Book Review: Never Quite a Soldier
David Lemon’s Never Quite a Soldier – A Rhodesian Policeman’s War 1971-1982 shows why Robert Mugabe is the tyrant he is today – he is merely being consistent.
In passing Lemon also shows the tenacity and intelligence of the foe they were up against. In an incident, at the Chimurenga`s end, when ZANLA (Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army cadres go on a rampage in Enkeldoorn; order is restored when a commander steps forward. "One man stood apart from the rest… he stepped through the unruly throng and walked across to me. ‘Do you want my help, Mr Lemon?"
The copper then realised he was facing "Sachiweshe", his enemy for several years in the Wiltshire of whom he knew next to nothing, not even his real name. The reverse, however, was not true. "Sachiweshe" knew his name, his call sign in the BSAP Support Unit (Charlie Nine), his nickname among his troops (magirazi – one with spectacles), where he was based, where he lived and where his children went to school. "… in spite of all my research, he obviously knew a great deal more about me than I knew about him," said an abashed Lemon.
In contrast with Mugabe and "Sachiweshe", the Rhodesian war effort was marked by a lack of seriousness. "Two days before the  election, I was called to Enkeldoorn for a meeting with General [Peter] Walls [the Rhodesian joint commander]. Discussing the likely election result, Walls told Lemon and his colleagues the Wiltshire was "probably a borderline case" and "could still be won by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, whom Lemon considered incompetent and inept. "I listened to this drivel with mounting incredulity. This was the man leading the fighting forces of my country… This was the man I would have died for and he was lying through his teeth. I knew he was lying. We all knew he was lying and he must have known we knew. His lies were totally pointless in the circumstances and he lost my respect at that moment."
Lemon spins a highly readable yarn, using good humour to describe his career from 1971, when he returned home to
Never Quite a Soldier – A Rhodesian Policeman`s War 1971-1982
Top stories this week
- US hands over six Hueys to Kenya – two more on the way
- More Gambian political prisoners released
- New wide area surveillance system in Kruger is another poaching deterrent
- CSIR partnering with US-based company to produce long endurance UAV
- Former SADF veterans look to be left out of defence industry charter
Saab Grintek Defence wins South African Exporter Award 2016
by Saab, 9 December 2016
The SA Premier Business Awards is organised by the DTI, in partnership with Proudly South Africa and Brand South Africa.
Denel partnership with European manufacturer producing results
by Denel Corporate, 9 December 2016
Denel PMP and Nordic company NAMMO will produce niche products that meet the specialised needs of the SANDF.
Denel joins forces with global leaders to market geospatial products
by Denel Corporate, 6 December 2016
Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime will team up with Hexagon Geospatial and Geo Data Design to market geospatial products.