We went to see our Captain in charge of our base at SAP COIN base Ongha and I didn’t beat about the bush. ‘Captain, Rob and I want to try to join Koevoet so we want to go with the guys to Oshakati that are going there to fetch our new Casspir that Koevoet stole from us.
He almost exploded. ‘You two are mad! They are a bunch of barbarians and criminals. They stole our Casspir and now you want to join them!’
So Rob and I went along to Oshakati. We were dropped at the house that served as the Koevoet headquarters and told that we would be fetched later. Very nervously we entered and were met by by Captain Potgieter. I built up the courage, cleared my throat and blurted out, ‘Captain we would like to join Koevoet.’
He just looked at us for a moment, and said, ‘Go and see Captain Botha in the office at the back.’
Rob and I came to attention and gave the Captain the smartest salute possible.
He looked up and said, ‘No don’t do that. Here we don’t have time for formalities. Take a seat.’
Captain Botha was short, round, plump, with a nose like an eagle. He was friendly, confident and relaxed – hardly my idea of a ruthless bush fighter. I soon learnt that he was very intelligent. I got straight to the point. ‘We want to join Koevoet.’
‘Well we sure need more good men, but there is a heap of paperwork to process.’ He shuffled some papers on his desk then took out two application folders as thick as bibles.
‘You will be joining the SAP security branch Special ops (K) Koevoet so they’ll do a comprehensive security check on you and the entire process may take some time.
About an two hours later we had worked through all the paperwork. Captain Botha now knew everything that he thought he needed to know about us. We were sworn to secrecy.
It was now time to be interviewed by Brigadier Hannes Dreyer, commanding officer of Koevoet.
Passing the ops room where Sgt Linda Baker was on duty behind the radios, we bumped into Capt Potgieter again.
‘Just tell him that you want to kill SWAPO,’ he grinned. Now I was even more nervous.
The Brigadier was a tall slender man. I guessed him to be about 50 years old. He had hawk-like features and a deep rasping soothing voice.
Our interview lasted only about 10 minutes, with questions mostly about where we came from and what our parents did. Luckily I had a brother and a sister in the SAP. The fact that my sister was posted at security headquarters in Durban would later prove to be a great help although I worried that they might find the file that was still kept at Durban-North police station that connected me to gang related activities of my earlier misspent youth before joining the SAP.
With our interview over we were back in the hands of Captain Botha who told us to go back to our base at Ongha and wait for our transfer’s to be approved.
Outside the guys were waiting for us with our recovered stolen Casspir.