

and narrating their life becomes critical.

There are always multi-dimensional narratives

about any person – and especially a larger than life

figure like Mugabe. In African custom the saying

goes that “a dead person becomes a good person”

akin to “never speak ill of the dead.” But facts are

stubborn. Mugabe brooked no resistance from

anyone – inside his own movement and outside.

He readily eliminated every one of his enemies –

inside and outside his movement going back to the

liberation struggle.

He mastered, deployed and instrumentalised

violence, demagoguery and hate for political ends.

For the most part it worked well for him until it was

used against him. Having drawn and tasted blood

of 20,000 Ndebeles in the 1980s, he considered the

death of a few hundred MDC supporters in 2008,

child’s play, boasting that, of the multiple academic

degrees he held, he coveted most his degree in

violence. Mugabe never changed. He never turned

from hero to villain. He was always a villain. The

greatest trick this devil ever played was to persuade

people that he did not exist.

But fortunately death is an equal opportunity

arbiter. The only time abusers experience the same

and equal treatment as their victims.

The main regret is that he died without facing

justice for his atrocities which would have helped

his victims find closure.

The only silver lining is this dark cloud is that

some of his accomplices are still alive to account

for their atrocities and for destroying the hopes,

dreams and livelihoods of millions of


Siphosami Malunga is a Zimbabwean lawyer

and he writes here in his personal capacity. His

father was ZAPU's chief whip before he was

detained in 1985. Sydney Malunga, is buried in

Hero's Acre .

Source: https://www.theafricareport.com/17007/



The Rhosarian 1/19


Mugabe’s legacy: death of

economy, democracy,


by Jonathan Jansen *

Daily Dispatch, 12 September 2019

South Africans struggle with holding two

thoughts in our heads at the same time - that a

liberation hero could also be a murderous tyrant.

“But (Mugabe) gave Zimbabweans healthcare

and education” insist some. The healthcare can

be simply dealt with – ask yourself the simple

question why the leader of this African country

for years on end received his health care in

Singapore not Harare.

Now let’s talk about education. As a doctoral

student in California, I informed my supervisor

that I would do my fieldwork in Zimbabwe. To

the young people of my generation, Zimbabwe

had done something remarkable with its

education system in the first decade (1980-

1990) of independence. “A liberated South

Africa could learn vital lessons from the reforms

of schools north of the border.”

The story of Zimbabwe’s radical new reforms

was a myth. The bedrock of the educational

system was the church schools run by the

Catholics and the Anglicans (add and former

‘white’ model C schools). Rooted in the strong

parochial cultures of these established schools,

academic excellence remained a marker in the

post-independence period. The most visible

connection to the colonial system was the O-

and A-level examinations run by the Cambridge

Examination Syndicate – so much for


The one radical curriculum reform,

something called The Political Economy of

Zimbabwe, caused such an uproar that it never

even left the safe in the Ministry of Education

building – so much for education modelled on

Marxism-Leninism. “Yes”, say Mugabe

acolytes, “but he expanded education after the

war.” Actually every post-independence

government did that. In fact the apartheid

government did that too, in the last two decades


October 2019

before democracy. ...It is what governments do

with taxpayers’ money - they build schools in

response to popular demand. There is nothing

revolutionary in the quantitative expansion of


“But what about ‘Zintec’ and ZISCI?” offered

a colleague on social media. The Zimbabwe

Integrated Education Course (Zintec) did provide

teacher training by distance education for

primary school teachers in response to bulging

enrolments. Yet the major evaluations of Zintec

showed limited quality impacts.

The Zimbabwe Secondary Schools Science

Project (ZISCI) provided low-cost science

materials for junior high schools in the absence

of qualified teachers and laboratories. It was

however, highly prescriptive and teachers

resented the “teacher proof” concept. The best

that can be said about Mugabe’s contribution to

school education was that he did not destroy it

– like he did with the University of Zimbabwe,

where he served as Chancellor...

Today the most talented of Zimbabwe’s

students come to South Africa to study and they

excel because of that bedrock of education

provided to the elite in the church schools (add

and former [Rhodesian] ‘white’ model C


Thanks to Mugabe, there is growing evidence

that, for those who remain, the once proud

school system in Africa is collapsing. As

journalist Geoffrey York recently reported,

more than 20 000 teachers left the system in a

two year period because of poor salaries and

political harassment. Drop-out rates are soaring.

Textbooks are shared by up to six students per

book and a plan to hire thousands of pre-school

teachers has just been cancelled.

* Prof Jonathan Jansen is Rector and Vice-

Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

[Ed: Robert Gabriel Mugabe did not only destroy

the economy and undermine democracy. By the

time of his death, he also took down the most

promising school system in post-colonial


The Rhosarian 1/19


October 2019


The Rhosarian 1/19



October 2019

The Rhosarian 1/19


October 2019

An Airbus 380 is on its way across the Atlantic. It flies consistently at 800

km/h in 30,000 feet, when suddenly a Eurofighter with Tempo Mach 2 appears.

The pilot of the fighter jet slows down, flies alongside the Airbus and greets

the pilot of the passenger plane by radio: "Airbus flight, boring flight isn't it?

Take care and have a look here!"

He rolls his jet on its back, accelerates, breaks through the sound barrier,

rises rapidly to a dizzying height, only to swoop down almost to sea level in a

breathtaking dive. He loops back next to the Airbus and asks, "Well, how was


The Airbus pilot answers: "Very impressive, but now have a look here!"

The jet pilot watches the Airbus, but nothing happens. It continues to fly

stubbornly straight, with the same speed. After five minutes, the Airbus pilot

radioed, "Well, what are you saying now?"

The jet pilot asks confused: "What did you do?" The other laughs and says,

"I got up, stretched my legs, went to the back of the flight to the bathroom, got

a cup of coffee and a cinnamon cake and and made an appointment with the

stewardess for the next three nights - in a 5 Star hotel, which is paid for by my

employer. "

The moral of the story is:

When you are young, speed and adrenaline seems to be great. But as you get

older and wiser, comfort and peace are not to be despised either.

This is called S.O.S.: Slower, Older, Smarter.

The Rhosarian 1/19


October 2019


This is an attempt to get those of you with email addresses to please update or share

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As we enter the 35th year of publication for Rhodesians Worldwide I want to thank each

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Donations that you send, be they big or small, play an integral part in allowing us to

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produce a quality product. Please remember that neither Annette nor I, nor anyone else

associated with the magazine have ever been paid a salary.

Chris Whitehead

Our subscription rate in US$ is $25 for

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The annual subscription for subscribers with

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Contact Mary Redfern at the

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in Pretoria 012 460 2066

See page 38

Affordable Accommodation

The Rhosarian 1/19

October 2019

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