Research & Studies

One Percent Terror, Ninety-Nine Percent Boredom

An analysis of the recreational time of SADF soldiers during the South African Border War.


Stellenbosch University PhD History Dissertation – 201X


The soldier’s recreational time is not particularly well-researched, even in contemporary armies, with most emphasis being placed on the battles themselves, their aftermath and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, a soldier’s activities when resting, recovering or when keeping themselves entertained between adrenaline-soaked action is worthy of scrutiny as it raises questions on war, society and opens a window into the base-level mental state of what one could consider “professional combatants” (this includes not just professional soldiers but also conscripts and volunteers).

Stories, Shadows and Dust

A filmmaker’s experience of documenting the stories of SADF veterans of the Southern African Bush War.

Edinburgh University MSc African Studies Dissertation – 2012

577497_10150946944926480_648151479_12180416_1202165538_n“The purpose of this dissertation is to ask questions on subjective experience and Constructed Memory. How do the two relate and in what way do they relate to social media spheres and especially for those of the filmmaker and the film documentary? Specifically, how do these dimensions play out when the subjective experience pertains to the experiences of former South African Defence Force (SADF) soldiers who fought in the Southern African Bush War (1966 – 1989)? The experiential narratives contained in Constructed Memory can provide a different explorative avenue for historical events, that is to say, different views of the same war in this case. The accompanying documentary Stories, Shadows and Dust showcases the experiences of five former SADF soldiers, allowing the audience to share in their experiences and draw their own conclusions. This dissertation then seeks to explore the concept of their memory constructions against the backdrop of emotional contextual experience with specific focus on film media representations of the Bush War.”

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Click here to watch the Documentary

Forged in Flames

The SADF experience of The Battles of Cuito Cuanavale 1987 – 1988

Rhodes University History Honours Thesis – 2010

Soldier 07“This research paper will comprise a literature review of selections from available literature concerning the Battles of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola during the South African Border War. The paper will focus on issues concerning South African Defence Force (SADF) involvement in Cutio Cuanavale specifically, and will, for the most part, ignore most other work on the Border War, only using general information for contextual purposes, unless it pertains to this battle in some way or another. This also extends to circumstances leading up to the battle as well as the aftermath. This paper will hopefully guide the reader through relevant materials that will help provide an understanding of the battle and the people who were involved.”

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