3.What was really surprising ….

was the lack of kit issued:

Boots 1 pair. Shirts 2 pairs. Trousers 2 pairs. Sheets 1 pair. Blanket 1 Mossie net 1 Underwear 3 pairs. Socks 2 pairs.

That’s not the bad part; this is what was worrying, no:

Mess equipment. Water bottle. Webbing Groundsheet. Spade. Worse – no assault rifle!!

A White boy in an African country that is at war, in a soldier’s uniform with no weapon. Not good at all, safe camp or not. We spent most of the first day packing Kas’s (Army steel cupboards) and tents onto vehicles. It was a strange feeling wearing commie cammos in a strange land with a bunch of generally unfriendly guys. I learned later these ‘ou-manne’ had only been there a week or two longer than us. Assholes! My pay number was a hundred and fifty eight and more than half on the payroll were in Pretoria; this was early days for Executive Outcomes. We had instructions not to drink the water out of the taps, anyway, after my stint in the SADF I could not believe how dirty the showers and toilets were, and would not want to drink from those taps. Having been a civilian for the past 10 years had made me squeamish, that would soon be cured! We found a storeroom ourselves, with 5lt. Bottles of water with labels from Portugal, as I have mentioned no one went out of their way to be helpful.  The military being what it is everyone had to have an image, perhaps this is to fool yourself of how dangerous the situation really is. We got a decent chow at about 3 o’clock and a few beers. Up till then it was warm bottled water. We were lent plates and pikstels but the kak sleg storeman wanted them back.


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