South Africa and military draft

#11
I remember reading a book called "Crazy white men with guns" about South African soldiers whom refused to carry guns. They still had to do milatry service but were placed in a unit specifically designed for the mentally ill. These pacafists then had to deal with army life as well as trying to keep the mentally ill members of their unit in check.

It seemed strange to me that the South African would have a unit consisting of mentally ill men. It seems when they said every one they ment EVERYONE.
A mate of mine was in Military Intelligence, and he told me that consciencious objectors were branded insane for propaganda puposes. Two cousins of mine were Jehovas Witnessess. They hid out on specially prepared farms organised by their church.
Personally I think anyone who has the balls to stand up to any regime and proclaim they are pacifists are OK in my book. You have to stand up for your beliefs, otherwise they mean nothing.
 
#12
My father did his national service, starting 1973 (he was 18) for a few years, but only one year was full time, the others were like a for few months while he was at University, he did tell me that he did experience some animosity towards him from some Afrikaaners (he is English Speaking) however they were mainly the ones who had never left their little farm towns before. He said that he was informed that the military was bilingual however he said he never spoke one word of English during his time in service. Another thing he noticed was the brutality of the army, he told me got into a lot of fights, (lucky he was a big guy) also everything was a lot more stricter than modern day armies. One odd thing he noticed is that everyone was paid just enough to buy a chocolate bar, 6 bears or a bottle of rum, and a pack of cigarettes everyday so he said people got drunk a lot. Also people had competitions with each other to see how fast they could absolutely wreck the new vehicles they had been given (each vehicle he said last for a max of 6 months). One of the things that disheartened him the most was when he went out on an operation and the guys back at HQ ****ed up, they had mistaken them for some top secret mission which was to have to no communication back with HQ to avoid detection. So they got dropped in the desert (the wrong location) so they had to work out were. And worst of all they only had 3 days worth of food supplies and they were in the middle of the desert. So they decided that they might wait for a while to see if they would come back and get them but no one came. Therefore they start to walk back. It took him and his platoon 21 days to walk out of the desert and then they were able to signal some guy to pick them up. They were all starving, many sick and one guy was close to death. They had to shoot animals for food and lucky they had a lot of water purification tablets. After that my dad wasn't so keen to stay in the army (he had been offered join full time and join Special Forces as he had spent some time with the RECCES), But overall he said it was a real life changer he learnt a lot about different people, i could go on for a lot longer about the oddness of the SADF. And in regards to conscientious objectors , my dad knew one Jehovah Witness who refused to do his national service therefore he had to spend a WHOLE YEAR in solidarity confinement.
 
Mar 2012
1,579
Following the breeze
#13
My father did his national service, starting 1973 (he was 18) for a few years, but only one year was full time, the others were like a for few months while he was at University, he did tell me that he did experience some animosity towards him from some Afrikaaners (he is English Speaking) however they were mainly the ones who had never left their little farm towns before. He said that he was informed that the military was bilingual however he said he never spoke one word of English during his time in service. Another thing he noticed was the brutality of the army, he told me got into a lot of fights, (lucky he was a big guy) also everything was a lot more stricter than modern day armies. One odd thing he noticed is that everyone was paid just enough to buy a chocolate bar, 6 bears or a bottle of rum, and a pack of cigarettes everyday so he said people got drunk a lot. Also people had competitions with each other to see how fast they could absolutely wreck the new vehicles they had been given (each vehicle he said last for a max of 6 months). One of the things that disheartened him the most was when he went out on an operation and the guys back at HQ ****ed up, they had mistaken them for some top secret mission which was to have to no communication back with HQ to avoid detection. So they got dropped in the desert (the wrong location) so they had to work out were. And worst of all they only had 3 days worth of food supplies and they were in the middle of the desert. So they decided that they might wait for a while to see if they would come back and get them but no one came. Therefore they start to walk back. It took him and his platoon 21 days to walk out of the desert and then they were able to signal some guy to pick them up. They were all starving, many sick and one guy was close to death. They had to shoot animals for food and lucky they had a lot of water purification tablets. After that my dad wasn't so keen to stay in the army (he had been offered join full time and join Special Forces as he had spent some time with the RECCES), But overall he said it was a real life changer he learnt a lot about different people, i could go on for a lot longer about the oddness of the SADF...
Good thing for your dad, you spend most of your training in the SANDF/SADF being prepared for exactly this, being isolated behind enemy lines for an extended period of time. Of course, I was in the SANDF, thus our training was slightly different from the old guy's of the SADF. I remember that after a few months of basic training, we were dropped in the middle of the bushes with absolutely no supplies, except a few weapons of course, and told to "survive" by ourselves. There was also the endless hiking for days on end, through the "boondos" and the "bushes", with no sleep or food...

To put it plainly, by the time I was done with training, the bushes felt like home. I was confident enough to know that I could quite comfortably survive in the bushes for months, while still managing to evade "enemies"...

...And in regards to conscientious objectors , my dad knew one Jehovah Witness who refused to do his national service therefore he had to spend a WHOLE YEAR in solidarity confinement.
It was pretty much a similar story with my dad:). He was a gunner "back in the days", for the SADF. They worked in two man teams, one person fired while the other fed the gun, except his partner refused to fire a gun due to some or other religious or principle related matter, I can not remember why:suspicious:. So the two of them devised a clever scheme. During training, they had to constantly switch places between firing and feeding the gun, because they looked so alike, the two of them just acted as though they were switching places, but never did. So my dad would just continue firing while his partner just fed the gun:lol:...
 
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#14
@The Cell,
it is surprising to me that you joined the SANDF,i would have imagined that the ANC wouldn't have given two ****s about the military after they came into power, i know the SANDF is a bit behind compared to other militaries
 
Mar 2012
1,579
Following the breeze
#15
@The Cell,
it is surprising to me that you joined the SANDF,i would have imagined that the ANC wouldn't have given two ****s about the military after they came into power, i know the SANDF is a bit behind compared to other militaries
Its actually not as bad as everyone seems to think. Remember, we are still rated as the most sophisticated military force throughout Africa. And I had some of my best memories there:), and made some really good friends. It was fun, not always but mostly:cool:...

You also tend to realize how far ahead we are compared to other forces when you are deployed on peace keeping missions....
 
#16
@The Cell, good to hear that SA's isn't going down hill in all areas of society, im living Australia, im just curious what deployments to SA soldiers go on at the moment? also does South Africa still have a military academy for officer training? Is the equipment competitive against countries such as Australia , UK , US, Israel?
 
Mar 2012
1,579
Following the breeze
#17
@The Cell, good to hear that SA's isn't going down hill in all areas of society, im living Australia, im just curious what deployments to SA soldiers go on at the moment? also does South Africa still have a military academy for officer training? Is the equipment competitive against countries such as Australia , UK , US, Israel?
Yep, we still have a Military Academy:). We defiantly have equipment that can hold its own against the worlds best. I will not lies however, we are definitely lacking in the "man power" department, however, this is peace time so we don't exactly need a huge force. Most of the forces deployment is concentrated on peace keeping missions throughout Africa...
 
#18
Sounds much better than I expected , does the Black Eco Power or Affirmative Action laws affect recruiting for the SANDF? just checked you have got more active personnel than us Aussies (the ADF has never been that popular to join) . Also do you see a future for the SANDF or will it become more like other African military's?
 
Mar 2012
1,579
Following the breeze
#19
Sounds much better than I expected , does the Black Eco Power or Affirmative Action laws affect recruiting for the SANDF? just checked you have got more active personnel than us Aussies (the ADF has never been that popular to join) . Also do you see a future for the SANDF or will it become more like other African military's?
Most of the guy's and gals I served with (Of all "races" in South Africa), cared little for politics. When you are in, you realize very quickly that bullets, and your "Drill Sargent"(if I may use the term):sad:, do not give a s@&t what race you are. So you tend to lose interest about the whole race thing very quickly:lol:. Anyway, in my time, there were many people of all races who served...

The funny thing is that, since I left, there has been an even larger investment into the countries Military by Government. So I think if anything, the countries Military will only get better, perhaps even as good as it once was, one day:)...
 
#20
Most of the guy's and gals I served with (Of all "races" in South Africa), cared little for politics. When you are in, you realize very quickly that bullets, and your "Drill Sargent"(if I may use the term):sad:, do not give a s@&t what race you are. So you tend to lose interest about the whole race thing very quickly:lol:. Anyway, in my time, there were many people of all races who served...

The funny thing is that, since I left, there has been an even larger investment into the countries Military by Government. So I think if anything, the countries Military will only get better, perhaps even as good as it once was, one day:)...
one day one day!!!:)