Monday, January 16, 2012

Newsflash: Returning to Angola with Umkhonto weSizwe Veterans

Following last year's disappointments I’m very excited to be going back to Angola with a group including ex-Umkhonto weSizwe  (ANC’s former military wing)  soldiers.  I’ve been invited to join an expedition that will be driving from Johannesburg to Cuito Cuanavale to attend the opening of a war museum.
I feel very honoured to have been asked by ex-MK commander Patrick Ricketts to join this group.  This opportunity fits well with my aim of adding to the dialogue in South Africa about the effects of conscription and the legacies of the apartheid wars and what we can do as a society to heal the wounds from past conflicts.

I have found it fascinating talking to Patrick about his experiences in MK and I hope that being with this group will enable me to meet other ex-combatants from PLAN (SWAPO’s military wing), Cuba and, of course, Angola.

Joining this group simplifies my entry into Angola and will enable me to see parts of Southern Angola that would be inaccessible to me on the bicycle.
From Cuito Cuanavale I will cycle back to the Namibian border as originally planned.
We leave sometime in the middle of March.


Nick Shaxson said...

If you're in Luanda, look up the endlessly entertaining Tom Gowans

Paul said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for passing that link on. I'll take a look.


Jan said...

Hi Paul, I wonder if their guide will also elaborate on the MK punitive camp they had in Angola?

Wishing I could join in this trip.

Kind regards

Paul said...

Hello Jan,

From my conversations with Patrick, I've found him to be a very free thinking man, often very critical of his former organisation. I'm sure the subject of the camps will come up on our expedition. It will be interesting to hear his views.