6. The first Angolan roadblock

The first Angolan roadblock we saw was a joke, a couple of policemen with machine guns, but they were all sleeping! Later we learned that the police and army were mortal enemies and I mean that literally. The police, not the army, guard all the bridges for reasons unknown. Just past the next roadblock was our new home. Those guys were at least awake. It was now pitch black and as we went over the skitwal , it was like a flashback to Okankolo camp on the Boarder in the eighties. The same hum of a generator, the dully-lighted tents that looked the same as SADF tents in the dark. That was the first meeting with RSM Reima. A typical S’major, I think they have a stamp\mould with moustache and all, and just mass-produce these guys. He was extremely happy to see his dog; unfortunately his dog was a racist and kept biting the Black soldiers.  A couple of months later some FAA troops got sick of it and shot the dog with their AK’s. The Recce’s subsequently kicked the shit in to the FAA, regardless if  they were involved or not.

We were shown to a tent without lights and given a mattress; we collected a kas and a bed frame an matress that we had been sitting on top of in the truck. All this was done in the dark; one could only make out vague shapes of bush and tents at this stage. One guy was already in the tent. Tall and skinny, he was the friendliest person we had met so far. Considering we were told not to bring anything with us, we had no torch, not even a candle. Skinny told us to set up our mossie nets before anything else. He was quite right; the mossies at Longer are the worst I have ever seen. Clouds of them, early in the morning and all night. If one slapped ones leg your hand came away black, they drank Mylon for starters and our blood as a chaser! Before a month was out most of us at camp had Malaria and other strange symptoms, which I’m sure the mossies carried with as spare ammunition to try kill us off. We dubbed them “the Angolan Air force”; eventually I had two mossie nets although they were suffocating in the extreme heat.


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