Paratrooping South Africa
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Cassinga media

Ignatius is correct, the Cassinga Criminals should be brought to justice. According to him, yet another Cassinga survivor, Cassinga was a refugee camp. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was a body hardly sympathetic to the SADF cause, found that the only transgressions were, firstly, the predictable, that it was an illegal invasion of a sovereign country,  and secondly, the use of legal, but indiscriminate weapons by the airforce, i.e. Cluster bombs. The reason for this is that cluster bombs have a reputation for not always exploding completely on impact with the ground and remaining a danger to everyone thereafter. I agree with this, as the cluster bombs could have been a menace to the paratroopers who jumped into Cassinga minutes after the bombing.
To get back to the TRCs findings: When the Commission was appraised with the photographic evidence upon which the SADF based their decision as to whether to attack the base , or not. They saw that the whole town of Cassinga was surrounded by defensive fortifications which included zig-zag trenches, bunkers, heavy machine gun and anti-tank weapon emplacements as well as anti-aircraft guns. A large parade ground which held parades every morning at 8am was also central to the base.
The conclusion of the Commission was that the SADF were justified in presuming that Cassinga was a military base.
If, as Ignatius maintains, Cassinga was not a military base, who was it who spent lots of time and money disguising it as one, and for what purpose?
The only purpose of disguising Cassinga as a military base could have been to lure the SADF into attacking it and thereby creating an international incident and a propaganda coup against the SADF by PLAN and SWAPO.
If this was indeed the case, the true criminals of Cassinga were the SWAPO and PLAN leadership who cold-bloodedly sacrificed the lives of 600 of its own people merely to gain a propaganda advantage over the SADF.
So Ignatius has a choice. To continue the lie that Cassinga was a refugee camp, and admit that SWAPO and PLAN were responsible for the killing of their own supporters, or admit the truth , that Cassinga was the SWAPO military headquarters in Angola and that they were attacked and defeated by a far smaller force in a single days battle which brought forth great heroism from both sides, not least the SWAPO anti-aircraft gunners who very bravely kept re-manning their guns all day, causing havoc with the attacking forces. These brave SWAPO fighters have never been acknowledged by their own side because of the lie that had to be maintained about the base being a refugee camp.
Which is it, a refugee camp or a military base. SWAPO does not come out of either answer well. If it was a refugee camp, why did they sucker the SADF into attacking it and causing the death of hundreds of their own unsuspecting supporters?
If it was a military base, why has SWAPO lied about it for 31 years and never acknowledged the heroism of its fighters in defending the base so heroically?

Mike McWilliams

Cassinga Veteran