I had arrived on a Sunday and was placed in Koevoet team Zulu Golf on the Monday, our team deployed on the Wednesday and we made contact with SWAPO PLAN on the Sunday. I did not have my own rifle yet just a Walther P 38 sidearm that I had brought with me.
The extreme heat in the claustrophobic confines of the drivers seat of our Casspir had every pour pouring with sweat and all my muscles ached while I pumped the clutch and changed gears as we made our way through the bush north of Ombalantu near to the Angolan border. I was beginning to seriously regret the decision that I had made to join the unit.
My thoughts drifted to the girls that I had Left behind in Durban and what they would be doing. Then suddenly I was plucked from my fantasy and the place of home where my thoughts had drifted to. SWAPO was behind us. We were in the middle of a contact. A huge surge of adrenalin pumped through my body as the Bullets started to fly from assault rifles and LMGs. On full automatic, every weapon was sending thousands of rounds in every direction, finding their marks in the bodies of the enemy.
‘SWAPO is behind us!’ Green’s shouts over the radio. A stupid thing to shout. Why not ‘Contact, contact, contact!’? But the eruption of gunfire tells us that the shit is hitting the fan.
‘Drive forward slowly, yes, good, that’s right, keep it in second gear.’ Lieutenant Goosen talks me through it. My right foot and leg shake uncontrollably and I worry that I won’t be able to keep my foot on the accelerator.
Lieutenant Goosen suddenly swings the turret to the left and opens fire into a thicket about 50 meters away across a clearing. He has seen something. The LMG above him erupts and he twists the barrel in a small circular motion, spraying a circle of death into the thicket.
I watch as the 7.62-mm bullets fly at 850 meters per second from the barrel, 1 000 rounds per minute. Every fourth copper-coated lead bullet is a tracer that leaves a red streak through the air, showing the path they travel.
Slay the fucking devils! The bullets slam into their bodies, spraying and spitting splinters of bone, blood and brain flying through the air. One of them shits and pisses in his pants as his last breath leaves his body.
‘Go forward, go through the kraal, there might be more. They would have run that way!’
I drive through the kraal and to the other side until the lieutenant tells me to turn around and return to the scene of the contact.
The liberators have been liberated to hell, or to meet their great Tate Kalunga, the Ovambo’s supreme spirit.
It’s over; the contact is over. I pull up, stop at the contact point and cut the engine by pushing the cut-out button with my left foot, which still shakes uncontrollably. There’s a scene of human carnage and great jubilation. I light a cigarette and it’s never tasted so good. I feel different. I feel alive. I feel like I’m on a high.
The bodies are being stripped of all their equipment. The weapons are placed on one side: one RPG-7 (a rocket-propelled grenade capable of taking out a Casspir), six RPG rockets, two AK-47s, two Soviet SKSs (which fire the same round as the AK but can fire a Heat Stream grenade with almost the same effect as the RPG-7), AK magazines and ammo, F1 hand grenades and three POMZ anti-personnel mines.
Apart from the weapons, there are scores of uniforms, equipment, pouches, medic bags and propaganda literature. ‘We will win through to ultimate victory, my comrades, against the racist dogs of the evil apartheid regime. Victory is imminent. We must unite and drive apartheid dogs from the land of our forefathers.’
Well, the only thing liberating these six is death and they have been properly liberated.