Safety Net


By Jacobus Kotze

Copyright 2016 Jacobus Kotze

Shakespir Edition

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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Cover Design by Elsa Kotzé [email protected]

Editing by Alec Chapman [+ [email protected]+]

Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” Jeff Cooper”


Author’s Note

Chapter 1 Layered defence systems

Chapter 2 Insurance driven security

Chapter 3 Awareness & JKLS System

Chapter 4 Specific threats, specific security measures

Chapter 5 Rural versus urban security

Chapter 6 Safe rooms

Chapter 7 Crime Scene, media

Chapter 8 Faith

About the Author:

Connect with the Author online

ADDENDUM I Personal Details Form

ADDENDUM II Good’s Tracing Form

ADDENDUM III How Special Forces storm an aircraft – Code Name Wrangler

ADDENDUM IV Police Counter-Insurgency Operations, South Africa

ADDENDUM V – Crossing a river with four-wheel drive vehicles – Code Name Green 41

Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.” Andrew Jackson

Experience is the teacher of all things.” Julius Caesar

Author’s Note

A while ago, in 2013, I published a short 70-page article on home security. I am told by readers across the world that my ideas, based on 30 years of experience in counter insurgency, counter terrorism and law enforcement as well as a life in the shadows, saved many a life. For that I am grateful and yet saddened that my ideas were needed by them. In a perfect world, there would be no requirement for this book or that article, from which this book grew. But we do not live in a perfect world – that is the first fact we need to acknowledge. We live in violent times. Depending on where you are, it is not impossible for your life to be ended abruptly because another man desires your possessions, your wife, your daughter or simply dislikes your face. There may be no logical reason for a criminal attack on you, you are merely at the wrong place and the wrong time. Such is life.

I said in a previous book, called “Terrorist Takedown” that deals with a domestic terrorist attack and how to end it, that a terrorist is highly distinguishable from a criminal, they are not the same to the trained eye. Nevertheless, all terrorist acts, are a crime. No matter what a terrorist does, a bomb, a shooting, taking of hostages, it stays a crime under the laws of the country. But they themselves are not the same as a criminal, not at all. They are a different breed and a lot more dangerous because they are trained, motivated and not scared of pulling the trigger. We need to show some respect – every good study on terrorist behaviour shows us that a terrorist is neither a coward nor crazy, not clinically anyhow. A criminal may very well be mentally unstable; it is not uncommon and many criminals (I would say most), are cowards, attacking the weakest among us – the elderly, females and or the very young. The terrorist is always ready to die for his cause; to him it may even be a blessing, he made peace with that aspect. A criminal, unless suicidal, it happens, normally wants to live to rob another day. There is much logic in a terrorist attack, it is a PR exercise to create attention and fear, hence he will strike in crowded places, most criminals don’t (except pickpockets) – they attack you in seclusion, next to the road, inside your house, in the street where they know that chances are that no one will help you. This too is sad, many studies show us that just about 165 people will walk past such an incident, even where the victim lays unconscious, before helping, the average time – 9 minutes, more than enough to bleed to death twice over. We live in sad times. Then the major difference between a terrorist and a criminal and this is truly risky, the terrorist will actively hunt you down. He wants confrontation with the police and more victims to execute, the criminal does not want any of that. In my police career, spanning over six years of the most violent times in Apartheid South Africa, I saw criminals break and run whenever confronted. A terrorist does not do that; he will take you on and he is not a street thug, he knows his weapons as well as you do and he practised his moves. Yet, they almost always died during the confrontation with us, highly trained, experienced and hardened by years on the mean streets. But what do you do? How do you safeguard your family? How can you prevent an attack or ensure your survival during and after a violent criminal cross your path? These are questions we will answer to the best of our ability in this book and can be done by most security experts. But what about other attacks though? Non-criminal in nature but just as deadly? Yes, we get things like medical emergencies, out of control fires & smoke inhalation, elderly people lying unconscious and unable to talk to the medics, how do they protect themselves? How do you help the police and first responders to help you? When you combine all this, and you follow my advice, you should have a safety net around yourself and your family. This is what makes this book unique, out of the box unorthodox thinking, something I am known to do.

Because of my legal & security related books and background, I am interrogated (it is far more than just a few polite questions) for security advice by many readers and clients. I tried to help with the online articles, spread around free of charge and they downloaded by the tens of thousands. I also created a blog to comment on current matters now and then. What was odd to me, or perhaps not, was that most of the questions came from advanced First World Countries, not South Africa, where I am based. Possibly we know the security answers already, it cannot be that we don’t read, we do, as much as you do. It cannot be that we don’t have the Internet to download eBooks, we do, a bit slower, but adequate for normal use. Or perhaps, and this is most likely, we are used to taking safety measures you may find absurd and grateful you are not here – (70% of my books are read in the US). But the safety measures are needed, I live in a country with a murder taking place every 30 minutes (it may be more, who knows). Yes, we have 18,600 murders a year on a 50 million counted population, now, if you convert this murder rate to US numbers, multiplying to get to US population figures, you should have 117,000 murders a year to be on our scale. You don’t have that, not even close, you have 8 times less. So why is that security article downloading so much there?

I think, and I may be mistaken, my late wife was an American citizen, not me, that the US media is going overboard with crime reporting although they are deliberately reporting it wrong (you will see later what I mean). They are stoking the fires all the time, we only read bad news, and almost never hear something good. There is a saying in newspapers, if it bleeds, it is frontline news. Sadly, they are out to sensationalise whatever they can with mediocre reporting using appalling words, and long gone are the days where you should believe blindly what you read or hear. There is no honour among thieves, the adage goes… I say to you, there is even less among journalists out to get a scoop. We will devote an entire chapter on crime scene handling including what to say to them – in one word “nothing.” You cannot trust a journalist, you cannot trust a police detective smiling at you, and you better get your lawyer involved after any defensive incident, especially if a different race was involved because you will be treated like a common criminal and a very guilty man until proven innocent.

Yes, I am cynical but listen to me, I come from that world of law enforcement, prosecuting and defence counsel, I know their shenanigans and I know the security world even better. Yet, and this is important, the fact that the media is hyping things up does not say you should not take sensible safety measures or know what to do in an emergency – I am only saying don’t let fear rule your life. I don’t like the idea of bogeymen in the form of a criminals or terrorists and I have zero sympathy with newspapers acting irresponsibly. You are a free man (when I say man, I mean woman also) and you should have the freedom to move where you please when you please to do so. I am always shocked when I hear of “no go” areas for a certain race group or even worse, the police. That is to me anarchy, and wrong, to be sorted out immediately with a show of force and corrective measures. There were no such places in my time, none, we went where we pleased at all times and at any time and I wonder about the police if such stories are true. To a man like me, dereliction of duty, no doubt. Get your act sorted, we expect better.

As background on myself, and I will keep this short, I own a highly specialised legal consultancy specialising in risk reduction, legal and security wise in Sub Saharan Africa called JKLS Africa and it is unique. What we do is so far beyond normal law that I have considerable difficulty in explaining it to the run of the mill practitioners (there is need for them too, just not for me). Part of JKLS Africa is a highly classified briefing on how to survive as a hostage in Africa and the expertise and knowledge inside the briefing are applicable everywhere and so are the contents of this book. After I left the South African Police Force in November of 1991, after six years of honourable mayhem, I studied hard at university. After another six years I had two law degrees (B Iuris & LLB – same as the US Juris Doctor or JD) behind my name, completed law school and articles (internship), passed the side bar exam and found myself working at the very famous human rights law firm as an attorney. One of our many clients was a man called Nelson Mandela, a man so exceptional that I can tell you, whatever you heard about him, is true. I also got married, divorced (no fault, we grew apart, no abuse) and became a legal advisor for the largest security company in the world, Group 4 Securicor (in 125 countries), posted to Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa. I know a lot about counter terrorism, counter insurgency, security, and not only the legal side of things, I did other work too. And then I met my late wife, an American Patriot of the best kind, a woman from that great State of Florida, so smart that I often wondered what she saw in me, her “white African.”

I often asked her, puzzled beyond belief: “Honey, why do you have no security in your house?”

The lack of six feet high walls and fences, burglar bars, genuinely effective alarm systems, armed response, safe rooms, and even the most basic of security precautions made me shake my head in wonder. What a wonderful life, even the Sheriff’s Department actually responds when you call them, they can actually read and write and speak decent enough English (not at all guaranteed in Africa these days). Here, we have all the above-mentioned burglar bars, genuinely effective alarm systems, armed response, safe rooms, plus six feet electrified fences, guard dogs, CCTV, perimeter beams, private security companies by the thousands, all doing the same job and obviously not very well, seen in the light of the high crime rate. Or perhaps I should not blame the security companies that are a knee jerk reaction to a problem and not the problem as such. It is unfair.

Let me start by explaining that since 1994, when freedom came for everyone and Mr Mandela took over, millions of my people, the Afrikaner left South Africa immediately, they went to the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA. As a group they are great immigrants, all legal to begin with, all hardworking and most educated with good degrees, able to speak English and at least one other language. The exodus was so great that most reunions for doctors and engineers will be held in London or Melbourne, we lost close to 70% of our health professionals and they are your gain. I don’t blame them, I have family members that left, friends that left, and I believe anyone coming back out of his free will, or not emigrating when he can, is silly beyond words. But the unexpected ripple effect of this diaspora was job losses and an economy stagnating, also in a large part because of high levels of State corruption unknown hereto. Whatever evil the Apartheid State was up to, and I will never defend that system, corruption was not part of it, the Afrikaner was actually a very good administrator. That ended in 1998 when Mr Mandela retired, today corruption and bad leadership are common enough to be seen as part of life, sadly so.

With the Afrikaner exodus went the businessmen, smart people, and they took their money and skills with them. The Security Forces & Police got rid of white leadership in indecent haste, the men became security contractors all over the world, in great demand even if greying now. The country’s once firmly protected borders were left wide open and millions of illegal aliens streamed in to look for jobs. With all this came crime waves, South Africa was at that stage still the biggest economy in Africa, a place with more electrical power, grid, road and railway networks, industry, than the rest of Africa combined. Every C-class Mercedes Benz and 3-Series BMW you see in your streets, were made in South Africa. It is an entirely weird place, not at all what you may think when you hear the word “Africa.” But crime became a problem, a serious one. Not that there was no crime before 1994, there was indeed, but the National Police Force was able to keep control, a lot more than today where the police are not exactly admired being seen as corrupt, inefficient and badly undertrained. None have our counter insurgency and counter urban terrorism skills. You may have read my police autobiography, a three-book series called Mean Streets – Life in the Apartheid Police, where I found the new police deficient rather badly but this is not the place to discuss their shenanigans, it is widely reported and the result was that security became every man’s problem. I believe that the crime explosion is a social problem and not so much a police problem, so I have sympathy. It was legendary FBI Director, J Edgar Hoover who said: “No amount of law enforcement can solve a problem that goes back to the family.” He was right, and I will say to you: “No amount of legislation will make up for failures of political will and leadership either.”

I know some will say an honest man will rather die of hunger before stealing, I ask if you know such hunger and despair? Obviously not or you would not talk such crap, you have never experienced Third World desperation – your aid money is stolen, abused and never reaches the man on the street. Yes, I wrote about this aspect in most books and particular in “The Egg Breakers – Counter Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa” where I stated flatly that aid money is hampering the War on Terror, but you can read it yourself, I have my reasons, and it is outside the scope of this book. It is also proven that most white colour criminals, yes the banksters and fraudsters of Wall Street and other places, seldom need the money – they have good jobs and yet they steal because of greediness, they want more.

Not all countries are equal. You are probably in the First World if you are reading here, note that there is no real “dole or social welfare” system in Africa, you lose your job and you may very well die of hunger unless you steal. As many criminals said to me, in jail you get food, it is not so bad, a warm cell to share with many mates also (not so good). It is entirely sad to have that outlook but perhaps I can explain in other terms which may make more sense to you. During the Great Depression of the early 1930s, the US had between 18% and 23% unemployment, it is seen as terrible and it is – we are at anything between 45% and some say 65% unemployment and I don’t think it was ever below 23%. It is not a matter of laziness or criminal intent for most; it is simply survival when you cannot find a job and most will not. I can explain further - you pay less than 3% interest on loans? We pay up to 23% to our banksters, that makes the living cost 7 times more expensive than you. That is why most of you have a large truck to drive around with whilst our vehicles are on average 18 years old. I must say, I sometimes wonder why my many American friends, all readers first, complain so bitterly instead of being proud and feeling blessed. To us, from the outside, the US is really a place of milk and honey, even your poor is rich. Why else do you think so many are streaming to your shores? Be proud, be like my late wife who would not drive past a tattered US Flag and not stop to demand it replaced, confiscating the old one for good measure. Don’t let the bastards in the media get you so negative and down that you feel inferior, remember who you are and if needs be, look at the moon and see the flags flying there, they should look familiar to you.

Actually, I don’t really care on why the crime waves are here or there, the countermeasures are the same, my books are not academic debates, my clients want answers, practical solutions to problems and that is what we try to give them. But I must say, what are unique to our crime are two things – we have more serial killers here than any other nation and we have very violent crime as a matter of course. Your chances of being tortured to reveal your safe, hidden firearms etc. is close to 90% or 9/10 times. There is an anger here, resentment, hatred, call it what you will, which is tangible when you enter the country after a few months abroad, you can feel it. The above made us experts in home security defences, and whilst we still have high crime rates – neither I nor the courts can sort out what the government and father figures should be doing - the question is, what would the statistics have been if we did not take the safety measures we do? It is an entirely scary thought.

After the success of my counter urban terrorist book “Terrorist Takedown” I wondered if I could somehow depart with more knowledge, help my readers defend themselves against crime, not only terrorism, which may well be the more pressing problem to many, wrongly so. The research for that book showed me that a terrorist attack will take place in the US just over twice a year, that is what the statistics since 2000 tells us. But your home, and your body, will be attacked a lot more than that by criminals. Yes, perhaps not as serious as a terrorist shooting or bombing at will but surely serious enough to be bothered by. Unlike what a certain female liberal thinks, it does matter when people die or are injured. Because of my background, and proven success of the home security articles, I believe what I have to say may be of some importance to you. The fact that my viewpoint is not American, may also be good thing as a new perspective may be needed. If you take my advice, it should help you, I know from letters which I received that the security articles did save life and for that I am grateful as I said before.

I do not know all the answers, no one does, but what gave me the final motivation was when I saw a television program about some “survivalists” where they explained how they will take on the Russians, the Chinese hordes, and the everyday crazies among them. And I am the first to say that you should make a stand, that you should protect yourself and be proud, but really, I was at first mortified by their utter lack of security knowledge (although they believed they knew everything), then I started chuckling thinking it may be a smart joke, and then I realised, no joke, these people are really that ignorant and they don’t even get their own ignorance. In fact, they are a joke of note, they will die against an average criminal and have no chance whatsoever against the trained soldiers they are so contemptuous of. There was nothing, and I mean nothing, they did what would work in real life. It takes so much more than an obese body and an AR-15 assault rifle and even with that wonderful rifle, they could not shoot properly (see my counter urban terrorist book, “Terrorist Takedown” on Special Forces shooting techniques if interested). My security system, called the JKLS System after my legal consultancy, is free and works and I dare say, is needed. My American mates, all started as readers and then contacted me, encouraging me to write this book, were not wrong. And so I started typing. The answers, are far as it is possible to give answers or practical advice on such a scenario, are inside this book. You will learn what to do, what not to do and how to protect yourself effectively. We will look at history and my own encounters in security as I tried to make it more interesting than what is usual in such books.

I was asked at publication, I often am, my books are not politically correct drivel and no doubt many others will ask the same in the future: “Do I care if a criminal reads this book and then knows what to do?” No, he will become a victim of his own beliefs, he still has to get through the layered defences. Perhaps this book will persuade him to rather go to the next house and leave you alone. Criminals, as we know, do not strike where they think they may be killed, hurt or arrested, they select their targets carefully to avoid confrontation, mostly.

I will also not say to you the usual nonsense of “stay calm, think, and act” as I take for granted you know this already. But I will say in the opening pages that this is not a book with a political motive behind it but one of self-defence. There is no accusatory finger pointing at anyone or any group of people or specific religion here. I am a former attorney that practised law at the most famous human rights law firm in Africa as a younger man, I know what hate speech is and I hold such people in deserved contempt. Don’t come to me with a racist attitude or religious intolerance if you contact me, you will not like my response. So take good note that I am not saying the attacking criminal will be without any doubt a black man, nor do I say the criminal may be from any specific religion or race, or sexual orientation. It is neither here nor there to me what they are or what their beliefs are or what they expect to achieve by attacking innocents, frankly, I don’t care as I said before and neither should you. Race & religion is not our problem here, the criminal is.

There is a saying which I am giving to you as a warning: “It is the tamest dog that bites the worst.” Always remember that and you will survive. You can either take my book, 1 of 29, seriously or you can dismiss it, but don’t let your prejudices in life kill you because you were observing the wrong people. Forget everything you see in Hollywood, it is crap and will not save your life. Forget what most of your “security experts” tell you, they are babes in the wood, salesmen, unable to fall back on personal experience. High sounding words describing “The 101 MS Alarm System” are just so much noise to me, I want to know where it worked before, what is practical, a genuine deterrent and cost effective. I am not interested in what I call “insurance driven security” about which we will speak later in some detail since it is important. I look at the criminals, the way they operate, and then see how we counter them. The rest is just sales talk, my clients want results, demand results and not a false sense of security and so I hope do you.

My methods are different; I think outside the box for some reason. My legal speciality, forensic law, is not even taught at law school, they never heard of it before. I wrote the book on forensic law and I am the father of forensic law, one day, I hope, more will apply the techniques and be more effective. I can give you some statistics on where I am coming from - throughout my time in the police our record showed that we killed 90% of all terrorists in the counter insurgency role and 98% in the counter terrorism role during the South African Border War. We also got and kept a kill ratio during our counter insurgency operations of 1,000 to 1 if not more, and we did so for almost 18 years against the best the Soviet Union could field. This is unique in the history of warfare, we are the experts in such things including crime prevention and yet our opinions, probably because we are also Africans, are seldom asked. I say again, don’t let prejudices in life cause you to dismiss what you don’t want to believe – the statistics mentioned are not made up – they are true and you can research anything I write, I know my subject and I stand by what I write. Where I come over as “arrogant” in my books as some accused me off, wrongly but most certainly not for the last time, note that I have no desire to insult anyone but I call a spade a spade. If unhappy with something I will most certainly say so and give my reasons why I say so. I found that the grownups among us appreciate honesty and a substantiated argument, others, well, they get abusive and defensive. When I criticize and shake my head, it is done to show where you have to improve for your own safety, not mine. I point out where standards are not being met and where such laxness will lead to innocents dying. The alternative is to condone what I cannot be expected to condone.

As with all my books we will use history as examples because we can learn from history. Take a small example: You know what breakfast your wife enjoys (and note when I say wife, I mean husband also, this book is not for men alone), right? She likes her eggs scrambled and the bacon crispy with brown sugar added. This is historical fact, she eats scrambled eggs and crispy bacon with brown sugar added, but you don’t know this, you disregarded history as crap for boring people and not applicable on modern day life, and so you make the eggs sunny side up and forget about the crispy bacon completely. She will be most unhappy with your food, as well-meant as it was. Now you see, I hope, why I always tell you what happened in history before we look at what is happening right now. There is reason in everything I do when training people, I hope this writing style makes the book more interesting to you, I harp back to history, I cannot change and more to the point I won’t, make peace. I also found, from many years of conducting briefings (another word for training), when you tell a story, history, people remember a lot better than just throwing facts on a PowerPoint presentation, then they get bored easily and rightly so, it is boring. Some called this technique “African writing” which it may well be or not, but this is my way of writing, I talk to you directly. I connect to my readers in ways which many say is unique. If you like my books, please take the time to write a good review online, it is the only way to spread the word. Thank you.

Note also that I am not writing in American English, some faithful readers pointed out to me that when I speak of far-right whiners, far-right wingers and right wingers, I may be seen as referring to the Republican Party or conservative folk in general, I am most certainly not. I am referring to the KKK etc. members, people who are utter racists, grumpy in the background, see a conspiracy everywhere and are a disgrace to themselves. I don’t like such people, and I do not wish to be associated with them and I will not be associated with them. I am though conservative in nature, I have conservative opinions & views based on common sense, and I believe in the Christian God, and it reflects in my books, make peace, I am not going to change, it would be dishonest.

Legally, note that this book should be read as a guidance only and there is a legal disclaimer at the back. I am not responsible for your actions or inactions and you have to use common sense and stay within the laws of your State and country at all times. Do not abuse the knowledge in this book and then complain the book led you astray, it is not a legal defence but a wanker argument. I will never advise you to break the law and I don’t. Always call the police and always act with restraint. I am not advising you to take the law in your own hands, be very clear on that. Nor do I give you legal advice in this book, I am not qualified to do so in any other country except my own and I am sure there are many good books on legal self-defence you can read. This book is about protecting your house and family in ways which will become clear as we carry on, not legal advice at all.

I am honoured to share what I know and at times, learn from my readers, you will be surprised how much knowledge ordinary people have (and they do not claim to be “experts”). At the same time, I pray you never have any use for my knowledge but you know that saying: “Si vis pacem, para bellum?” It is a Latin adage: “If you want peace, prepare for war.” This book and knowledge are preventative, to enable you to defend yourself and it harks back to what Mr Reagan said to Chairman Gorbachev when he explained the proper use of Star Wars to him in Iceland. He said it was a missile shield, the same as a gasmask after World War One, never used really, but available if needed, defensive, not offensive. I would like to think that this book is the same, the knowledge is here but it would be so much better if never used by you. But when you get stuck in, do so properly please, this is not the time for half-measures.

As always, I thank my late wife, known to my loyal readers as “my American Patriot,” for her love and patience and, above all, scissors. Without her you would not be reading here for I would not have bothered to write anything down. There is a picture of us on the back cover of every printed book and next to the “About the author” page, I still honour her memory. Even in my fictionalised books, under another name, she is honoured with secret codes she gets and smiles about. That will never stop. If you feel the need to contribute money because of this book, then please do so to any US Veterans Society of your choice. It was a cause my late wife supported financially during her years on earth. I am very sad to say she died, age 41, on 21 May 2014 after a short (and unexpected) illness. I will always love and cherish her and we will meet in heaven one day. God knows best. On request from many readers I wrote a Short Tribute to her which is available online. Do not read it unless willing to cry for it is very depressing reading. “Honey, I miss you terribly but life goes on and I am doing my best here. At some stage and with God’s permission, I will join you in heaven and ‘we’ will be ‘us’ again. Is only a matter of time and I can hardly wait!”

God bless,
Koos Kotze

I don’t even talk about whether or not racial profiling is legal. I just don’t think racial profiling is a particularly good law enforcement tool.” Eric Holder

Chapter 1

Layered defence systems

Mr Holder is entirely correct, racial profiling is wrong, inherently and I warned against it already, you watch the black guy and get shot by the white girl next to you, it happens. Most murders and assaults, by all available statistics worldwide, are committed by spouses or family members against each other. On the other hand, profiling works when done correctly and is a great investigation and security tool, we need to take a closer look because it is important to your safety. Mind that through the years, the subject became controversial because liberals believe that black men are targeted unfairly by the police simply because they are black. Then, the right-wing whiners sincerely believe back men are targeted only because they are guilty by association. They point out that the jails disproportionally full of such men. So you have to understand that we are not saying profiling should be concentrating on any race – all we want to know is, based on previous cases – what do history tell us we can expect in the future. It is that simple and when used correctly it is a great tool in the shadows and security world.

I have a friend, George M James, he writes fictionalised accounts on counter terrorism operations in Sub Saharan Africa. I recommend the entire GMJ Series to you to read, they are that good and will change the way you think on counter terrorism and he has a couple of free books on his website, read them! They are used as training manuals by many SWAT Teams and so realistic that I use them myself at times to explain matters. Much of what he has to say is applicable in the world of crime since we used police methods to deal with terrorists, successfully so, we should take note what he wrote in his blog on profiling:

“If there is one word which makes all liberals jump upright in self-righteous fury, it is called “profiling” and they see it as something evil. What it comes down to is to look at what a criminal or terrorist looked like in past events, and then creating a profile for the police or intelligence agencies to look for right now. History in motion then.

A normal person will not be bothered with such things, at the end of the day it is so that profiling works very well. For instance, we know that the average white woman in America will have 2.5 kids and be married twice in her life. We know what certain age groups spend and on what and we know how many sexual partners the average person has, gay or heterosexual. We know this because we did profiling and it happens everywhere. Yes, every time you complete an online survey you are being fed into a data base and the marketers will know what you are looking for and what you like or dislike. On the internet we call it “spyware” and everyone does so. You can conduct your own experiment – start sending emails to mates on washing machines, and I guarantee you, after you did that and completed a few searches for washing machines, you will get spam mail selling washing machines. The words have been picked up and they know, and so you are targeted. Whatever you search or do online is stored and analysed. Even Facebook (and other sites, not only them) – from time to time you are asked to show your interests, and guess what, when someone advertises, he marks off, this or that interest, and so targets his advertisements to what is called an “audience.” There is no such thing as a free ride, lunch or website. Not at all. So I am sure you get the picture.

In counter terrorism, which is mostly what the GMJ Books are about when not about the love story between Angelique Dawson and Geoffrey Foxtrot, profiling will be discussed in greater detail in the new book, GMJ 21, not written yet but will be soon. There are interesting facts about profiling: We know for instance what a potential suicide bomber, like the 9/11 “pilots” bank accounts look like and we can flag such accounts and prevent further criminal acts. We know the age and gender of most Muslim extremists and we know how they operate and what they do. This is interesting because all terrorism stays a crime at the end of the day, a police matter combined with Special Forces and secret agents. Rarely can an infantry line unit do much, they have no counter terrorism function and note please, there is a big difference between counter terrorism and counter insurgency and conventional war, unless you know the differences and you will, if you read GMJ, you cannot compare them. I am not insulting the infantry lads.

Why then, if we have a winning system of identifying terrorists and criminals are the liberals among us whining so much about it? Are they soft on crime and terrorism? You figure that out, I don’t know because they whine like a jet engine when the crime or terrorism strikes home to where they live, then suddenly they have no problem with “police brutality” and whatever else. But in general, they say that profiling is unfair because they fear that race groups are targeted. Well, in a place like America the statistics will show that by far the majority of inmates are black men, same here and unlike there I think social injustices do play a large role in their misfortune here, we live in a place with no jobs and an economy being ruined by bad leadership. Yet, the facts, and it is facts, cannot be stated openly because that would be wrong, racist, according the liberals. Of course, profiling does not say every black man is a criminal or every Muslim is a terrorist, not at all, it indicates (not proven beyond doubt, shows, points) that the majority of previously caught criminals or terrorist, are black males or Muslim males, coming from a certain country or countries, in a certain age group, receiving certain incomes in a certain way from a certain country known as Saudi Arabia. And this according to the liberals is so wrong that the entire system of profiling must be banned even if efficient. I believe and many others agree, that such thinking is plainly ridiculous and just another example of human rights taken to absurd lengths. To protect the innocents, profiling must be done, and it must be followed up and the word must be spread to the terrorist hunters. There is no other way and if the indications in profiling is unfortunate, then wake up and change your ways. Stop whining.”

As a matter of interest, Code Name Green 50, GMJ Book 21, was written since the blog was done. Profiling as a method of investigation is not new, it goes back to Jack the Ripper and only one of many investigation tools available. It can be used on anything, not only crime. Because of profiling we know a few interesting facts about US Presidents, oddly, most are right handed, most have blue eyes and the tallest between the two candidates almost always wins. It is also so that a baldy has almost no chance of becoming a president, and most would be legally trained in some way but never actually worked as lawyers - these are fun facts and based on profiling and note, no word on race or gender but we know, 99.9% white males.

The problem comes in when there is too much emphasis placed on the individual, the psychologist, not the smartest of people to begin with, try to predict what a man will do in the future, and mostly fail. Human nature is odd, you often hear family members say they never expected their brother / sister / mom / dad to be a murderer, and yet, it happens. The psychologists are missing the point, we are saying, let us look what was done in the past, and then we know what security measures are needed right now, based on what we found. There is a subtle difference here and there are actually many computer based programs able to do such predictions in counter terrorism. Remember what I said, all terrorism is a crime in some way, hence the counter methods cross over into normal “crime.” If you read my book on counter terrorism “The Egg Breakers – Counter Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa” you will note how successfully terrorists were traced, tracked and broken to switch sides, by using standard police investigation techniques. I quote from that book; it is interesting because it shows us in history what worked:

“The Rhodesian Bush War started with isolated attacks on white farms and the planting of landmines to disrupt the security forces and whoever else detonated it. At first the internal local population was on the side of the security forces and reported all terrorist activities to the excellent Rhodesian Police called the British South African Police or BSAP. As we said before it was mandatory for all white officers to speak the local language which helped considerably. They treated all terrorism as a crime scene which was also smart as it made it then possible to gain an understanding how the conflict developed by matching the bullets expended by the terrorists to the attacks. Consequently, they would know that a particular AK47 was used in which previous attacks where. All this showed the terrorists movements clearly. This is something which should be done in the current War on Terror if not already. With the computer assisted analysts of today this will show patterns which is of tremendous assistance to counter terrorism. Follow the gun trail, as they say.

Thirdly, they used the information or intelligence collected and built up by the Rhodesian Police Special Branch and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) that acted as their spies. I said it before and it is important enough to repeat. The Rhodesians approached the terrorism war as a crime and every incident as a crime scene. This is crucial for the database they built up and certain police officers became legends in their own time having had much success during interrogations without the need for waterboarding techniques. You should know that the questions asked betray your knowledge or lack of it clearly to the suspect or interrogatee. It is very possible that a suspect will crack and work with you when he thinks or has reason to believe that you know everything. It happens all the time and so it was. This is one of the points we can learn from. Treat every incident like a crime scene and collect the evidence in the proven systematic way which we know works. Remember, everything a terrorist does is a crime in some way. A false passport or planting a bomb or kidnapping – all these things are a crime. Note I am not saying the end result or objective is to arrest him or hand him over to the courts. This has to do with finding him and interrogating him so that you can find his mates.”

Today, since the 1970s when the Rhodesians did so successfully, we had moved on, we use computers and analysts to help us understand what took place and from there we make predictions, not on the man itself, never, but on the actions completed by him. To explain to you how such an investigation, to hunt spies, is done I quote from George M James’s Code Name OST-M for you:

“The long distance radio was working and Angelique had appropriated my iPhone, switching sim cards. We were now within reach of the land based towers. The reports started coming in from her headquarters and we created a command post in one of the larger cabins. As former policemen we appreciated the way she approached the investigation or spy hunt. Computer support has long become a standard investigation tool and whilst it will never replace good old-fashioned detective work, it does link everything in a way which is astonishing to the uninformed. It takes away the cobwebs and hones in on who’s doing what and when. It is astonishing.

The software program they used, the South African Secret Service, at that stage (stolen from MI6) was called MEMEX and it is a modified system the Virginians (CIA) also have in service. You may not know this but since the late 1960s the CIA kept electronic records of every single terrorist incident where an American was involved, injured or killed. From this came MEMEX which is a crawler in essence. The software looks for links within the data it is fed and some say stands for “memory-extension” by which your brain is meant, not computer RAM. As an example, it will show you who talked to who on which cell phone (there is an exclusive number attached to every handset besides the unique sim card). It will show you at what time and then combine this over a period of years since the computer remembers everything and places it in such a logical way that the dumbest prosecutor can follow the trail.

It does not say what was said on the phone, that is another matter and is done separately – the actual calls can be intercepted and recorded but not by MEMEX. MEMEX only “orders” everything in a way you can get it, it forms the complete picture in a visual way. And here you have the reason why NSA (No Such Agency, by God) intercepts everything everywhere. They have the super computers to link the numbers and handsets to each other, exposing terrorist cells and they do this by crawling the data. You don’t need to know what was said most of the time, you can make educated guesses. Say where a bomb exploded – who were in the area? Check the towers, the numbers would have registered. Right, who called who just before and after the attack? Oh, this number called that one, known as a terrorist number linked with another explosion, based in Pakistan (usually) and so on. Now you can begin to comprehend the influence of a place like NSA and it is gets more interesting than just tracing backwards. What MEMEX (and there are other systems like that commercially available) also does is accurate predictions into the future.

People like Angelique and her teams of analysts see patterns and they look for those patterns and MEMEX picks up patterns. The classic explanation in practical terms is thus – in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was noted that whenever certain mosques (where the more radical mullahs are) have an increase in mobile phone activity, the repeating towers are not placed there without reason, an attack is planned. Usually a suicide bombing mission the next day, which would be a Sunday, the first working day of the Arab week, not a Monday. This is important. You can link that warning with other intelligence (humans, intercepts, whatever) to find the target and get your support services ready. Hospitals, ensuring they have blood supplies, cancelling certain events etc. and in general disrupt their plans by killing a few suspected terrorists. This is done daily.

It is said that with the London Tube Bombings, in 2005, MEMEX tracked the terrorists and their contacts down within hours (the phone calls linked to South Africa and also Southern Africa, from where the attack was planned). It is an amazing sight, to see the terror groups linked in MEMEX at such a command post (very few have access at that level). At times they add the other intelligence, say conversations recorded and you actually see, okay, here is Terrorist A, walking down an alley (video surveillance, humans or aerial) and below his video are the transcripts of what the bastard is saying to Terrorist B and where Terrorist B is physically (you see a picture of both, with their numbers, cell phone identification and whatever else they have including location). You can plot accurately on where the call is made from or even where the handset travelled and interlay that with MEMEX. This means that even without direct surveillance, you know, by triangulation, GPS and repeating towers, where that call was made from and by whom plus his entire history.

Now multiply this with millions of phones, emails texts, social media and you begin to understand perhaps why NSA is funded many times more than the better known CIA. All this information is crawled by MEMEX and linked and what is not used right now (99%, innocent citizens), is saved somewhere and every now and then, MEMEX crawls it to see what is now links to what came in new in the last week. You get? And once you are flagged (noted, picked up) you are entered on special databases which are checked more regularly. If you are linked for whatever reason to whom you should not be, or as they said to Geelslang and me once, we are linked to “unsavoury” people, you may be watched more closely. And so you see, they cannot stop, no matter what the Senate or Congress say, collecting “harmless” data. The system will crash and it is also linked with facial recognition. The NSA with similar software and databases are a hundred times bigger, better and faster than Facebook (who by the way, is also crawled as is every other IT company you can mention).

This is how the Predator drones get the extremists although, according to a little known Senate report Angelique showed me, the Predators miss their targets close to 93% of the time and they are prohibitively expensive to operate. One Hellfire missile, made by Lockheed Martin / Raytheon costs about $70 000 a shot. It is not an efficient way of killing with lots of collateral damage; a sniper bullet is about 9 cents each with no collateral damage whatsoever. Unfortunately, the technologically minded US Intelligence Agencies just don’t get that technology is on its own, not good enough. Most of the data so collected, as we had seen in history with the famous Enigma code breaking efforts, are unused and will never be used (Code Name Odette). They don’t have the capability, not even with super computers. The political masters want the easy way out, no casualties, no risks and hence no real results either. What every US President knows and fears above all because he is planning re-election and his place in history two minutes after taking the oath to lead his country without bias (LOL, what a joke that turned out to be), is that in war, you take hits, it is inevitable, body bags are going to come home. Sadly, history will show us that modern day US Presidents don’t have the stomach for body bags. They then come with half measures wasting everyone’s time except the lads supplying the weapons and technology – the longer the war, the better for them. The answer is simple, either make peace or stay away or get some Dutch courage. Soldiers and secret agents die in the theatre of the real, if you cannot get this, don’t start a war and don’t get elected, your failures in life will be exposed. Terrorists will look at you, and try you and when you fail to act, they will push you even further.

The MEMEX system is really good only if it is focussed and used correctly and not as the “widest net possible” data collecting tool. It scans (crawls) the internet, dark and open, to link suspected activities. This alone makes it a crime fighting tool par excellence. MEMEX spots criminal activities and all terrorism are criminal acts in some way. As another simple example, it can look at a person’s bank account and flag that this fellow is either involved in drugs or terrorism. The 9/11 bombers had all the same bank records in patterns, it is a deadly giveaway. Therefore, MEMEX is used extensively by law enforcement in criminal cases like murder, fraud, Ponzi schemes and the like. When you combine what MEMEX uncovers and links with experience, common sense and world class crime laboratories, you have a winning formula, not one which may lead to conviction in courts, but one which will make people like Angelique order your assassination. You cannot escape MEMEX because others will betray you, one phone call from the “wrong” person and they have you linked. Therefore, Al Qaeda tried couriers, humans, no calls, no emails and if it takes longer to deliver the message, well then so be it and that betrayed Osama Bin Laden. His courier got linked by MEMEX to others and followed to the den. Also, these days, not linked electronically, also tells a story. (All this is pretty basic stuff in our world, Angelique, no secret.) We stood staring at the data as it was printed out and displayed against the walls, clearly showing who called who, who received money when (interesting, just before and after the sabotage attacks) and from where. That is the beauty of MEMEX, you get the larger picture at a glance. The pattern was becoming clear and Angelique summarised it for us.

“It seems we have two fellows, two based at Makhado, and one down south in Langebaan. They are twenty year veterans and they are receiving money from the side, from this account in the Isle of Man.” Angelique said with narrowed eyes shaking her head in disgust.

She had linked all their bank accounts and that of their spouses to the MEMEX data. The oldest trick and a stupid one, is to entrust the money in your wife’s account or to involve her in your shenanigans. In recent spy history, the Walker spy ring got betrayed by a disgruntled wife.”

I am sure, with the above example, you will understand, we can predict what an attack will look like and take appropriate measures – it is not about race, it is method. What on earth does it matter if the culprit is black or white? He still needs to be stopped in his tracks. And once you see this aspect clearly, you understand why some detectives are almost blessed with an instinctive reaction of who committed the crime, they had seen the modus operandi done before. Copy cats don’t have the same finer details, they have what they read in the newspapers, and then they make mistakes, small ones but deadly for them. We know of a guy that murdered his wife and cut her head off in an attempt to make it look like the serial killer he read about, his mistakes were immediately spotted. But how does this help you?

Simply, we need to see what patterns are ongoing in your area – yes we have the basic systems which must be there, but all modern security is layered defence systems, tweaked to suit local conditions. At times the Sheriff Departments post such information online, be sure to read it and keep up to date. Regrettably, not all do so because of liberals & politicians being ashamed of their failures in life, such vital information may well be kept secret, or abused to look better and all this in the name of “not causing mass panic.”

I would rather want to know the truth, and deal with it, than be left in the dark like a mushroom as the old saying goes. Dealing with difficulties in life is called leadership, something sadly lacking today in our homes (where the husband is ordained by God to a leadership role but of course, liberals have a lot to say about this aspect too), in politics (where lines are drawn in the sand so the terrorist can carry on whatever he is doing, he called the bluff) and in business (where I saw many company directors appointed because daddy owns the company and they contribute nothing). We need better than this type of thing, this is why you are reading here I suspect, we need action, we need you to stand up and be counted, we are men. We will speak about leadership in this book, it is part of the JKLS System.

There is no one answer here, understand that this book is read in more than one country and I deal with worst case scenarios, yet we need to start somewhere with your security, so let us start with a decent basic layered defence system and (mostly forgotten after the alarm sale takes place) the knowledge how to use such alarm systems. It all starts with proper planning and is never ad hoc or done on the basis of doing this or that in panic almost as the threat escalates, no, it is planned in advance. This will take more than just an open wallet. I believe that throwing money at something willy-nilly, without getting something practical back, is a waste of money. You also need an “Awareness” and the correct “attitude” towards security, without it, and most don’t have such feelings, you are wasting your time. We will spend an entire chapter on Awareness and also your action plan – it is that crucial. I also want to say to you without fear, do your research on what I say in term of products. I am not paid to recommend a specific product to you and hence I speak in general terms, see for yourself what works well and get it installed but follow my guidelines.

We always start by advising clients to take a Google Earth shot of his house and the surrounding area. That is what you start with, go online and get that picture, study it like a criminal would do, finding weak spots. This is your first line of physical security. Then we mark visible hiding places to be destroyed (bushes, trees etc.) and we walk around physically to see from ground level (Street View is not good enough) to get an idea of the outside perimeter which may be anything from a hill to an open field. This is standard procedure for us. No proper security assessment can be done without such views and yet I bet you that your own security company never did this most basics of planning. Most security salesmen arrive at the front gate, take a quick look, make some notes to look important, talk some crap in high sounding equipment, and then sells you an utterly useless basic alarm system which we will discuss later. You need better that this, really, you do. Remember, this is not about setting up a security measure as an abstract academic exercise or to cover your insurance requirements, your system will be tested and if it fails you may be forced to watch a group of men raping your wife and daughter (yes, it happens).

Most of the times we find the front part of the house / property is well secured but the back part completely open or dilapidated in defence. It is overgrown, hard to reach and no one seems to care that a criminal can jump over your fence from the neighbour’s equally unprotected yard. That is a waste of time as we know that the robber has an 80% chance of inside information (in this country because of maids & gardeners working with him) - he knows your weak spots and will call your bluff when he strikes. He may even have access to Google Earth to study you. There is a rumour here, it may be true, that criminal syndicates are selling just such information on the open market, how to rob a specific house, what the security measures are, the response time of the police etc. and it is in no way wrong to give the criminal some credit. I am often asked, “What about signs, physical signs left by criminals on which house to attack?” According to legend there is an elaborate code in existence, from an upturned stone to a loose standing Coca Cola tin and God knows what else since no one I spoke to during my research knows. I am sure there may be such common signs at crime scenes but I find the idea behind them a bit bizarre since the robber already has inside information and knows everything via the employees, why then would he want to strike blind because an upturned stone says so? It makes no sense to me, there is no need for such codes because they have the information already, on this I find it highly unlikely but by all means, keep a sharp lookout for gang related signs. It is also known that criminals talk to each other, often. They talk “shop” and trade information, especially in jail. That is why visible security may well make him attack the guy next door, there is a reason for whatever advice I give you. We reduce risk as much as possible.

I remember a townhouse complex with no gate (yeah none) but nice electric fencing around which the managing committee was extraordinary proud of. They took serious offence to my amused comments and only after a few robberies took place, luckily no one died, decided that an access gate with CCTV may be a better way. Access control – yes, you need an intercom system at the gate with a camera to see who it is. The camera must be quite high and protected from the weather and sun (blurs it). We also want scan up and down the street also to see if a suspicious car is parked close by or if there is more than one fellow than the one you see; such are the tricks of trade. We will talk about CCTV in greater detail in following chapters.

Always remember, you are not dealing with nice people here. If you have a weak spot in your defences, such a weak spot will be glaringly obvious to the criminal that is looking for such weak spots with an expert eye. He is not a fair player, he has no such ideas in life, silly as they are to begin with, and will exploit them. I keep on saying that we need to show more respect to his abilities, after all, he is surviving well enough without working, most of us cannot do that. He knows the law and how to play the system which is neutral in his favour, he has many rights under law and make peace with that. I get all this, his legal rights, seriously annoy the common Joe on the street, but I say again, don’t break the law, you will not be appreciated and you will be hammered in the courts. You are the one with something to lose, not him.

Right, once we have the Google picture of the house (it may be a farm, does not matter), we plan the layered defence system, starting with the obvious – a decent security fence. On this I must tell you, there are many places in the world where former South Africans are told up front on arrival not to get such fences as it will spoil the looks of the neighbourhood. Perhaps it is our background in fighting off savage attacks a 150 years ago, with our ox-wagons drawn into a circle, cattle in the middle and shooting nonstop at the attacking Impis (Zulu, a regiment of warriors), but we want ourselves surrounded by physical barriers. One of the most amazing sights to me is to see a neighbourhood without six feet fences, I stare in wonder, so ensure you have whatever town planning permission you need before setting up such a fence. I also noted that most visiting this place stare in wonder at the security measures. You will not find a street in a middle class area without such fences and protection measures. Since we get many types of fences and security walls, let us take a closer look to each before making a decision on what will suit you best. At the end of the day, the first perimeter barrier stays important, it shows how serious you are about security.

It is interesting to me, if you read the advertisements for fences in the First World, they are all about privacy, not hearing your neighbour, and them not spying on you. In the Third World, such things are not even mentioned, here it is only about security, creating a physical barrier to keep the criminal out and nothing else. Now a fence alone is not good enough and neither are all fences equal in protecting you. A good security system adds value to your home far above what you spend. There are four schools of thought here, I give you each so you can decide what you need.

(Copyright aftec.com)

The first one is a stone / brick wall which makes it impossible to see what is happening inside in the garden. That is good for privacy, very bad if you are being abused and no one can see you from the outside. Some experts including the police are violently against such a fence; they say it defeats “natural surveillance” – I don’t agree because the fence itself is but one part of the layered security system, alone standing, yes, but it is never alone. You find such walls, they are damn expensive, mostly at the 1% homes. As I said, we live in an imperfect world.

(Copyright ripperrazorwire.co.za)

Then we have a normal wire fence, six feet high and even here we differentiate on what is called a “security fence” designed to be almost impossible to cut with normal pliers and stopping (up to a point) a rocket propelled grenade. Some will also cut anything coming close to them to pieces. Another type has the usual diamond link you find on farms etc. – they look horrendous and will probably devalue your property and because the normal civilian types can be cut with pliers, easily, they are mission specific. We find such fences around military bases, jails and not recommended for urban areas. They do have one advantage; you see through them easily which is why some love them. For myself, no, I doubt if I want such a monstrosity surrounding my house, most certainly my late wife would not have agreed.

(Copyright aftec.com)

The best solution is probably a combination of the two above where a fence is made with bricks and mortar as well as iron palisades you can see through, and yet be safe on the other side. Like most things in the world, you use what is best and adapt to what is needed.

Then there is a fourth school, they say “no fence” and they say that the police and neighbours ought to look into your property to see something amiss. I think they live in a dream world, to be honest although it does have its points only if everyone complies. As I sit here typing, I can see the high mortar and brick fence outside my place, I have zero desire to see my neighbours sun tanning or whatever and I am sure, they have even less desire to see me. We don’t live in a world anymore where neighbours even speak to each other, sadly so.

At the end of the day, a lot depends on the local laws, and the threat level against you but I can tell you this, the fence by itself is not nearly good enough. It is the first step of many. Most improve it by adding electrical wires on top, yes, to shock anyone trying to climb over. That is standard here, and almost worthless because it is easily overcome by criminals, gives false alarms, and if not careful, will lead to civil suits. There is another problem no security expert ever mentions because he simply does not have the legal knowledge to know about it. Let me show you what we deal with in legal realities – I always use the following example taken from my free eBook book “Tricks of Trade – Memories of a Rogue Lawyer:

“Let us say you have a mine or any other premises in Africa and the fence around it is electrified as it often is. What legal consequences will there be if a child or anyone else for that matter is electrocuted by it? The answer depends on what you did to prevent such an occurrence. As you can imagine the charge should not be deadly and your contractors should have fixed a warning sign on the fence. Being Africa that may not have happened, so look, but even if it did we find often that through the years the sign fades because of age. The African sun is harsh at the best of times. Or it falls off entirely. Or a tree grows in front of it and now the sign is not visible anymore. Or it is in a language not locally understood. All these things could have been rectified but was not and now you are in court facing an uphill battle.”

Yet, most will insist on the electric fence being fitted and they are, many times with substandard cheap Chinese made components and so it becomes such a hassle, many turn the electric current off. I don’t get such thinking, it is silly to trust your security to the cheapest product possible but remember, don’t be taken for a fool either. As I warned and we will discuss in further chapters, the most expensive is not always worth the sales talk. Do the research and do take a good look at the warranty – a company able to guarantee its work, and existing for decades, is so much better than the one-guy setup with his truck. Ask around, Google, and then make a decision.

(Copyright JKLS Africa)

In the picture above, we have side slabs of concrete functioning as a wall or fence. It is the cheap way and take my word, it is useless. The thieves remove the slabs one by one, and get through without any problems or detection since there are no laser beams protecting the slabs. Then note the yellow warning sign, too small, and facing the wrong way to the inside, no one is going to climb out, it is not a jail, it is to prevent intruders from coming in, yet, the sign is facing away from them, a civil suit waiting to happen – all in all, an example of useless security which will never keep you safe.

The other way of stopping criminals climbing over a fence, is to add sharpened spikes on the top. This may be from stainless steel, broken glass pieces or whatever, designed to cut your hands if you try to get over. It is useless, any criminal knows a thick blanket over it will defeat them easily. Frankly, I don’t get why it is even sold to you. What you need to know here is this – follow your local laws or they will make you break your fence down. Decide what your threat level is, I cannot do that for you without being there. If you are out in the rural area, you may be safer than inside a city or not, I don’t know. Then buy the best quality which makes sense. Remember your fence is an asset to increase your property value, and will be standing in the rain and sun (and snow) for years to come. It needs maintenance and you need to inspect it regularly with a critical eye. Specifically look for the warning signs affixed on it (legal suit), look for any broken wires and take a picture of them and enlarge that picture on your computer screen to see why they broke – cut off by pliers – they cannot just break? Faulty workmanship? Be aware of what is happening around you. Then test the wire if you have the electrical option installed, a bird sitting on it will not trigger it (not earthed / grounded) but run the electronic scans, a good product is able to monitor the currency, any drop, and the alarm goes off. Make sure no trees or bushes are close to your fence, the area around it must be kept clear, you want to see everything with one glance. I will leave fences as a subject with an amusing incident taken from my book “Mean Streets – Life in the Apartheid Police” regarding the problems the police encounter when there is a fence between them and the criminals on the other side:

“A few days later we received a call about suspicious movement in the back of a garden. I knew the complainant as a middle-aged school madam type and she would not complain without reason so we went there with all due haste. It was again late at night and we still had no torch batteries as pay day was a week away. At the scene she told us that her husband took the back door key with him on a business trip so we need to climb over their wall to investigate. Since we are young and fit that should not be a problem for us now would it? It was not but I must say that wall, made of bricks, was about eight feet high (which is common in South Africa). Being enterprising and practical men besides young and fit we had a choice in parking the vehicle next to it and by standing on its roof we could scale the wall easily. Or my crew could stand on my shoulders and pull himself over the wall. Which is what we did; him being smaller than me and not wanting to explain the dents on the roof of the police vehicle, it seems like the easiest solution. The fact that we were in a hurry to go off duty and had not time to waste with parking vehicles played naturally no role in our thinking.

  • One former member wrote to ask why we did not crash through the wall with our armoured Casspirs. Thing is, we had no Casspir available or we would have given it serious consideration. The Riot Units frequently did exactly this when and where needed. It is an excellent police tool but we will speak about Casspirs later on.

So over he went leaving me alone and after a few minutes I got bored and by studying the wall properly I decided to have a running start and scale the wall. This is what happened as my “injury on duty” statement later affirmed. As I pulled myself over I noticed movement at the other end of the garden and my crew shouting something. Not realising he had the misfortune of walking into a wheelbarrow being born ungainly for that was the only wheelbarrow in the neighbourhood I thought (not unreasonably if you ask me) he needed help. Ever since he tried to help me in the church swimming pool I felt bound to do the same for him. I jumped off the wall fully expecting to hit the ground after eight feet which is not that much as we fell further distances from the College hangman’s ropes when our hands gave up. That may have been the idea all along and I only realise it now. Smart indeed, I told you those PT instructors were excellent people.

Regrettably, the missing husband decided to build a swimming pool a few weeks before and the deepest end was right underneath me. Thus I fell twenty feet at least. I was a bit surprised in not hitting the ground when I thought I should but what can you do? There was just one way and that was down. As any educated man can tell you; it is not the falling which is dangerous but the sudden halt when you hit the earth. I made a spectacular landing in what was later estimated to be two inches of muddy water. There I collapsed in any way which is the most comfortable and stayed down. By now I was sort of used to falling unexpectedly in water, whether two inches or two feet deep and believing I may be dead and waiting for the white light, I did not use my normal SAP vocabulary. I had to concentrate in finding out if I am still alive and not being a woman I cannot do two things at the same time. Not then and not now either. Hence I kept quiet. That had unforeseen consequences as my silence made my crew think I may indeed be departed and he was concerned since I hit the ground with a distinct “oomph” noise or so he said.

I don’t remember making any noise but might have and then there was silence. Knowing me, he found the silence considerably uncharacteristic if not scary in a way for he was not in the mood for the paperwork which went with a death on duty so he came over to investigate calling my name all the time. As decent as that was, the calling of my name traumatised me much more than the fall for whilst I did not see a bright white light I heard someone calling my name in the darkness. It was a bit odd to me that God spoke Afrikaans instead of Hebrew or that I suddenly could understand Hebrew which I logically contributed to falling on my head or death.

  • A Chaplain told me afterwards God “can speak any language and Afrikaans is quite high on the alphabetic list of Gods’ languages since it starts with an A which is above E for English so it is not to be wondered at.” Yes, Chaplain, where does Arabic come in then? “Be like rokkof constable and f remember to read your Bible now.”

After a while I realised I could move, even if it hurt a lot and but not wishing to answer whoever is calling me since I had reasonable suspicion that it may be Satan there being no bright light yet I waited in silence to make sure. That is how my crew found me by falling on me which caused me to become my old self with a few choice words for the next five minutes about his parentage and clumsy ways and what I will do to him if he does not f remove himself off me as soon as he stops f apologising. Something he did promptly enough.

After what seemed like eternity we found a ladder and I could escape that hole by dragging myself up one step a time. This time I made sure that the hideous .38 Webley was still with us before I climbed out too. Experience is something else and so is survival. It really hurt for my vertebra was injured and it is only pride which made me not cry genuine tears of pain and the firm belief that I would not gain any sympathy anyway. I knew the SAP way by then and I was sure I was four inches shorter than my normal six feet. Nonetheless, the police (district) doctor told me that it is only “my imagination and not to be a f long haired liberal now lad.” I last saw him at the big cough competition in the beginning of the first book. A strange breed these medical men…another one would probably want me to breathe deeply. Anyway.”

It is often amazing to me how what seems to be bad then, is funny now. Perhaps that is also a good thing. Okay, once we have a fence, let us look at what else we can do in physical security. There is a lot and perhaps detection beams are the most Gucci. We don’t mean an alarm system; we will get to that later on. No, these are active beams like an invisible fence, you cross them, and they go off and they stand outside in the garden facing each other – see below for a general example. As expected you have different types. Some experts believe in ones made of fibre optic cables buried below the ground. It picks up tremors as someone jumps over the fence and cannot be sabotaged since it is not accessible or even known about. The fibre optics are good, they work well and are virtually maintenance free.

(Copyright dataexpress.com)

The visible beam posts are also a deterrent which is why we use them and they go a fair distance, a hundred yards or more. Once again they need to be maintained and tested regularly. These beams are programmed not to go off when a dog walks or a bird flies through them. When they spot something looking like a human, the most dangerous animal of them all, you receive a text message to tell you they detected movement. If they themselves go offline, for whatever reason, you are told, by text message (at times they are linked to a security control room and then they will call you – more about this later).

Why this is not an alarm proper but just another layer of defence is because they are outside your house. The beams protect the perimeter and are mostly wireless these days, some have solar panels charging the batteries for backup if the power grid goes down. Some are set up to scan inwards, towards your house, and some are fastened onto your house walls, protecting against anything trying to get in through a window. I say again, they are active, imagine a laser beam in smoke as you see in Hollywood, you break that beam or it goes offline, and the alarm goes off. The question is though, what then? And that we will answer in later chapters, a topic mostly ignored flatly by the sellers of security products and a terribly dangerous subject to ignore. Most people do not know what to do when the alarm goes off.

Okay, then the house itself will have strong burglar proof windows meaning physical bars made of steel preventing a thief from getting it. I don’t see this often at any First World house and the spaces between the bars must be small enough, preventing a child to get in. Typical criminals, many children are abused into entering via the windows, and opening the doors for the adult criminal. I had also seen people get through holes that sure as hell are not larger than their heads, and yet they got through. Or they simply use bolt cutters and get in which is why the burglar bars are inside the house, not outside (if I have anything to do with it). They need to break the glass first to get to them unless the window is already open – you break the glass; the sensors will pick it up. A simple trick but often forgotten by the “security experts.” Therefore, remember, no large holes to be left for them to climb through, anything larger than your fist is too large. Tie the bars down with decent metal self-tapping screws.

And then there is another aspect always forgotten by the “security experts” called fire. All windows must be protected with burglar bars but the problem is fire regulations. How do you get out in a hurry if a fire breaks out inside the house and the door is blocked? It is a difficult one which we overcome by placing motion and sound sensors / detectors on the unprotected window itself, it breaks, the alarm goes off and yet you can kick it out if needs be, to escape a fire.

I dealt with fires in my police career. What I remember most is how extremely hot it gets inside such a house, even when the fire brigade won the battle, it is exceedingly warm inside. Then the smell, it is acrid and the smoke inhalation will kill you, have no doubt. I had also removed burned bodies, still trapped in their beds, one was a former police major, retired, and I will never forget that sight or smell. Security, your safety net, is more than a firearm and an alarm, think out of the box and be prepared for anything.

(Copyright JKLS Africa)

Take a look at the picture above, it is taken from my mom’s house, she is middleclass, not rich, and the security pretty much standard everywhere. See the entrance door, it has a security gate, all doors have that and you will not simply kick it down. This is the reason why I say in many books that no US based SWAT team impresses me much and would die in this place – they don’t get the security measures we take here. You will not simply approach and get your arrest warrant sorted out, you will fight all the way to get in and SWAT should anyhow never be wasted on warrants. When the concept started SWAT were used 54 times a year in the US, now it is more than that every day. Why I would not know because it is a waste of special policing skills. Here we face another type of criminal and conditions unheard of by most. Every door in every house is secured with a specially designed security barrier made of hardened steel. Unless you know how to blow them out, using C4 or Semtex, and I really mean how, you will be standing around waiting for answers. Our criminals are frequently armed with AK47s and other assault rifles, and they will take you on worse than what happened at Waco. I had seen houses looking like forts inside, the SWAT team is channelled into corridors and may well walk into a Claymore, setting off an ambush. Yes, it is a different world but that is good news for you, if you know the worst, then you can prepare better. Such a security door, they come in a variety of colours, makes, and designs, is very valuable and by all means, install it. Do what is necessary to keep the bastards away from you. It is all part of the ring fencing and keep in mind that you don’t want to be trapped in a burning house. In my view the value of good burglar bars cannot be underestimated. The problem, besides fire regulations, are that they look ugly when not used to them. Many don’t want such things close to them, others will make use of shutters or bomb proof curtains, it really is a decision you need to make and it is part of the layered defence system. I found that if the burglar bars are of a good design, and painted properly, they are not going to bother anyone, you get used to them quickly enough – it is better than waking up with an intruder strangling you.

Don’t stop your security awareness at the outside walls of your house. Your yard / garden areas (if any) also deserve attention. In general, don’t leave anything around the yard that might help a burglar get into your house. Ladders, stackable boxes or any garden tools should be put away, preferably in a locked cabinet. Many burglars have used the property owner’s own tools to break into a home. Don’t place outdoor furniture tables nearby the house. These can become an easy stepladder to the roof which is never protected by those advising you. Yeah, the roof, the forgotten part of security defensive system.

We had found that many robbers gain access through the roof. It is not a rumour that they succeed and then your alarm system inside the house means nothing since it will not know about the intrusion. This is where your alarm system consists only of a few motion / heat detectors (the run of the mill rubbish, we will talk about alarm systems in the next chapter). You must have beams inside your attic too and some, they are angry people, has a web of large shark type fishhooks hanging like a hammock waiting for anyone to gain entrance via the roof. Whatever you do, secure the attic and keep in mind, such sensors must be kept clean from dust. A job for you as owner and not the maid or gardener who is not trusted. I say again and will repeat this, I am sure -research showed 80% of robberies have inside help from employees, 8 out 10, think about this.

To discourage potential climbers to the roof / upper floor area, it is recommended to spray grease on any metal drainpipes if they are close to windows. Use Vaseline or clear automotive grease, depending on the colour of the pipe ((or replace the drainpipes with plastic pipes which will break if abused). Yes, criminals do climb up drainpipes. Think about it, most second story windows are left unsecured and make a house easy to gain entry to. The above is perfectly clear and makes sense. You also sleep in that area of the house, the criminal wants to take you hostage, to torture you to reveal the gun safe and other valuables. It is idiotic to leave even one window or skylight unprotected when you don’t need to, it is all about reducing risk, making it harder for the bastard.

But also note, as you will see when we discuss safe rooms, the physical security doors do have negatives also, don’t be blinded by sales talk. We furthermore recommend all inside door keys to be tied to the handles so that they cannot fall out and be lost on the floor during an emergency. Obviously, this is on the inside of the room and the cord must be long enough to be flexible enough to open the door easily. That story you see in Hollywood of a key being turned with a pair of long pliers from the outside is not really true, I tried it many times, did not work and every criminal I spoke to laughed at the idea, they are not spies. The reason here is smoke, or during the haste of an emergency, that you can get that door unlocked without the key being lost as happened before in real life. Also make sure your kids understand your rules on locking doors or not, a problem every parent having toddlers at one stage will sympathise with. We also recommend to oil your locks from time to time so that they work easily, this is basic maintenance in your house.

In the next chapter I wish to discuss “insurance driven security” with you, please keep in mind that you need to consider everything I say in this book to keep yourself safe. No chapter can stand apart, they flow into each other but for clarity I broke the book into chapters. Once you have your Google Earth picture of your house, start designing and incorporating everything I made you aware of, and then only you call the salesmen and see what they advise. Then call another to get a second opinion, whatever you do, don’t fall in the trap of insurance driven security, it will kill you.

“[_ You just can't beat the person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth _]

Chapter 2

Insurance driven security

Well, I am sure Mr Ruth, I am a fan, did not mean the over anxious salesmen trying to sell crap to you. Every now and then we get a “new idea” in my world and I am contacted by an over excited inventor or importer, it is always the same story. They have a GPS device, yes it looks like a mobile phone or whatever, and will alert the company that you are kidnapped, yes, you just press the button. Will I be so kind to recommend it to my clients? No, it is utterly useless in our eyes for it will be taken from you and disposed of the moment you are grabbed and searched. Kidnappers are criminals but they are not necessarily clueless. They also know that a switched off mobile is not really off and they know we follow money trails, that is why a captured ship is released when money is dropped by parachute to the pirates, millions of dollars, tightly packed in floating containers. No electronics are involved, wanted or desired because they are not stupid and get what criminal investigations are about. We must show more respect. Besides that, once you are located, being kidnapped, what then? Such people really need to go through my hostage survival briefing. It is not as simple as in Hollywood, really not. It is highly specialised forensic legal principles.

I am not against sales people but I do expect expert knowledge from them on what they sell and I furthermore expect that they show some honour in telling me the truth on their products. Otherwise I will feel hard done by with good reason and so will you and never trust them again. So let us look at alarm systems and it will be alarming to you reading here, I know because I get such feedback from readers.

Let us start by asking “What is an alarm contract?” That is the first question I looked at as a legally trained professional and remember, I drafted those contracts for the largest security company in the world. All security companies have exactly the same business plan and the same shenanigans, there is nothing unique in it but it works and it is insurance driven, not security driven at all. If I may be cynical, and I am not pointing fingers, but for businessmen it is about money, nothing else. Always remember that.

From a legal viewpoint, you are frequently offered their (extremely) basic alarm system consisting of a few motion / heat detectors for free, on condition that you would then sign up for a monthly monitoring / response fee which binds you for two years or whatever. Does this sound familiar as it should let the alarm bells ring if you will excuse the pun? It is exactly the same type of debt, legally speaking, as a mobile phone contract or buying a car or a new fridge or whatever. What they want, desperately, the alarm companies, is the two years to bind you to them. With that in place they calculate they will get $X in every month, within a month the cheap Chinese made alarm system is fully paid off and they have a steady income, every month, to buy their vehicles from, pay salaries and make a good profit. That is their entire business plan when you cut the MBA crap out of it, ask me, I was at very senior level, I know, and it works. Because they have a monthly prospective income, the banksters will give them overdrafts and loans to finance their expansion. And their main argument for the crap system they sell is that it is needed, for safety and insurance. Fair enough, let us investigate this a bit further. What do you get?

You, on the other hand, are conned into a medium term contract which you will have great difficulty to get out off and you bought outdated rubbish which is ineffective to start with. Yet, unless you read my books and warnings, you feel good as it is installed to protect your family against a very real and serious threat. Yeah, but you know the proof is in the pudding. Your question should be, “does that basic system protect you?” Yes, or no? Is it possible that a basic alarm system and they are as basic as they come, is able to give you the security you wanted and are promised? Nope, I am afraid not, you need more, so much more and what you need cannot be sold, it has to be realised and practised. The alarm, the physical barriers and layered defence system, are one half of the story, but let us take a look at the standard run of the mill alarm systems being given away free of charge (it is not, my word) for your two year’s monthly instalment.

It had a few (on average 4) motion / heat detectors which will pick up any movement within a few yards of them, yes, by infrared scanning and also motion. They will be linked wirelessly or wired, depends, to a central command box where you enter a code to deactivate them. In the old days this worked with a special key, now it is an electronic key pad. The entire system, and it works only inside the house, not the attic, not the perimeter, and not anywhere else like your garden shed or motor garage, is linked to a communication system which will send you a text message if it activates, it will also make a loud noise (the alarm – which everyone ignores – research proved this) and a signal will go to the alarm company’s control room – they will call you by telephone or mobile to see if you need assistance.

It is simply impossible for the alarm company to physically respond to every alarm as many are false, they cannot be everywhere and should not be expected to be either. Therefore, they give you a code word to use when under duress – as example, where the robber presses his pistol against your head when you answer the alarm company’s call which the robber actually expects, he has mates telling him what the procedure is. You are now supposed to say whatever code agreed to, and the security lads will know you are captured. But it happened that the control room operator misses this signal for help, and then you are in big trouble, they don’t respond. We see such civil claims in the courts and note, here you are done in too – your legal claim against them is very much limited in value (they always have such limitations in their one sided contracts).

The other method is to type and enter a “false” code to disable the alarm visually – it will stop going off audibly, but it sends an emergency signal silently in the background. All this is good and well, however, habitually, the alarm is not switched on and you would be surprised how few people understand what their alarm system is capable of or care even. As a result, they never use the functions properly which is entirely the alarm company's fault for not training them after they made the sale. Get yourself educated on this aspect, it is important. We want actual protection, not words or academic nonsense, you will understand the difficulty here quite soon but let me explain what we know of armed robberies where you are endangered, and the reason for your alarm system. It will show you what you are facing right now and I used South African as well as US statistics since 70% of my books are read in the US (by good conservative folk).

There was excellent research for a PhD thesis done here a few years ago by Dr Zinn of the University of South Africa. He took the trouble to interview many of the convicted robbers inside their cells to understand what they do and don’t do and most importantly, what scared them and what not. The report, when it came out, and it is available on the Internet as the “Zinn Report,” shocked many. Let us look at the main points:

p<>{color:#000;}. Eight out of ten residential robberies are committed with the help of information from maids, gardeners and former employees.

p<>{color:#000;}. Robbers will monitor the home for as long as two weeks.

p<>{color:#000;}. Gangs research armed response firms’ response times.

p<>{color:#000;}. Most attacks occur between 7 PM and midnight as people are relaxed, cooking or watching TV.

p<>{color:#000;}. 97% of robbers are armed.

p<>{color:#000;}. On average an armed robbery gang has four members.

p<>{color:#000;}. The average age of a house robber is between 19 and 26 years.

p<>{color:#000;}. An average of 30% of all house robbers has either committed murder, or won't hesitate to commit murder.

p<>{color:#000;}. Of all arrested robbers, 90% had no school leaver's certificate or were unemployed. The 10% who had been employed gave up their jobs when confirming how much they could "earn" from a robbery.

p<>{color:#000;}. Most victims or targets are affluent persons who openly display their wealth, e.g. expensive cars, jewellery, up market homes.

p<>{color:#000;}. It is a complete myth that only white people are victims of robberies – anyone displaying any form of wealth (double story homes, expensive jewellery and fancy cars) is a target.

p<>{color:#000;}. The average robber commits 103 robberies over seven years before being caught.

p<>{color:#000;}. Most attackers’ homes or bases are a 10 to 30-minute drive from the target address.

p<>{color:#000;}. Women are more often tortured or hurt during house robberies.

p<>{color:#000;}. The conviction rate for house robberies in South Africa is only 7.67%. In the USA it is 53%. Murder convictions are 14% in South Africa.

p<>{color:#000;}. Only 17% of house robbers are foreigners.

Okay, this is what Dr Zinn found in his research and the question is, I am asked, and so I quote, what is going on with my late wife’s people? I need to understand so we can determine threat levels and see how to counter it. Now the USA is a big place, and it is difficult to get clear answers, accordingly I stuck to the official 2014 Department of Justice statistics on race and violent crime. You can research it yourself but it is as shocking reading as any I ever saw in my life, the deductions made are explained as follows:

p<>{color:#000;}. During the 2012/2013 period, African Americans committed an average of 560 600 violent crimes against whites.

p<>{color:#000;}. Whites committed 99 403 crimes against African Americans. This means African Americans were the attackers in 84.9% of the violent crimes involving African Americans and whites.

p<>{color:#000;}. African Americans are the attackers 82.5% of the time against Hispanics, while Hispanics are attackers only 17.5% of the time, against African Americans.

p<>{color:#000;}. An African American man is 27 times more likely to attack a white man than of him being attacked by a white.

p<>{color:#000;}. An African American man is 8 times more likely to attack a Hispanic than the other way around. This suggests African Americans may be calculatingly targeting both whites and Hispanics.

p<>{color:#000;}. Whites attack other whites 82.4% of the time, and almost never attack African Americans.

p<>{color:#000;}. Hispanics attack whites more often than they attack any other group, including their own.

p<>{color:#000;}. Black-on-black violence happens only 40.1% of the time.

I don’t know what to say about the above statistics except that they are true, I checked them more than once and most agree with the conclusions made. It seems to me, looking in from the outside, that there is resentment, to put it mildly, against whites in the USA, coming from the African American community. Why, I cannot speculate on, I am not a citizen, I don’t live there and find the statistics entirely sad reading. And what worries me is that the above is not what we see on the news. From what we read on news websites and are exposed to, daily, it seems that the true statistics are turned upside down by the media and I may have an explanation on why. Let me quote from my mate George M James’s Code Name Bella Dawn:

“A few years ago we had a rare confession of the way liberals are changing views. Richard Berke, a long time and respected New York Times correspondent apparently said: “There are times when you look at the front page meeting and literally three quarters of the people deciding what’s on the front page are not so closeted homosexuals.” Mr Berke is gay and so he should know and so it is, his statement was denied, and yet, what are you reading? You are reading mostly liberal crap from newspapers, slanted to suit their views and I include watching television, Internet, books and movies when I say “newspapers.” Some call this phenomenon “a weapon of mass distortion” and if you think about it, what is really left to shock you today? When I was a younger man, quite a lot of things we take for granted today and shrug off would have been shameful. For instance, being gay or lesbian is old news now, no one cares except them who feel the constant need to explain why as if we are interested to know. We see female musicians, not really gifted but influential, semi naked doing convulsions which would have been public indecency in my day, on stage and live television, and without any shame. We don’t even care when the US President lies about sexual relations nor smoking marijuana in his youth, we dismiss it as what? Not serious? Normal behaviour from the turd brigade? Expected nothing better anyway? And yet, they are supposed to be the “leaders of the free world” and give leadership, a serious job. They want our men in uniform to salute them and they want the Secret Service to take a bullet for them? Really?

I ask again, what do we find in newspapers today? We find relentless attacks, verbal, media, legal, and physical on Christians by atheists and liberals. If you believe these people, you should be very ashamed to be born white (as if you had any choice) and Christian or what a man like Mr Eisenhower would have seen as decent, it is a sin! Even taking an oath of loyalty to your country is seen as wrong, why I would not know. Demanding that illegal immigrants leave and go home, is all of a sudden immoral, scandalous and racist! What utter crap, yet, it is happening, ceaselessly. What is the pattern here? Let me surprise you – among the “Christian” nations on this earth, Russia is doing more to combat radical Muslim terror than any other country and they are succeeding and they are feared, unlike the NATO nations. They invaded and sorted out all such countries around them, and were condemned by the Western Press as a joke military wise.

Yet, in 2016 the Pentagon reluctantly admitted, against White House policy I am sure, that the Russian Air Force did more in a few months in Syria than what NATO could achieve in years. This is not about who is the best, really not, we are not gorillas flexing muscles at each other, I am too old for such nonsense, it is about who has the leader with the guts to act and unleash the dogs of war. I have to wonder, who is being worked from behind by bad leadership and who is not and I know the answer, who has to have separate public trains and swimming pools now to protect their women and children against abuse from migrants? Whose women are too scared to walk around even in groups at night and whose cities are rocked by Muslim extremist attacks? Yeah, sadly so.”

I don’t believe anyone, after reading the above, and leaving politics and finger pointing aside, should be satisfied with a “business as usual” security view anymore. The other night a friend said to me that the USA she remembers, she grew up in Michigan and lives in California now, for the last thirty years, is not what she recalls as a child. She may be right and that is as far as I can go. I feel as a citizen you have the right to be critical on your own country, I am not a US citizen and highly unlikely to be one, ever. Yet, my books are read widely in the USA which is why I noted down the FBI statistics.

You now must decide if you wish to take your security seriously, with an integrated solution or if you want the basics to satisfy the insurance companies. I believe, and I speak out of experience both as a security and a legal expert, that the selling of a standard cheap alarm system to you, is a scam but what is the alternative? Practically speaking, you will not get short term insurance on your possessions without an alarm system or whatever else they want. Your insurance company will legally refuse to pay out when they find out your alarm system was either not working or not up to what they required. This is called compliance in law, and one of my legal consultancy’s favourite pastimes. We check compliancy fanatically as it is the new legal buzz word in Africa.

In simple English, if your contract with your insurer says you need XYZ in your alarm system, and you don't have it, the insurance company will not pay you out when needed. Sometimes they make the requirements so ridiculous that you can never be compliant giving them a nice loophole. I saw this in Nigeria where I worked as legal advisor. When your insurer says you will only transport say $10 million in single armoured cash in transit vehicle, and you put $11 million in, they will not pay more than $10 million no matter what. Take my word that you burn your fingers only once like this before you become very compliant and start listening to your legal officers. I suggest you read your insurance contract carefully, do so right now, and then get a reputable company who actually knows what it is doing in security (less than 5% of the total in my experience) to be compliant. Just be aware at this stage the run of the mill system is crap designed to satisfy insurance contracts and will not assist you that much when needed. It is a mobile phone contract in essence, it will not, repeat not save your life, you need to do better, to be smarter and I will show you how. This is not an academic exercise you know; chances are that your system will be tested and it better protect your loved ones, possessions we can replace, human life we cannot. So let me get to what annoys me most.

No such basic alarm system has a smoke detector (with this we also mean a gas detector) inside it, that is extra. I fail to understand how alarm systems can be sold with a panic alarm for fire, but no smoke detector incorporated as standard to warn you. It is plain crazy as smoke inhalation kills a lot more people than armed robberies and especially older people like mom and dad who are taking medicine to sleep etc. You must invest in decent smoke detectors and ensure that your fire extinguishers are accessible and recently serviced. You must train your children and wife to operate as impromptu firefighters to contain the fire (not rocket science, really not). There are such basic fire drill courses you may want to attend as a family and should. The same with basic first aid which is really not that difficult, get yourself trained for emergencies so you are not found wanting in the future. Take the time to ask your doctor what should be in your medical kit as the basic one from the shelves are not good enough, not at our age where we may have diabetes, a heart condition etc. and need special care. Ensure please that you refill both the medical kit and the fire extinguisher whenever something was taken or used. This is basic preparation expected from you and you should have such a medical kit in your vehicles also.

You must know what the smoke detector sounds like when it goes off and who does what then? Always, no exceptions, you get your family to safety first before you even try to control the blaze. Safety means outside the burning house, upwind at a place clearly marked with reflective tape since such incidents almost always start at night (heater, electric blanket, appliances). Someone must call the fire brigade. What is the fire brigades number? I want you to make a list of the fire brigade, ambulance and police numbers and stick it above the telephone and or program it into your mobiles (not all countries where this book is read, have one number for all the above).

You may not believe this but in emergencies people often forget who they are and where they are (they may be guests and would not know the physical location offhand). Write your own address underneath that numbers and also the GPS reference. Then be sure that someone is delegated to open the gate for the fire brigade and keep it open as the fire may destroy the mechanisms (gate motor). I always suggest buying a small strobe for each member of the household to flash at the first responders – they will recognise it as a sign for assistance. You can buy a visible (white light) strobe at any camping store and it is usually made of sturdy plastic with a powerful LED inside. Such flashlights / strobes create a significant flashing strobe when activated which is what we want. Remember to test and replace the batteries now and then.

Buy decent quality smoke hoods for I say again smoke inhalation will kill you and train your family to put it on the moment they hear that smoke alarm going off even if it is mom burning the food. Ensure each has a flashlight close by (tied to that smoke hood, the strobe type) and know how to move out to the designated assembly point. At that point you, being the man of your house, will count them not by a glance but touching each by the shoulder counting aloud and confirming everyone is out. Remember you will not be thinking clearly, these things happen in the middle of the night and the shock effect is great.

Only then are you free to fight the fire if it can be done safely. Once the fire takes hold get out to safety. You will not believe how fast a fire burns and how hot it gets inside such a house; the fumes also will kill you very quickly unless you are protected. Get out and make it your insurance company’s problem, they insured you, now they can pay you. Don’t try to rescue your pet or car or jewellery or whatever. If it isn’t human, then money can replace it, no pet is worth your life and never will be. Get out and keep your family in safety.

My point here is that a standard insurance driven alarm system, or safety measures, are not good enough. This is not about insurance compliance but your life. The day that the pretty young thing that acts as a security expert, and flashes her exposed bosom at me like she has no shame, can answer my questions I will take a kinder look to the run of the mill systems. However, without a police and or intelligence background, I must ask what can she (or he) possibly know to save your family from all the horrible things mentioned above? Even if she did serve, the question is which unit and when as they are also divided into those who know nothing and those who talk sense with street cop experience. This threat against you is absolutely for real and the research showed that alarms and armed response are not, repeat not, a deterrent to criminals. They must be there, yes, but you need to do more and in the next chapter we will look at “Awareness” and the JKLS System which saved so many lives.

I also found, in my legal consultancy, that no security contractor, this is a guy with military or police experience in charge of a site, reads the commercial contract between his security company and the client he is appointed to protect. They simply don’t know their legal risks or liabilities towards you, the client. This comes down to bad senior management. The legal officer should sit down with the lads and explain properly, yet, you never find such basic management anywhere. How can such an attitude of “carry on, old chap” be good for the client? Do you even know that all security companies have, or should have if any good, insurance to cover you, the client if something goes wrong? Yes, you pay for it, it is worked into your monthly instalment. At the Oil & Gas sectors, I saw these contracts in Nigeria (not under Nigerian Law, mostly South African, more trusted for obvious reasons) limit claims against the security company to $10 million per incident. Yet, no one ever tells you about your rights, you have to ask. Note, this is not to say you should not have insurance, it is to say you may have other avenues after suffering a loss. Read your contracts.

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…” George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790

Chapter 3

Awareness & JKLS System

You may have the best alarm system in the world, and the best physical barriers, and yet if you do not have an action (emergency, contingency) plan to implement when trouble arrives, you are lost. I use the word “action” because it indicates a positive action, it is never passive. I found that 95% of you reading here never gave this a thought and never practised your action plan either. If so, let me take you back to your childhood.

Remember when we played sports at school all those years ago? We practised our attacking and defensive moves all the time until it became second nature. That opponent goes left, we have him covered, he goes right, we have him covered. This is based on sound military principles; you are ambushed? Right, we know what will happen and very quickly indeed – get out of the death zone, give suppressing fire, radio a contact report, counter attack immediately, turn the tables on the terrorists and then worry about wounded mates. Call in gunship support, follow up the spoor, kill the bastards. This is drilled in you so many times, you simply react.

I want to talk to you firstly about leadership in your household, it has to do with command. It is a most important factor in a marriage and note when I say marriage I mean any relationship which is serious enough to have long term expectations. In fact, let us agree it is applicable on all relationships between a man and a woman for the unwritten rules are the same. Also note I believe in marriage and most certainly not a “living together” or a “life partner” type of relationship. Not because I am old fashioned but for legal reasons which I explained in my free eBook “The Circle of Life.” You are gambling with your earthly possessions doing such things, she will end up taking half of what you own instead of what was agreed to with the prenuptial agreement.

As background, you would be surprised how many of my female friends are raising this question of leadership in their men. Even though they are all highly educated and all very capable women, many have leadership positions at work, they resent the fact that their man expects them to be the man (leader) in the relationship. They are first and foremost of the improved specie, female, and expect to be protects by their husbands as is their right. If you think about it, that too makes a lot of sense. After all the man is bigger (I should hope) and more capable of defending her as it is his natural right and duty to do so. That is leadership in essence, to take care of your wife and family but it will not happen by itself, this is an active act, not a passive one, you have to stand up and be counted.

Note that I am not a male chauvinist before the long haired liberals complain in writing to the editor (a good mate that agrees with me, so don’t bother). I don’t mean male leadership as a natural right outside the family or household, but inside the household only. I get it that some women are more than capable leaders and have proven it many times… so that is not the point I am making. Nor am I disputing that all are supposedly equal before the law (rich people are more equal, trust me) or God. I like strong willed, successful and educated women since they are cute because they are strong. The “please rescue me type” would probably turn me off but anyway, that is me. Many others will disagree which is also good. What I am saying to you is that the man has to take the role of leadership in his household because he is the man. It is expected from him and ladies take note – robbing him of that position is robbing him of his manhood. You know you are the improved specie and able to multitask and do things no man will ever able to do, there is nothing left to prove. So let him be a man in this role and keep a close watch on proceedings. You should know you are able to get what you both want without the need for unpleasantness like arguments. It is not your role to do this – let it go.

My late wife gave me a book to read with the offhand comment that the General certainly had a few good points. I was a bit surprised for she was all US Navy or nothing and this book was written by a high ranking but retired USAF officer. * [+ Lorenz on Leadership+] Lessons on Effectively Leading People, Teams, and Organizations by General Stephen R. Lorenz USAF, Retired. (I don’t know the man and never met him but he raised my views on the USAF considerably. Up to then I thought of them as pilots that get lost without any known reason, something my American Patriot drilled into me: “Yes, Honey, naval Aviators don’t get lost; them Air Force pilots do and without any known reason. Can they not see the landmarks they fly over?” I once remarked dryly that they may be flying above the clouds or at night but got such an evil eye that I decided they can defend their own honour, I just loved my wife. She was always right and I know from hard experience that the Air Force transport pilots always dropped us miles away from where we wanted to be, they are “inbreeds” as she explained on more than one occasion.)

I learned a lot from General Lorentz and it is a book worth reading but one point he made absolutely stunned me to the core. He stated that saying “No” to anything is not a big deal for then the issue stops right there and then. However, when saying “Yes” it is a completely different ball game, having said “Yes” automatically means commitment and consequences. You gave your word by saying “Yes” and now you are bound to do whatever you agreed to do. It makes so much sense that I am amazed I did not pick it up before.

Now imagine this: When last did you say “no” to your teenagers or anyone else and the matter really stopped there? Never probably because our “yes” and “no” does not mean “yes” and “no” anymore… it means “well, perhaps, or let us talk about it or hear what mom says first.” Yet the Bible teaches us that your “yes” must be “yes” and “no” be “no.” So why not in real life then? There is no need for fancy oaths when the above is applicable to your life. However, we know this is not true in our lives. We constantly have to repeat ourselves and take oaths and generally cause our own troubles by not being straightforward because we fear a disagreement. Such an attitude and outlook leads to even more arguments and angry words between family members. General Lorenz is entirely correct and his advice should be followed by you reading here. I am grateful for him for I would never forget that lesson.

I expect to be the man in my own house, it means I take care of my family, that I protect them and I say the prayers before dinner and so should you. This is also what the liberals have a problem with… they see the natural leadership element of a man as abuse which it is not meant to be. They say that you have no natural right to be the leader, and besides we are created equal, and besides that, your views are old fashioned being based on the Bible, and besides that there is no law to give you any rights over your wife. Well, the answer is yes and no. Up to 1984, in this country, a woman was only in charge of the kitchen according to our legal system which is largely derived from Roman and Dutch Law as well as a major English law influence. Not that I care over much what a liberal has to say, the fact remains that such command is not abuse and never meant to be. It is not me or people like me that explained on Saudi television how to cane your wife when she does not listen, all nicely quoted from the Holy Quran. No, the first rule of love between a man and a woman is that you will never do anything to hurt the other. And secondly, you will do whatever makes the other one happy. My late wife referred to the second rule as “flashing our ring” and she meant: “Would you have done that for me?” If the answer is yes, then you are bound to do what is right. Matter settled and rule number two enabled.

As far as I am concerned, there is a positive duty on a man to protect his family and he better not fail in doing so unless he has very good reason. It is simply not done, and yet historically men did fail. At the end of World War Two when the Soviet Army conquered Berlin, hundreds of thousands of German women were raped and many numerous times. The history here is well documented and wiped under the carpet for many decades. Less well documented is that it took the German men, who were powerless to prevent the mass rapes, a lot longer to make peace with it. Quite understandably so and the same will happen to you if you failed in protecting your family. Hence, you have to take command and stand up and be counted. My entire system is built around the leadership of the husband or mom, if the husband is not around for whatever reason.

It starts long before the alarm goes off. It starts with what we call “Awareness” and described in my book on urban terrorism “Terrorist Takedown” as follows: “If I wake you in the middle of the night, you better be able to tell me, what firearm do you have, how many rounds, what type of rounds, how do you use those rounds most effectively? Also if at any time I ask you how many shots you fired at any given stage, and I will, you better be able to tell me to the last round. This is the type of awareness I want from you and I expect this from you, it is not open for discussion.”

In casu, we mean what is your security arrangements, what did you do before the attack takes place? Tell me about the alarm zones, the voltage in your electric fencing, the training your family had to react. This is Awareness, you need to know your own system, the good and the bad. Let us talk now about Situational Awareness also since it is important, all important and note, it runs with Awareness but is not the same thing at all. Awareness is what your defensive system is, the technical issues surrounding your alarm. Situational Awareness is what is happening around you, a much wider concept and it is an art you can learn, is to see everything at one glance and note that what is out of place, automatically.

How do you learn Situational Awareness? Knowledge and instinct combined with common sense. Take a good look at the picture below. Now imagine your own house, you are approaching after a hard day’s work or you went out with the wife and kids (picture copyright: www.morguefile.com):

Where are your dogs? What do they usually do? If not around, you have a problem, something is wrong here. What about vehicles standing around, to whom do they belong? Check the numbers, out of State? Do they belong in your community – meaning old wreck or heavily tinted drug dealer specials. Classify what you see, scan what you see, look for anything strange, be aware with one glance what is wrong and act immediately.

Okay, what about these policemen standing around? (picture copyright: www.morguefile.com):

You should be able to automatically assess them or anyone else for any threat against you, automatically. We could have used any armed person or persons here; this is not meant as a dig at the police. Why are the wearing riot gear helmets? Do they look fit and capable? What firearms do they have, extra magazines (clips), why the silly sun glasses? What communication devices on them? Uniforms neat or not? Who is in command? Shaven or not (indicates how long on duty, stress levels) and so forth. The point is, always analyse what you are seeing.

Let us look at this crowd of people (picture copyright: www.morguefile.com):

What do you see? Are there women around? Usually that means the crowd is not overtly dangerous. Drunken behaviour from a few? Weapons being carried? What are they protesting? Would their protest endanger you because you are known to be on the opposite side? Or perhaps you have sticker on your bumper, designed to anger them, or you are wearing a t-shirt they will dislike. If so, stay away before you have an incident. Avoid trouble if you can, walk away, analyse what your eyes and ears are telling you.

(Copyright www.morguefile.com)

What we see here are cars travelling on the right hand side of the road. Do you notice anything odd, not really, is a normal traffic day thus far but it may well change. Be aware what is happening around you. For instance, if you stop behind a vehicle at a traffic light, you have to be able to see his rear wheels clearly, that will enable you to move past him in an emergency. Be aware what type of vehicles are around you, are they new or old, is the driver awake or talking on his mobile? What are their technical capabilities? ABS brakes will make them stop quicker than non ABS models.

We use pictures like this and many more to teach you Situational Awareness. It works as a training method and it comes from my police days. You walk into any scene / scenario, and you see everything, analyse everything, and react. With enough practise this will take you less than a mere split second to notice what is wrong, out of place, body language, threats against you. What I want you to do, is imagine whatever is important to you, your house, your car, your movie theatre, local mall, restaurant, your wife even, get the concept in your head, to have Situational Awareness. You will find it is very easy to do after a while and becomes your life. In fact, your entire life should be mapped out like this. Always train yourself to this way of thinking, use memories, snapshots if you wish, to your own advantage.

On body language I wish to make a few comments – not everyone avoiding your eyes are criminals. It is a culture thing too, an African for instance, and Far Eastern races, dislike such staring, it is damn impolite. My experience in business taught me that anyone speaking to me with the Holy Bible under the arm, with his brat (little daddy’s boy) accompanying him, is a crook by nature and desire. I tell my clients, run away or start shooting. It is very seldom the guy unable to look you in the eye. Test after test confirmed the above. Then, twenty years of legal forensic work showed me that it is more or less always your best worker that commits the fraud at the work place, yes, the one that looks you in the eye to try and read what you think. He also never takes any time off because he cannot afford to do so. Especially if he is in finance, for then his misdeeds will be exposed. That story of shifting eyes being an indicator of deceit is Hollywood crap. The touching of the nose or ear is a much better indication of deceit than shifting eyes. Reaction to loaded questions also. Ask any good advocate who will tell you the same. Furthermore, a woman is a natural born lie detector, if your wife feels uncomfortable with some fellow, take her reaction very seriously indeed, she is seldom wrong and she loves you, her warnings are serious. She should also know that she can talk to you at any time about such feelings, really, if she feels fearful to do so, you should hang your head in shame and apologise. You are a bad husband, fear is not love, it is fear, a shameful concept.

  • “Obviously, Koos” said my American Patriot whose sense of awareness was beyond normal as she always knew what is where and never got lost either. “We have to be natural born lie detectors to survive the first attempt (she meant men). Yep, you could not hack it alone in paradise, so lonely that God, in His wisdom, made us, the improved model, yes? And so he equipped us superbly for the job knowing what men get up to. Amen!”

Right, so now we established you have a leadership role which means you take command, we know your “yes” is “yes” and “no” is “no,” you have technical Awareness, you have practised Situational Awareness (note that none of the above or below is ever discussed by your security company to you – once the alarm is sold, they leave you alone). This what follows, is designed to protect you legally from your insurance company, most are shysters and also the criminal. Most of what you read here are preventative by design which means this must be done before you are attacked. Do not waste time for you don’t know the future and I assure you it can happen to you also. Read the checklists given here, it is the JKLS System and it saved many lives. Get it in place according to your needs but remember this is but one part of your safety net, all parts work hand in hand with each other.


What happens many times in real life, is that the first responders arrive at your home and have no idea (I should hope) who you are and how many of you are in your household. You may be unconscious or otherwise unable to inform them which means they now have to waste valuable time before treating you to find out what your medical history would be. This may well cost you your life. They need to know the following:

p<>{color:#000;}. Full names including your alias (the medics will talk to you to get you to respond and they want to use the name you are most likely to respond to). That is why they search you and look in your wallet for any clues, most are not, repeat not, stealing your money.

p<>{color:#000;}. A recent and clear picture of your face and not passport size either – about 3.5 inches.

p<>{color:#000;}. How many people are in the house for someone may be tied up in another room. Or be kidnapped and no one knows it yet.

This does not give the robbers any information he did not know already. Our research found that 80% of all robberies are done with inside help from the maid or other employees so the robbers know the family before they strike. The first responders almost certainly don't know the composition of your family and hence would not know who else to look for. Hence also make sure that your household family tree is in the main bedroom showing who should be in your house.

p<>{color:#000;}. Your medical aid (aka insurance) and its number with the specific benefit group you belong to. Be very clear on this subject.

p<>{color:#000;}. Anything you suffer from like diabetes and treatment you are undergoing. If diabetic, state what is normal for you (it differs from person to person).

p<>{color:#000;}. Blood type – if you don’t know go and find out for it is crucial – any pharmacy (drugstore) is able to do a simple test to find out.

p<>{color:#000;}. Any and all previous medical history of interest but short and sharp and extremely precise please. The whole page must never be more than A4 in length for each family member. I suggest that you ask your doctor to do this and make sure it is typed since his handwriting may be an issue.

p<>{color:#000;}. Your own doctor’s details including after-hours number.

p<>{color:#000;}. Your own mobile and other contact numbers for everyone in your house including wife & kids.

p<>{color:#000;}. Who to contact in emergency (ICE) with full names (not just a name like Jimmy). His mobile number and relationship to you. Note please that this person must agree to this task before you add his name. It is just good manners. Call him before you put his name on and ask permission.

p<>{color:#000;}. Your religion and Reverend’s contact details. Especially important for blood transfusions in certain religions.

p<>{color:#000;}. Any allergic reactions, be very specific.

The question is how to do this? Simply type the above in clear no nonsense font like Times New Roman and print it out for every member of your household. I say again, each person must have his own details as above and it must read easily – this is no place for fancy curls or strange colours – the medics must be able to read it a glance and at a distance. Have the information laminated (protects against blood, heat and moisture) and fasten it in every bedroom against the wall or cupboard where it is clearly visible. That is the details of each child or occupant for that room. Keep the details up to date at all times please and state as such on the record “Up to date as on (whatever date).”

See ADDENDUM I on what such a document looks like.


You really should take pictures of every electronic item and other valuables in your house for insurance purposes even if they compiled the list themselves. You don’t want to argue what was stolen and what not and besides, the police detectives need to know what to look for – the description may lead to the stolen goods being found, and then linked to the crime. It is important. As of today, walk through your house and take the pictures and write this down as follows:

p<>{color:#000;}. Picture of (whatever) in jpg format.

p<>{color:#000;}. Serial number.

p<>{color:#000;}. Model and make.

p<>{color:#000;}. Value when bought at which place on what date.

p<>{color:#000;}. The MEID / IMEI number for every mobile device.

p<>{color:#000;}. Credit / debit card details scanned into a jpg.

p<>{color:#000;}. All jewellery with its valuation certificate, this includes watches.

When you are done with this list call your insurance company and make sure that they are insuring the above at the correct value. Many times items have to be specified in the insurance contract and if not, they will not reimburse you after an incident. This is called “compliance” in law and the insurance company’s biggest loophole in not paying you – they simply say “well you were not compliant to our policy and hence we have no legal obligation to pay you now!” Unfortunately, legally speaking, they are correct. Once you did the above, store the document safely online or at your worst enemy (your bank). Update it regularly and whenever you replace an item on the list.

See ADDENDUM II on what such a document looks like.


All alarms have a button, several of them, spread around the house, which you can press, and the siren will go off, the control room notified. There are two scenarios here. First is what to do when attacked – do you press the panic alarm or not? We advise to do so because the noise may scare the criminals away and it may attract attention meaning assistance from your neighbours. Some say a silent alarm is better for the criminals do not know about it and they can then be cornered but I beg to differ – you want to save lives here – not arrest criminals. They are dangerous and will hurt your family, anything you can do to get them away from you must be done and if that means setting off the alarm, well, do it.

The other problem is what happens if the police or armed response lads walk into a hostage situation because the robbers are still inside the house with you? I am sorry, but I cannot trust them with a situation which needs far higher training (at Special Forces level) to deal with, than what they are generally capable of doing. No matter who says what, unless a really good rescue team is involved, I don’t want to be close. In this regard since it is important for you to understand hostage situations, you cannot read a better book on it than my mate George M James’ Code Name Wrangler. The book is so good that it is studied at many SWAT training institutes and he gave us permission, I asked, to quote a few pages on how Special Forces storm an aircraft – see ADDENDUM III. What I can tell you not to do, below, is taken from my own hostage survival briefing:

What Not to Do?

Do not intervene unless in dire straits… if the kidnapper makes a move to kill you then defend yourself. Stay in your place where you always were – the rescuers know where you are and what you look like. They do not attack unless they know exactly where you are located. * See the Captain Phillips scenario. Do not stay close to a door or window – it will be blown in and may injure you.

Follow any order given by the rescuers. Remember, they will be wearing gasmasks and their orders be muffled. You may also be deaf from the explosions and half blind because of the teargas. They know this and will seize you, and pull you along. Expect to be treated roughly for the rescuers do not know if you are turned by the Stockholm Syndrome and will consider you a threat for the time being. The rescuers will move you out to a secure place which is brightly lit. Do not resist or argue. I assure you they will not take any “nonsense” from you and quite a few former hostages complained of being smacked around by the rescuers. It is almost always their own fault even if in some cases their intentions were good (to fetch their belongings etc.). You must understand, the rescuers will first get you out and secure before they worry about what you left behind. This is no time to make a point. Just go with them.

If there are Israeli or foreign hostages with you follow their lead for it is known that the Israeli rescuers will enter the room shouting in Hebrew for their citizens to stay down. Anyone not understanding the language and staying upright will be shot dead. Hence, if they dive for cover, please do the same. We find that the Russian, French and German rescuers use the same method so our advice is when that explosion starts go down and stay down until the rescuer seizes you but try to keep your face visible and stay where you used to be. Remember they are actively scanning everyone to find you. You do not need to worry about being shot for the rescuers do not miss and they are not aiming at you. You will not be shot on purpose.

Once outside in a safe area identify yourself and indicate any injuries. If you see kidnappers between the other hostages point them out to the rescuers. Do not take revenge on kidnappers for that would be a crime. Leave it for the courts. Thank your rescuers and do not give any press statements at this stage. Get assistance, medical and psychological. Beware of survivors’ guilt and thank your God for your safe return.

Tip: Sometimes the kidnapping is in the form of a hijacked aeroplane or ship and then the nationality of the aeroplane or ship (in other words which flag is it flying). Government gets involved for political reasons in such events. You may then find a rescue attempt by say Egyptian Special Forces because the hijacked plane is from Egypt Air. This is something to think about when traveling by air and your HR & Finance departments must keep in mind (they don’t – to them it is always the cheapest and the bottom-line – a rather silly view for a large company). In the light of the above we recommend any of the major West European, American and El Al flights as we have great trust in their ability to deal with a hostage crisis. It is about reducing the odds against you.”

The best way is never to become a hostage, but if you do, and trained, you should survive. Yes, back to our scenario where you have to decide to press the panic alarm button or not. I also get that you may be shot for pressing the panic button but statistics tell us that if you are captured by these criminals you will in all probability be severely abused, assaulted and your wife and daughters raped. So attack is always the best option as far as I am concerned. The problem is who presses that alarm button? This goes back to leadership.

I consulted with many that were scared to press the alarm because they did not know if they should or feared (when talking with kids) that they would get into trouble for doing so. So to overcome this, sit down with your family and stress that no one will ever be in trouble for pressing that panic alarm. Everyone of your household must understand they have to press it if in any kind of danger or distress.

p<>{color:#000;}. You smell smoke in the house? Press the panic alarm and get out of the house to the pre-arranged place and wait for your parents.

p<>{color:#000;}. The smoke / gas alarm goes off, you press that panic alarm, get into your smoke hood and get out of the house to the pre-arranged place and wait for your parents. See below what such a smoke hood looks like, there are many different types, colours and sizes but they must have reflective tape on them, easy to use and actually work as designed.

We recommend keeping them hanging easily accessible, on the bedroom walls. Remember, smaller kids cannot reach where you reach but keep them no more than 3 foot above the floor (more fresh air down there) and practise putting them on and working whilst on your knees. Once on and working, you have no need to crawl out, you have fresh air as long as the filters are working, you can run flat out to the assembly point.

Note that some models are to be used once only, and that filters need to be checked and replaced regularly. Remember the strobe torch tied to the hood, not in picture.

(Copyright elmridgeprotection.com)

Rather be safe than sorry. It is that simple and now you need to explain where that pre-arranged place is when smoke is detected. Remember what we discussed above on smoke hoods etc.? Now comply, train your family.

p<>{color:#000;}. Add arrows, glowing in the dark – luminescent paint or when a torch is shined on it, on the floor, to show the way out. You will not believe how quickly a house fills with smoke and you can see nothing but darkness, then you crawl, using your flashlight and the arrows.

p<>{color:#000;}. Tell your kids it is okay to break a window and get out like that (show them how, a chair, a baseball bat etc.).

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure that the smaller kids are carried out by someone responsibly, say as an example, the wife takes the daughter, you take your son.

p<>{color:#000;}. You hear strange noises like someone breaking your window or door or shouting at mom and dad. Press the panic alarm and go to the safe room as your dad trained you to do.

The second scenario is what if you do not arrive as planned? And now you start to worry, it is not normal behaviour.

p<>{color:#000;}. Call the missing family member and use the code words to find out if something is wrong (see the use of code words below).

p<>{color:#000;}. Check on the Internet where the vehicle is (passive tracking) and if in an area where it would not and should not be, raise the alarm by contacting the tracking company. You can also see from the speed it is travelling whether that is normal behaviour or not.

p<>{color:#000;}. Call mutual friends to see if the missing one is available.

p<>{color:#000;}. Contact the police if needs be.

p<>{color:#000;}. Get a search party organised.


This goes back further than what is expected. You will read the following in 1 Samuel 20, where Jonathan arranges a code with David: “I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away.”

All Special Forces use code words between themselves and the outside world if captured. There is no reason why you cannot do so also. Another example, my father passed on in 1994 – so my wife knows if I ever would say to her: “Honey, dad sends his regards” I am actually saying “call the police” for we know what I really mean, but the criminal won’t. Henceforward, you need to do the same and I am not going to give you more examples – work it out for yourself and please – do not joke around with this or tell all your mates. The idea is that these codes are secret communications and not to impress your mates. I cannot stand such a man, mommy’s boy, in my presence, grow up.

As a matter of interest, not that it matters anymore, we, my late wife and I, had many other codes besides this one and I asked her permission before using the above as an example in one of my security briefings. It is a matter of respect and you should have the utmost respect for your wife, she is your soul, a gift from God.

You need to understand that everything you do now, and learn in this book, and others, must be applied or they have no use to you. In the next chapter we will look at specific threats and also specifics on security measures. Remember all the chapters must be combined to be effective and your Awareness, Situational Awareness and the JKLS System must support the physical security measures, they run together, always. You cannot do this without having your action plan sorted and practised.

I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is.” Donald Trump

Chapter 4

Specific threats, specific security measures

These are a few things which I picked up during my years as a police officer and also security expert. You need to make life as hard as possible for the criminal and to do so you need to make a few changes, nothing dramatic, but as part of your Awareness. Let us see what I learned on vehicle security in general and how you may improve the odds.


Most of us would not need an armoured car although they are available for much less than what you would pay for a new car, i.e. many older models Mercedes S-Class and BMW 740i sedans come out of the factory fitted with bullet proof windows (up to 9 mm Parabellum). They are not hijacking risks either being older models and mostly unwanted (fuel economy reasons). Yet, there are many things you can do to your standard vehicle to protect yourself, remember to always obey local laws:

p<>{color:#000;}. Install a decent “smash & grab” barrier on all your windows, the so called tinting but remember, this is specialist tinting, not the normal run of the mill stuff.

Unless you experienced the effect of tinted windows (not illegally done) in your vehicle, you cannot understand how potential thieves and hijackers, standing at traffic lights and elsewhere looking like beggars, gaze into your vehicle all the time, scanning for valuables to steal. Experience showed me that they don’t want to get close to a tinted vehicle because they know they are being observed and they cannot break in easily, it takes many blows. So they go for the guy behind you. They are so arrogant, they don’t even run far once they smashed and grabbed your possessions, the emptied wallets etc. are often found within a hundred yards of the crime scene.

The “smash & grab” will not only protect you (not from a bullet although there are recorded cases of that happening too), but also keep your car cooler in summer, breaking the harsh sunrays. Keep in mind that you get clear tints also, but I prefer a legal 30% tinting, it gives me the chance not to be seen too clearly in the car. The negative, because there is now a protective film over the glass, is that the windows will not break when smashed to get out quickly, i.e. where you drove into a river, the usual window breaker will not work. Keep this in mind when driving close to water. I live in a place with very few running water rivers (the water is under the ground), and so that is not a major consideration to me but it may be to you.

p<>{color:#000;}. Keep your windows closed at all times if at all possible.

I really don’t get open windows when you have air conditioning fitted as standard. A car is mostly hijacked at the gate of your home, when you arrive or when you leave. It is easier for the criminal, the engine is already running and the immobilisers and alarms disarmed. Be very aware who is around you, there are always more than one hijacker involved, drive past your gate if you notice strangers and call the police or your security company to meet you at the gate. Keep your doors locked and windows closed and try to get away if possible, use your vehicle as a weapon if needs be.

Go on an attack driving course, meaning how to use the vehicle itself as a weapon. These are not the usual high speed advance driving courses but specialist security ones. They are the same as what is taught to the presidential limousine drivers. You will learn to crash through barricades and make a lot of U-turns and J-turns which is also not so easy these days with electronic stability controls on most cars that tends to prevent this type of thing. Your wife must also have these skills for she is sometimes alone and you need to practise this in your own car afterwards to find out how it will respond. The last aspect most forget and look at me astonished when I say bring your own vehicle, we will teach you and when you have a new vehicle, come again, let us see what changed.

Historically, in 1977 Hanns-Martin Schleyer, a West German businessman was kidnapped by the Baader-Meinhoff terrorist group. All three of his bodyguards were shot dead in the process. Apparently, his car stopped for a woman pushing a pram in front of it and then the ambush was sprung by crashing a vehicle into his car. A well trained security driver today would not have stopped but those were early days. He was killed later by the kidnappers and his body found in the boot of a car (this was after the Mogadishu rescue took place).

p<>{color:#000;}. Fill your tires with air loss prevention sealant so that it will delay a flat wheel and give you a fair chance to drive to a safe place before changing a wheel.

This is not new technology and already used in self-sealing aircraft fuel tanks in the Second World War despite the claims to be new. Most militaries use such sealant. The sealant works well enough and will certainly defeat any spikes, nails and even light calibre gunshots. But, you need to find a reputable dealer to fill your tires for you and then follow the instructions clearly. Many such a system need a few miles to drive before working properly. It is all about reducing the risk. You need to be able to keep your vehicle moving if your survived the initial attack. This means training and mental awareness.

p<>{color:#000;}. If it will not affect your guarantee – add something like “Pro-Long” to your engine so it can drive without oil or water if needs be.

There is the robber’s tactic (first seen in the late 1990s in the Gauteng region of South Africa) to leave large stones in the road. You cannot see them, not in the dark, and so your engine is damaged when you drive over them at speed. Your oil light comes on and you stop a few miles down the road right where they wait in ambush for you as planned. When you get out, or your engine dies and you coast to a stop, they kill you (in one case the wife was raped too). Hence, I want you to ensure your vehicle can drive without oil (and water) and for that you need something like “Pro-Long” which I tested and it worked fine.

I had a Toyota Corolla then, not new, about 70 000 miles on the odometer and the radiator not as good as it was once – so I added “Pro-Long” and a couple of things happened. The engine revved through, easily, and the car needed a service at that stage, I picked this aspect up immediately, it revved through. A couple of days later I got stuck in heavy traffic, ironically, on my way for the service and new radiator, and the car overheated so much that all water boiled out, the temperature needle got stuck in the red and I resigned myself to buy a new engine, this one was about to seize or crack the cylinder head. Nothing happened, the engine kept on working without any damage and although I do not recommend doing such things for fun, I knew then the product actually works. I knew it will give me the time I need to get away from the death zone, a lack of oil or water will not slow me down in an emergency. I furthermore found that the lubricant worked much better on older engines than new cars and I have no idea why. Be assured that I have no business dealings with “Pro-Long” whatsoever, all I know is it worked for me and I added the oil to my fleet of vehicles as standard equipment since then. But please, I say again, this may affect your warranty if you start adding additives willy-nilly. Find out first from your dealer if it is okay to do so and if so, follow the instructions.

p<>{color:#000;}. Install a decent satellite tracking device in your car.

This aspect is not even discussable or based on value as the insurance companies think – when a car is over $X in value, you have to fit the satellite tracking device. This is about safety nets, you want to know where that car is, what it is doing (driving pattern) and the ability to track it yourself. See where we spoke on what to do if a family member does not come home at the expected time.

p<>{color:#000;}. Have your car covered with invisible dots, if stolen, is easy to identity.

p<>{color:#000;}. Program your GPS device to be able to take you home with the press of a single button.

Yeah, some say never do this – the criminal will then come to your house and attack you. He may or may not, but in an emergency, you need to get directions home. I stand by this advice.

p<>{color:#000;}. Keep your doors locked at all times.

Do not drive around with all four doors unlocked for you are inviting trouble. Go to your mechanic and ask if there is anyway or product to program the car to lock its doors when it starts to move or get into the good habit of locking it yourself, manually, the old fashioned way. I cannot tell you how many times I see women (and men) driving with their four doors unlocked, unaware that anyone can jump in the backseat and take them hostage. This is plain carelessness (I wanted to use another word) and is entirely your own fault if then attacked. And once that bastard is behind you, in the backseat, he got you at his mercy, really, lock your doors.

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not stop too close to the vehicle in front of you – you must always have an exit route by being able to see the vehicles tires before you.

p<>{color:#000;}. Always lock your vehicle securely before leaving it and ensure with a visual glance that it is actually locked.

There are many stories on the arming signal being jammed, or intercepted (between your remote key and the vehicle) by thieves and robbers. Even your electric gate, they say, can be interfered with. Yes, I get that, but these days such signals are encrypted and although it may happen, it is much rarer than what Hollywood will make you believe. Nevertheless, check with your eyes to see the doors are securely locked.

p<>{color:#000;}. Always approach a locked vehicle with caution and look at it to see if anything is amiss.

p<>{color:#000;}. Park in well-lit areas and use a car guard when available.

This is part of your Situational Awareness, remember, to see everything at one glance and trusting your wife’s instincts. Even your own, if you feel something is wrong, it is wrong, move away to where it is safe, call the police.

p<>{color:#000;}. If you drive truck types of vehicles, please ensure that no one would be able to jump on the back at a traffic stop. As ugly as it looks this means a canopy or bars on the back. Once the guy is on the load bed, you are at a serious disadvantage. He can easily shoot, strangle or knife you.

The problem here is that most of us buy a big truck to tow a boat, or to look cool, or whatever. Few of us actually need to work with such vehicles as would the farmer etc. and hence you almost never see such precautions in a First World Country. Perhaps it is not a problem there yet, but research shows me such car hijacks are taking place more and more. The only answer is what I suggest, to make it physically impossible, raise the barriers.

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not pick up strangers for whatever reason. Not even if she is young and pretty and smiles at you, her mates are behind the nearest tree waiting to pounce.

I wonder how many men will die in the future because they fell for the oldest trick in the book. In our briefings on living, working and doing business in Africa, I say straight to you… there is just one reason why a young and attractive woman would like you, a middle aged almost obese foreigner. She can only be after your money, your wallet or even your life if not a green card and she desperately wants you to make her pregnant. Don’t fall for such nonsense. You are looking for death and it may well find you.

p<>{color:#000;}. Let your family know when to expect you to come home or wherever you are going to. They must know what to do if you don’t arrive as we discussed in the previous chapter. No exceptions, you have a duty to be on time, only women are allowed to be late.


p<>{color:#000;}. All car keys must be kept in the main bedroom in a designated place. It is no use to keep them in the lounge where the criminal can access it whilst you are in your safe room. Your car will now be stolen without reason and because you are lax.

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not leave the keys inside the car even if hidden. Thieves are not stupid; they know the obvious hiding places. That is what they do for a living.

p<>{color:#000;}. Remember that most insurance companies will ask for the spare keys before they pay your claim – keep the spare keys somewhere safe or explain what happened to them.

I want to share an old case with you, we remember better when we tell stories. We once investigated a fellow that claimed his BMW was stolen and now wanted the insurers (my client) to pay him out. We knew that no BMW worldwide was ever stolen once locked and the anti-theft systems working. Note I am not talking about a hijacking or armed robbery but where the car is standing locked and armed so to speak. They called it the EWS2 system if I remember correctly for this was quite a few years ago. What caught our attention was that the car guard swore no one stole the car, he even remembered the fellow since the man did not give him a tip or had eye contact.

In South Africa, you never leave your car alone. Someone always stands around to look after it for a small donation, sometimes, I had seen this, the guards are armed with shotguns but usually not. A few MBAs told me that the car guards are really good marketers without knowing it, as they sell space which they do not own. That is not quite true, they have to pay a large percentage of their donations to the owners of the parking lot which I suppose is fair enough but harsh – these are really poor people trying to feed their families standing in the sun and rain all day. They are mostly old, pensioner types or very young, at times you find entire families doing such duty. Appallingly, most of them tell me the rich (meaning the executive German car make owners) give the least and the poorer car owners the most. Apparently, the young & attractive mom in her fancy four-wheel drive gives nothing but insults, that too is expected, we see them often in legal offices a few years down the line, her husband traded her for a newer model. Their language is instructive of their nature.

This BMW owner said in his statement: “I went to the Mall with my car and left the car in the parking space. When I came out after doing my shopping, the car was gone.”

This raised immediate red flags to us. Why did he say my car and then twice the car? It is a classic criminal scam called a “hoola hoop” where you cannot afford the monthly payments and sell the car to criminals who arrange for it to be “stolen.” Then you wait a while in a public place to give them time to escape before letting the police and insurance company know about the theft. The car itself is driven off, and sold outside South Africa or chopped into pieces for spare parts. This is in no way unique to this country, I assure you, it happens everywhere. There is a roaring trade with American vehicles to West Africa (they drive on the same wrong side, for us, right hand side of the road). And you only find Toyota there, almost nothing else and most of them from my late wife’s State of Florida.

The above wording, my car and the car, translated to me that he knew that his car will not be there after he parked it. In his mind he already gave up ownership when he left it. He knew it will be gone by the time he is back and hence “the car.” The same thing happens in murder. We know if the victim’s face is covered with a blanket or whatever, or the eyes are cut out, that she knew the murderer. It is all part of the tricks of the trade. This fellow could not give us all 4 keys he got when BMW sold the car to him, his insurance claim was dismissed.

He wished to argue via his scumbag lawyer, we got hold of his bank accounts, clean, his wife’s? Nah, the money was paid into that account the day before the crime took place. I wish people will get that we understand how such transactions are done, it was too easy. The biggest problem now was to get the insurance company not to walk away but press charges. Normally, at this stage, the parties part ways and he is free to do so again and he will – and you, the honest Joe, will pay a higher premium because of him. The insurance company will not take the loss, you, the honest client will.


I know from my police days that it is very easy to find a street but the specific number in that street? No, not at all and many minutes are wasted seeking for it. Remember not all police forces or response teams are equipped with GPS. In Africa most certainly not and so you need to get your stand / street number sorted out. You also never know when the GPS goes offline, it happens, don’t be complacent. Those few minutes may well be your death or saving grace.

p<>{color:#000;}. Obtain the largest number your county allows – 4 feet in diameter would be nice for a start.

p<>{color:#000;}. Paint or fix this on your property where it can be seen easily from the street.

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure there are no plants or other bushes or trees close to it – remember some plants are seasonal, what is visible in winter may not be in summer and that number better be visible at all times.

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure the number is not on your gate which may be open and hence the number not easily seen in that position (the gate moves behind the wall, or is standing sideways to the street).

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure the number glows in the dark – use fluorescent paint if needs be or manufacture it from reflective tape if allowed.

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not break local laws, get permission in terms of size and looks.


Security is layered, it includes legal stuff which no “security expert” ever mentions when he sells his alarm system to you. Let me explain, since we know that 8/10 employees are involved with the robbery this aspect means criminal and other background checks must be done on them by people who are qualified to do so. Remember a police clearance (criminal record) means only he was not found guilty of a crime, it does not mean there were no arrests and besides it can be forged. Never take paperwork for granted and always confirm it or get people to do so. I wish to quote something for you from my book “The Egg Breakers – Counter Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa:”

“On industrial espionage the available statistics tell us that Germany loses up to $87 billion dollars per year. That is roughly 30 000 job losses. Since the USA has an economy five times bigger than Germany, the maths show us American losses at a staggering $435 billion and about 150 000 jobs every year which is terrible in any language. A quick calculation shows me that 410 Americans are losing their jobs every day because industrial espionage is not taken seriously enough by the bosses (2012 statistics). A major part of my speciality, forensic law, is counter commercial espionage where we try to prevent commercial secrets from being stolen. Our approach is to conduct a thorough security overview to see what is in place and more importantly, if the existing security precautions are followed as they should be, to be effective. As a general rule, we find that even the best known companies fail to have even basic precautions in place. And even if in place, they fail to implement it which is the biggest nightmare for any security officer at that level. They would do things such as using the same passwords for everything and the old 1234 number as their passwords. If not that then it is their birthday which is even worse and easy to figure out. Luckily most network experts now force changes once a week but strangely enough none of the network engineers were ever vetted for security purposes.

I cannot help but shake my head, you put all your electronic information in a man’s hands that you know nothing about, and even worse, do not check on now and then to see if his lifestyle corresponds with his income. Nor do you check independently on what he copies from your hard drives. As with all things in life it is difficult to persuade them to be more careful until they lose money and contracts and employees at senior level are fired because of it. Then all is well for a week or two until the bad habits start again. They also have no clauses relating to commercial espionage in their contracts from a legal viewpoint for it is something which the mainstream professionals never heard about outside the realms of a Saturday afternoon movie. I could go on and on but as interesting as this is it is a subject for another day.

I am most certainly not convinced that industrial espionage is not terror related. Just look at history, it is well known that in the Cold War a large part of the Soviet Union’s spying was to obtain civilian industrial knowledge they needed for their military industry. So why not here also I ask? I came to the conclusion that the so called “Al Qaeda Training Manual” was written with Syrian security officers assistance. So my question is, who trained the Syrians in the Cold War? The Soviets. And who specialised in stealing industrial secrets? Pupils tend to follow their teachers; it is entirely logical but ignored.”

What we want is good employee contracts in place. This is especially important when firing a thief, and note that not all countries have advanced labour laws, I assume you do but get expert advice. A good contract can save your butt as they will run to the nearest lawyer or Union for assistance and if your compliance issues are wrong it is like the Biblical house built on sand. It is going to cost you serious money. Same with the way someone is fired – the law is very specific here on how to do so, and no matter how angry you are, you must involve your own lawyers. Divorce proceedings are the first negotiation in contracts – even when you get married I ask what happens at divorce.

Absolutely we always want to see a compulsory lie detector test built into every employee contract. Although it is not evidence in a court of law, it remains a strong indicator which is used as an investigation tool. We distrust everyone including the victim’s children when investigating any incident. Of course, he can refuse, no problem, he has that right, but for us that indicates guilt no matter what stands in the law books. To be honest, I have serious doubts about the way Human Rights are abused in the favour of the criminals and it is dealt with in almost all of my books. The logical consequence of such abuse is lynch law and we see it happening where the public are losing faith in the courts and police. The answer, legally, is that we appoint no one who is not willing to sign a contract with an obligatory lie detector clause in it.

You need to sharpen up and change your security systems when someone is fired as it is only human nature to take revenge. Why do you think the big corporates fire someone and escort him minus his corporate laptop out of the building immediately afterwards? And change his access codes, and get rid of him in record time? Because they want to prevent a scene? Yes, but more so because they learned the hard way how a disgruntled ex-employee can screw up their computer systems, or send bitter emails and twitter messages to their entire client base causing enormous damage to their reputation. He has nothing to lose and mostly not enough money to sue. And so, he will hurt you. Integrate what I tell you into your safety net.


Well, you know how much I pointed out that the basic alarm system will not protect you from criminals, is not good enough and is only about the 2-year monthly response fee. The question is now, what else. What should you know about a decent alarm system? In the first place, make sure you know how your system works and what it can do. As an example, how to switch it on and off (as silly as that sounds, many don’t know because the husband normally did so, he never trained his wife). Or how the different alarm zones are programmed and test it from time to time to see if it and the alarm company works as promised.

My own research indicated that most attacks, in this place anyway, are on a Thursday and Friday night which is not to say it cannot happen on other times. The robbers want to party on weekends and need the money from you to do so, they are into the drug infested lifestyle. However, they can strike at any time and may also wait for you in the shadows when you get home from work or the shops. The reason for this timing is to find you at home with the alarms switched off because you are walking around inside the house, rushing from the kitchen to the living room etc. In fact, there is no reason why the alarm on the perimeters should ever be off once you are in the house. Lock yourself down and to do that, you need to get what to program the alarm system. Right, so what do we wish to see in your alarm system, besides the physical barriers and your Awareness Training?

p<>{color:#000;}. It must be linked to a reputable alarm company. No fly by nights – go for the biggest company you can find; they can be sued.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must have an armed response service (in South Africa anyway).

p<>{color:#000;}. It must cover all perimeters as an early warning system. This means laser beams and or fibre optic cables underground and or motion sensors outside.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must cover all entrance points including doors and windows with motion detectors.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must have a warning light – a decent size strobe or beacon – at your gate so that you can see it (as well as the response teams) if the alarm was activated. It must be able to flash for hours afterwards or until turned off.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must have smoke and gas detectors as standard.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must have CCTV as standard (in South Africa anyway).

Of all the systems the one most feared by robbers are cameras as that will sink them in court. There are however a few things to consider. First make sure that the cameras have backups on what they record. The backups must never be on the premises as the robbers will remove it. They are not stupid and learned the tricks the hard way. They may even read this book and other like it.

These days most CCTV systems are able to store the data via the Internet on your cloud server. If not, then please upgrade to such a system as it is crucial and you will have the ability to see what is happening in your house from whatever you connect to the Internet with. Please note I don’t advise you to abuse this to spy on the wife or whatever, only perverts do such things. Comprehend that CCTVs with online view functions can be hacked, and you thus being observed by strangers. Ensure proper online security for it at all times. Needless to say, the codes to access such systems must be a very closely guarded secret and not easily guessed. We find quite often that men tend to show off to their mates in the pub, demonstrating the system to their mates. This not only breaks the sacred trust relationship with his wife but even more stupidly, he betrays his security secrets to everyone close by including the invisible ones (waiter and cleaners). Then he cries to me when the robbers overpower him and he simply cannot understand why the system failed. Be assured this happened because of your own stupidity. Don’t do such things. Please.

Also make sure that the visible camera is backed up by one which is not visible. For example, use much smaller and hidden cameras on a separate system from the visible ones. With today’s technology all cameras should be infrared capable and work on motion detection (they record when something moves). Many experts advise black and white cameras, they being better than colour in some light conditions, I say have both and ensure they are maintained, high enough to be protected and sheltered from the elements. To prevent against surprise attacks outside your front door and other entrance points, you need to see what is around them – keep this in mind when installing a security camera. Someone knocks and looks quite innocent, but against the wall where you cannot see them, is another waiting to pounce on you. We overcome this with a camera behind them, scanning the door from the outside inwards.

Technically, some cameras are combined with motion sensors and in fact indistinguishable from a motion sensor, yet it has a tiny camera and microphone inside. These are used inside the house. I cannot even begin to tell you how angry my clients get when they see what the maid does after they leave for work. Every single story you heard is true and I saw it all. Yes, she searches your cupboards for that tax money you are hiding and do so with her boyfriend that arrives seconds after you disappear. Yes, Madame, she is wearing your clothes and entertaining her friends and even on your marriage bed, bouncing around in rare style. Yes, she watches television and drink from your wine, then fills it with water if lucky. (In Africa, where we use chefs at our houses, they and the rest of the servants eat the same food, the reasons are obvious.)

I saw this and much more and when confronted she always lies and keep on lying until she (and her hideous labour law lawyer) see the video footage. Then they demand to see where their “abused client” signed her right to privacy away in the employment contract, you know, the one in which you forgot to stipulate this specific clause. Or they claim it is false / fake evidence or whatever other crap they can think of. Everything comes back to legal compliance and your house which cannot be built on sand. Your contracts must be good and regularly updated before the incident takes place. I cannot help you afterwards.

I had clients say to me: “But Koos, such a clause will warn her there are cameras.” Yes, indeed it will but so what? Do you think she cannot see them with her own eyes? Maids and gardeners are not stupid.

Then there is sound recording with microphones hidden inside the motion detector. Now I do understand the invasion of privacy which comes with such systems. I get that certain things needs not to be shown to the world and certain things stay inside the bedroom. I hate it, there is no other word, when a man brags about doing his wife and have no desire to hear such accounts – regretfully, this actually happens – see in GMJ’s Code Name Wrangler:

“Somehow, when we are in an aircraft, I am the skivvy loading the baggage and making coffee. I was not that surprised when she started roaring orders from the bridge the moment I appeared on deck to drop the mooring lines, front and aft. It does not really matter that a vessel is not an aircraft, whoever was on the bridge, had command and she was on the bridge. I noted the radar dome was already rotating, the navigation beacons flashing brightly and she talking on the short range FM radio with the harbour master to get permission to leave. Luckily they got her English and waved her off. Within seconds she had the bow thrusters churning us away from the quay side and we sailed out, destiny not unknown but the future uncertain up to a point. I joined her in the gleaming bridge wiping the sweat of my face, it was November and November is summer down south. It was warm and humid (it get worse in February).

“Okay, plot a course to this GPS reference for us (she rattled off the coordinates as I entered it into the GPS system). When will we arrive? And you owe me an apology! Yes, I am waiting for you to do the honourable thing.” She was standing at the wheel, wearing her matt green Ray-Ban sunglasses.

“I am sorry. You don’t have to cook if you don’t want to. Fernandes can easily cook for 50 plus men and one tiny girl. He has massive amounts of garlic available, vegetables also, the wanker. Eight hours and twenty-nine minutes if at constant cruising speed.” I answered studying the big GPS monitor, we paid good money for the system, incorporating the radar images also.

“Damn right, but I am talking about your pornographic movie.” She retorted.

I looked up startled. Like most men I have seen such movies but could never be described as a fan. The sight of a stark-naked woman, not my wife, making animalistic sounds on cue from the director, is rather disgusting. Especially if she is as young as my daughters and you remember that even she has a father and a mother who had high hopes for her once. Africans are conservative people in upbringing.

“What pornographic movie? I don’t watch such things and don’t have such things in my possession. There are none aboard and if there are they will join Mohammed Essop on the bottom of the ocean.”

“The one you wanted to make of us. Yes, with Geelslang as photographer. Say you are sorry before I TWEP you! You are not Robert Hanssen you know and my name is not Bonnie.”

I stared in confusion and then clicked, she was talking of us going to Madagascar as a honeymoon couple and Geelslang’s cover as a photographer. Fernandes was correct, she was in one of her moods. The idea of Geelslang willing to take such pictures of people he knew and respected was absurd. Of course, we had recorded “honey traps” before but that is business, it meant nothing to us and Geelslang, like most black people, was very old-school in outlook. Bob Hanssen, a former FBI fellow caught spying for the Soviets and later Russia, did indeed make such movies of his wife (without her consent or even knowledge I must add) and spread it on the internet. His best mate would also watch on a closed circuit television link. That shows a lack of respect which is hard to believe. He will die in jail but the damage he did was terrible; you have to wonder how many others there are. The Virginians are too stupid to realise that they are penetrated by terrorist movements.

“You must be joking? Making love to your soul and wife, a gift from God Himself, is never pornographic, it is natural and a great thing too, to be enjoyed by both parties as is written in the Holy Bible. Like hell I will allow Geelslang or any other bastard to take pictures of us, of you or me! What are you talking about?” I looked at her as her face broke into a smirk.”

Gents, please, my system is not intended to do such things as did Robert Hanssen to his wife of two decades and more. But others may well be more pig headed, so the backups must be encrypted and kept safe somewhere. The reason for sound, and remember, the device is off when you are inside the room (or it will give a false alarm, the rest of the house may be switched on, or only the microphone on) is to record any conversations between the robbers.

This is to identify where the robbers come from, many times they speak a language which is a dead giveaway. What we are doing here, with our layered systems, is to close loopholes, we are reducing the odds. What else do we want from the alarm system?

p<>{color:#000;}. It must be easy to program and understand by normal people, we are not all computer geeks.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must be able to tell you where the intrusion is taking place. Do not investigate outside your house as you will be killed. Press the panic alarm when in need but do not leave the safety zone no matter what.


It is a fact that most victims or targets are affluent persons that openly display their wealth, e.g. expensive cars, jewellery, upmarket homes. This is no reason to be attacked by criminals though. Why must you hide your success and blessings? Nevertheless, I spoke to criminals that told me in no uncertain terms that they felt terrible resentment towards such prosperity and the casual display thereof. They felt their noses were being rubbed into it. One said to me he murdered the victim because he was blessed and gave them “a look.” Whether we like this or not, it means you need to be very careful what you drive and what jewellery you wear if only to reduce the odds against you. After all, robbery is exactly this, to take by violence means what is not yours, unlawfully so.


This book is not, oddly enough, about firefights between you and the intruder. I would suggest, read my book “Terrorist Takedown ” where we deal in great detail in how to take an armed terrorist down and ending an attack. The same principles are applicable here against a criminal to protect your family in your house. It comes down to not breaking the law, using the “double tap” shooting method I mention in every book, and to move constantly to give the robber less of a target. Like a parachute jump, you need to sit down and imagine what will happen, and work through the motions. Most, 90% of gunfights and obviously knife fights, are extremely close range, less than seven yards away and at such a close distance you need a heavy bullet, hollow point or soft lead, to kill and maim instantly. But, as I said, this is not the correct book, get “ Terrorist Takedown” in this regard and follow what I advise there.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

Chapter 5

Rural versus urban security

Everything you do in an urban security environment and what we discussed up to now, can be transplanted to a rural environment. Yet, I am sad to say, you need more, the threat is different and although there is no insurgency threat at 99% of the places where this book is read, I thought I should look at rural or farm security. You know, if we save one life with this book and the JKLS System, it was worth the effort in writing it. It annoys me though that none of this advice will be useful unless the book is widely read, please tell your friends about it. Police Departments and Farmer Unions are all entitled to free electronic versions, they just need to ask, but do not abuse my generosity. Note though that not one of my books will ever be available on iBook Stores. A company unwilling to obey a court order to help the FBI in a terrorist case, is not one I will support. It is not even open for discussion, since then all my books were withdrawn from iBook Stores and they are not going back either. Yet, they can be read in ePub format, I meant the ban on being sold, no money will change hands, none, Apple will not get a single penny. As always though, I say to you that if you wish to read my books and cannot afford them, contact me and I will help you out within reason. My books are meant to educate my readers and I want them read.

There are many that see the current wave of farm attacks in South Africa as genocide where white owned land is taken over – stolen is a better word – by black “freedom fighters” to farm within communities as is the traditional African way. This is said to follow the same path as what happened and is happening in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) just north of South Africa. In that country the white farmers and legal owners are simply chased off with much violence and the farm occupied illegally whilst the Zimbabwe Police cheers the rioters on by doing nothing to keep law and order. Not even the courts care and as you can imagine this type of thing can only happen in a despotic banana republic, it is pathetic from any viewpoint. However, this is not, repeat not, what is happening in South Africa. Here the farmers are just murdered by criminals, without crowds of “freedom fighters” involvement and the attackers are mostly their own resentful workers (not foreigners), I am sad to say. Nor will the South African Police Service, perceived to be useless but they are not really, cheer the rioters on – they are known to kill rioters in urban areas when needed (meaning sometimes the police have no choice and I feel for them).

On the other hand, the facts are also that almost 6000 white farmers were murdered since 1994 when Mr Mandela became the new president. There are many websites to read more if you wish and are interested in the subject. In my own research I found no political motive and the investigating police detectives did not find one either and it really should not be a political discussion to start with. It is purely crime in my view, there are none of the classic signs of an insurgency as we saw in Kenya during the Uhuru Insurrection, no armed gangs of terrorists moving around and attacking farms with AK47s or planting landmines. Hence, in my view, there is no political motive and the issue socially based. This does not make it right though and we can learn a lot from this. My sources, I do not wish to reveal their names, they are closely involved in farm murder investigations, tell me that they find extreme laxness most of the time. When someone is killed, murdered, attacked, the farmers are very much aware for a month or two. After that it is back to business as usual, they get negligent and then the next attack takes place. Of course, I am speaking in general now, individuals may well be as aware as always. They also flatly refuse to spend much money on security, it is not their lifestyle and in truth, the South African rural area was always peaceful in relation to the cities. All this are very human traits; we can learn from this. As I said, be always aware what is happening. Practically, you do the same as you did in the city, start with Google Earth and plot your defensive barriers, work out your action plan and the JKLS System and practise it. And then you need to implement the following.


All farms have dogs and the best defence according to the criminals is a small dog inside the house, this is in cities also. It is proven, by speaking to the robbers that they fear a small dog inside the house, together with CCTV relaying the recordings to cloud servers, the most. The rest, the alarms, the armed guards, etc. they feel they can deal with. When your dog makes the alarm, do not dismiss it or punish the dog if false. I know about training police dogs to standards unheard of before, it is all about positive reinforcement. You have to understand your dog.

p<>{color:#000;}. There is a huge difference between a warning growl / bark and a normal playful bark. Learn the difference by observing your animal and trust its instincts. If a dog does not like a person, there is good reason, the beast is not unlike your wife in this regard (my late wife had quite a few comments on this view which I will not share with you).

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not go out to investigate but stay indoors and press the panic alarm.

p<>{color:#000;}. Put the flood lights on and wait to see what happens.

p<>{color:#000;}. Use night vision if you have it but stay under cover.

p<>{color:#000;}. Use your camera / CCTV system if you have them to monitor what is happening outside. Many times it is about getting you outside the house, when outside, you are shot dead or taken hostage.


We know that most attacks are not from strangers, it is almost always your own employees that attack you. So we need to understand who is on your farm and to do that we need complete profiles on everyone there. I worked in a rural area once where the favourite excuse was “I work for Mr Whoever” at the next farm and unless you have a database you cannot check it quickly enough. You just don’t know who this fellow is or what he is doing there. Remember not to break the local laws, this is not meant to impede freedom of movement.

p<>{color:#000;}. Establish a secure database who is allowed on your property – this means a picture and short background linked with family members and where they live, if they live on the farm.

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not appoint anyone without a legal contract which must include a background check and also permission for a polygraph to be done after an incident. This is to clear suspects more than anything else since it is not evidence in court. Remember what I said about employee contracts? Implement it and never employ illegals, they are not part of the system and only trouble when caught. Note, I am not saying they are automatically more dangerous than locals, I am saying it is wrong in law to employ them.

p<>{color:#000;}. Take good care of your workers and protect them against outside influences. Many of the maids who help the criminals do so under duress. Remember they are an excellent source of information and you need to understand their behaviour. There were many instances during the Kenyan Uhuru Insurrection where the workers showed strange symptoms or behaviour just before an attack. Quite a few were shot dead by their employers the moment they made their move to attack with pangas (a long knife like machete).

In the political times we live in these days, it is frowned on when you say the farmer, as landowner and man, is supposed to take a leadership role towards his employees also. In Africa, for many decades, hundreds of years, this was done with great success. The farmer was supposed to be wise, to advise his workers as a father will do to his children in a loving way. Of course, this came to be seen as “baasskap” which is a derogatory way to describe the above in Afrikaans. It means the white man will always be the boss because he is white. I don’t want to politicise this, but I do feel that leaders, whether in business and all farms are businesses, or in a sport team or in the military, whatever, must take responsibility for his employees and be there for them in a fatherly way. I do not mean an abusive feudal system and I noted in my police days, and that Police Force was closer to the US Marines in training, outlook and size than any Sheriff’s Department, that certain commissioned officers were trusted enough to fulfil such a role. It comes with being a commanding officer and the same is expected here, know your employees and what they are up to so you can spot trouble. To do that your own life needs to be sorted, nothing annoys people more than a two faced hypocrite, we see enough of them in politics and Hollywood. Be fair, be consistent and be a good man.


Phone lines are always cut during an attack, it is sort of standard procedure and mobiles may not have the greatest reception on a farm. There are many radio systems able to give secure communication and all farms should have such backup devices including automatic repeater systems. But, and this is the major problem, you and your family need to know how the radios work, need to use the correct radio procedures and have someone to call for assistance. It goes back to being prepared which includes backup power. It is no use to call Mars (Military Auxiliary Radio System) and no one answers, or the one that answers has no clue what to do next. Really, this must be sorted long before you are attacked and practised all the time. Such radio systems, by the way, is in no way unique to the USA, they are to be found all over Africa and the rest of the world but took off here during the Rhodesian Bush War for obvious reasons.

A farm is a not a small yard in the urban areas, your chances of being attacked across the hill away from sight, is so much better. You overcome this by being Situational Aware at all times and noticing whatever is out of place. We recommend having a two-way radio in your vehicle, to communicate with the house or if the equipment is good enough, with your next door neighbours. The normal mobile phone should be with you at all times. And be charged, I have to wonder how many told me that their mobiles died on them when needed most. There are times when such a failure will not be an inconvenience, it will be death to you. During your planning phases you need to get to an understanding or arrangement with your neighbours that you will help each other. This includes that everyone gets:

p<>{color:#000;}. The distress codes (under duress) which translates to assistance needed.

p<>{color:#000;}. The radio codes and backup comms in the safe rooms if any.

p<>{color:#000;}. Implement a reporting system where you need to make contact with your house, and if not, or with the wrong code, what happens then.

p<>{color:#000;}. Installing an emergency button on your body or vehicle, you press it, and the pre-arranged plan of action takes place.

What usually happens is this – the emergency call comes in, via whatever way, it does not matter, it can be a telephone call, radio alert or panic button alert. You always, subject to what your local police advise, do the following:

p<>{color:#000;}. Spread the word that an attack took place or is ongoing at the specified farm.

Note, a designated person must act as the command centre operator (dispatch, if you wish) – it is not good enough to say in general “OMG, Jim is being attacked!” No, you need to put out such a general broadcast in a professional standard, get acknowledgement of who is responding, and keep a running commentary going without saying too much as the air waves must be kept clear. Whoever responds and arrives at the scene must let the command centre know he is at the scene and signing off. This is to prevent green on green incidents and is crucially important. Then he has to report back on what he found and what is needed, ambulance, police, tracker dogs, air wing.

p<>{color:#000;}. The command centre calls the police, and whoever else is needed and do so before the first responders even arrive, you have to get the police involved at all times. Know what they would want to know – who what where when.

p<>{color:#000;}. Write down times, an incident log, this may be important to improve or sue someone later.

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure, if a crime has taken place, that you follow the last chapter in this book, crime scene protection. Everyone part of your response group, all the farmers around you, must have this knowledge. I am at times asked to address farmers on these issues but keep in mind, unless you are vigilant, all this is utterly useless.


For the police, responding to a farm attack, is not as easy as to an urban street incident, really not. I speak out of experience, you may encounter mud and sand and need an off-road vehicle. Many policemen have no idea when to use the diff-locks or not and not all are natural off-road drivers. And I found that most policemen are untrained in this aspect even if they have four-wheel drives available, which most don’t and where they do, the vehicles are soft roaders, useless in the extreme. They do not have ground clearance, they do not have the right tires, they do not have dedicated recovery points, they do not have low range or proper diff-locks, the do not have recovery ropes, and they do not have the ability to wade through water. I cannot change these facts, I take for granted a farmer knows about ARB lockers and getting through mud and sand. Since the police may not, you may want to offer to train them on your farm – yes, reach out. Also, you may want to sponsor them with such vehicles, whatever, expect delays of them getting to you, which means, you and mates are standing alone here. You may well die because of that. In this regard, since a few readers asked me, I included in ADDENDUM V, a passage I took from George M James’s Code Name Green 41 in how to cross a river with a four-wheel drive vehicle. I suppose it can be part of a safety net, such knowledge. It is common to us in Africa.

We want the farm’s GPS coordinates available next to the radio calling the police. I saw, and this works, that command centres have a map against the wall, on it is the farms plotted for the district, with names (farms have names) and GPS grids on them – ten figure – for easy reference. Many ambulances and response teams are equipped with GPS as are all aircraft, they need the locations to get there safely. But I want you as individual farmer, to even go further. On each farm, we plot everything. For instance, the gates, water tanks, different fields or wherever we think an attack may occur. We then give each such place a code name linked to that GPS reference – so the message can be cryptic (just an example): “Jim, attacked (time and date), by two (description, male, age, dress, race, height) suspects, armed (or not, and with what if armed), code (where the attack took place), assistance required.”

Some security experts go as far as expecting immediate roadblocks by the farmers, I have a problem with that. You are not a policeman and the law is very clear on who can hold a roadblock and who cannot. If you shoot or stop the wrong man, all sorts of legal problems will follow. See my blog on fake cops and note the laws may be different to where you are.

The idea of this book is to save life, to get to Jim and help him, not to act as a lynch mob. I warn you, listen to me, never take the law in your own hands, we often see prisoners beaten to a pulp, or shot dead, and even if they were guilty, you will now be charged with whatever happened to them. This is how the law works in a civilised country, you arrest them, you hold them, and hand them over to the authorities, I am not interested in hearing the other side of the argument, it will not stand in court.

p<>{color:#000;}. Get your exact GPS location and print it on the emergency numbers to contact. Not only at your house, but have such a list in your vehicle also.

p<>{color:#000;}. Remember that your farm may be known by another name as the registered one – use what is well known.

p<>{color:#000;}. Obtain the largest number / name of farm- 4 feet in diameter would be nice for a start and paint or fix this on your properties where it can be seen easily from the road and the air - in which case as big as possible, 50 feet and more. Even paint it on your roof or shed's roof to be seen from the air.

p<>{color:#000;}. Ensure a helicopter landing zone close to the house inside the outer perimeter fences – no trees or power lines must be close by. You need a wind sock also and the normal “H” painted on the landing zone expected by helicopter pilots.

p<>{color:#000;}. For night landings, ensure a working strobe or beacon light right on the “H” – such strobes can be seen miles away from the air.

A strobe is a wonderful device in my eyes, you get many types from military, white light and also infrared. They are indispensable in security. Make sure they are legal in your area, and if so, get a white one which you need to keep in your vehicle. It can be used to guide helicopters and aircraft in. They are reasonably cheap, get the most powerful one available, they are also excellent defensive and offensive weapons – see our next chapter on safe rooms.

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure there are no plants or other bushes or trees close to your gates, fences. People can hide there; we don’t want that.

p<>{color:#000;}. On the helicopter landing zone, no loose stones please, the blades will blow those stones into your face with tremendous force.

p<>{color:#000;}. You always approach a tank and a helicopter from the front or at a front angle and only when the driver or pilot waves at you to come closer. The crew chief may also do so. There is no need, on level ground, to bend down, the rotor blades are high above you, but do so anyway and ensure your hat is securely in a pocket, it will blow away.

p<>{color:#000;}. Do not blind the pilots with your strobes, if they want them turned off, then do so immediately.

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure the name of your farm / number is not on your gate which may be open and hence the number not easily seen in that position, behind a wall.

p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure your numbers and names glow in the dark – use fluorescent paint if needs be or manufacture it from reflective tape if allowed by your county.


There are many farmers that stash large amounts of cash in the house, it may be that they came back from the market and the banks were closed. It may be that they pay their employees in cash. Get away from such actions, always pay electronically, if the man is legally there, he should have a bank account. When you have cash lying around, you are begging to be attacked and you will be. We have seen this so many times, the robber has inside information, always, we know this. The only way out of this is electronic banking.

It also goes without saying that I am not a fan of cheating on tax money, really, I have seen grown men cry once the wheels start turning. Pay what you owe, it is expected that you do so by God Himself. If they, the politicians, then wastes it on whatever they do, Third World Aid and what have you, it is their concern, remember their shenanigans next time you vote. Some also say your business must be run in the red all the time. It saves you on taxes in the short term, just keep in mind, one day when you try to sell that business or farm, it may not look on paper as profitable as you want it to look to get your price. What then? Will you show the secret bookkeeping to a stranger, the buyer? You must be insane. Once again, it is a home goal besides the problems you may have from Uncle Sam in the long run. My late wife, it must be said, had an entirely different approach, finding the above crazy talk. “Honey, we only pay Uncle Sam what we owe him and not what he wants! It is the American way, Koos.” Mind, she always paid and when she needed Uncle Sam, she was betrayed.

During the Rhodesian Bush War, farm attacks were common enough and always started with the telephone lines being cut. Then a standoff shooting took place, the terrorist would empty on average two AK47 magazines at the house, fire a couple of RPG-7s and run. During the Kenyan Uhuru Insurrection, fifteen years previously, it was different. The fights were much closer, many times using handheld machetes. The problem for me is not such standoff fights, the problem is when they approach closer and breach the perimeter, up to then I don’t consider them to be dangerous. They always planted landmines on all access roads, so the Security Forces either flew in and dropped by parachute or by helicopter, then the sappers would look for the landmines. Once such an attack took place, the Security Forces would track and chase the gang down, hopefully killing them.

The Rhodesian farmers used layered defence measures, outside fences, inside fences, guard dogs trained to kill, geese by the dozen, they are said to have better ears than a dog and they surrounded their houses with thick sandbags. Every house had a “mortar room” by which we mean a bunker where the family could hide. They had the usual radio communications already described. Some had early versions of landmine proof vehicles. Later most had fully armoured vehicles against the AK47. They were always armed and almost every man had some kind of training in either the police (the best in the COIN role in Africa) or the army proper. At some places a curfew was introduced and enforced, many innocents did die, regrettably, when they walked into Security Force ambushes. We never had such difficulties, on the same scale with insurgency attacks inside South Africa on farmers. There were a few landmine incidents etc. but not a genuine insurgency like the Rhodesian model, it was a different type of war.

In today’s environment we will recommend modern Hesco walls around the house, better technology for protecting the perimeters, a drone flying and observing everything with live down links. Better vehicles which are fully landmine protected and quite a bit more I can think about. I am reasonably convinced that a counter insurgency can succeed if the enemy is isolated and don’t have safe havens – see my book “The Egg Breakers – Counter Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa.” If you are interested, I was asked about COIN or counter insurgency by many readers, read ADDENDUM IV, I took a chapter out of my book “Mean Streets – Life in the Apartheid Police (Book 2) The Mean Streets” and attached it, the part dealing with COIN. It is not in the scope of this book, as I said, you are not facing an insurgency at this stage. We praise our Lord for that small mercy, COIN is nasty.

Already a couple of the faithful have sent in checks for a foundation memorial to the innocents who perished at the hands of the ninja at Waco … I have been criticized by referring to our federal masked men as ‘ninja’ … Let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.” Jeff Cooper

Chapter 6

Safe rooms

A safe room, also called a panic room, a description I don’t like, can be of great value to your family when in danger. There are three types which I saw in practise and they don’t need to be expensive. Let us take a look at them and then you may decide what you want and act appropriately.

The first one is quite common where a physical barrier (fancy word for a gate) is placed between the bedrooms and the rest of the house. The alarm is then switched on for the rest of the house whilst you stay inside the rooms. This is the standard safety measure taken in this country and a good one. However, this is much more a safe area than a room and I have a problem with it, it is not as safe as you may think.

Let me explain what the “security experts” selling the concept to you forgot to tell you and to prove my point I called four “good” security companies in to advise me, playing the dumb legal advisor, on what to do. Not one of them explained the negatives, ergo, they either don’t know or don’t care, take your pick.

I feel that such an area is wide open for attack and gives a false sense of security. Firstly, the robber can shoot you as the barrier gate is of an open design full of holes to look pretty. Yes, you can see through it which is good but it does not protect you from incoming bullets which is a huge no-no. Secondly, I don’t believe it will stop a determined attack that long (the weak points are where it is fastened in the walls) despite the advertisements which are unrealistic Hollywood crap in the real world. Such gates can be broken down, make no mistake, I saw them broken. Thirdly, it offers no protection against a robber climbing through the roof or the ceiling (if not solid concrete) and then over it. Think about this scenario because it is only the plaster ceiling between you and the robber and the plaster ceiling will not stop a six-year-old kid. Hence we are not the least impressed with it. It can be overcome easily enough by direct threat to open it, direct attack on it, or via the roof. It is not good enough, insurance driven security, once again.

Then you get the Hollywood version of the safe room – the genuinely expensive houses that have a bunker type safe room where the family may gather when attacked. It is purposely built and if you can afford it then please do so. Many houses are designed with such rooms in mind and it is incorporated from the beginning. They may be quite big and are protected against poison attacks etc. as well as a nuclear bomb if the impact is a mile or so away. Who can afford it I ask? Almost no one and such additions are not cheap, they are horrifically expensive and it must be said, unnecessary in our scenario. By the way, I spoke to many foreign military officers that assured me that the one below the Whitehouse will never withstand what they intend shooting at it. That is the problem with such things, if it is not secret, the bomb landing on it will just be increased until it does what is needed. You cannot and should never discuss your safe room options outside your immediate family, I cannot stress this enough.

Lastly, we find the home-made safe room which is adapted and secured against intrusion. This is the one I wish to talk about as it is simply a room with reinforced walls and doors and a roof. The basic idea is for the family to move into it and lock themselves in, so it must be accessible and also innocent looking to the maid, our known spy for the robbers. The entrance door looks like any other door but is seriously reinforced and bullet proof. Behind the innocent cupboards (always locked and called “Medicine Cabinet” is a small television screen which monitors the CCTV cameras and especially what is happening behind the door for you will not just walk out once in lockdown. There are also communication devices for just such an emergency and what we advise are two cheap mobile phones, loaded with airtime from different networks. What else must be inside it?

p<>{color:#000;}. Panic alarm button.

A good idea I heard about is that some home owners keep an extra panic alarm button (they work like a remote for a gate) in a water proof bag inside the showers. Many times when attacked the tactic used is to separate the victims from each other where some may keep some in a room and the other taken away to open the safe or draw money at the nearest ATM. Many times they are locked into the bathroom where there are no visible communication devices and small windows so you are unable to escape. In this case, the panic alarm button is available as it should be, more than one, in the kitchen, living area, and main bedroom – the standard alarm systems may have 2 such buttons at the very most, not good enough.

p<>{color:#000;}. Cups to drink water and a few biscuits if you are a diabetic.

p<>{color:#000;}. Your physical address and GPS reference for people forget such things when in a state of shock or may be visitors who would not know the address offhand. This is on a piece of laminated paper behind the mobiles.

p<>{color:#000;}. Emergency lights meaning the battery powered flashlights which charges from the mains.

p<>{color:#000;}. Trauma emergency kits including whatever medicine you use.

Note it is not that expensive to convert a room and will increase your house value by 10% according to some experts. The access door must be bulletproof even though it looks normal. Such doors have excellent high grade locks which will not easily break. Remember to leave the keys on the inside of it. The idea of all this is to keep safe until rescuers arrives and not to withstand a long siege. Since they are quite heavy, we recommend leaving them open when not used.

So how do you build a safe room? Well, take a good look around your sleeping area – most attacks are at night and choose a room with very small easily protected windows. Mostly, we find that the en suite bathroom in the main bedroom is perfect. What you do is to get an armoured door fitted, they come in different colours, some look like wood. They are heavy and need special installation, usually the manufacturer does the installation and are rated from protecting against an AK47 to handheld firearms. Of course, the higher protection, the more expensive, yet, it is a once off buy which will give many years of service. Remember to always oil the locks and test them as well as the hinges. Secondly, reinforce the walls, it is easy, another row of bricks or some add steel sides, bolted into the existing structure but keep it hidden from plain view (maid). There is no real chance of the robber standing around and breaking the wall down with a hammer, or the door, he will mostly, run away when the alarm goes off (activated from inside the safe room). Do the same with the ceiling, if not concrete, ad either steel plates or concrete slabs over it, bolted down. Once again, it is not supposed to keep you safe from a bomb or explosive charge. Criminals are not terrorists, different ballgame.

I am asked, must the door have a bullet proof glass window? No, it will tell the entire world what the room is. That door must look like any other expensive wooden door.

Right, so we have a room now with protected reinforced walls, reinforced ceiling, armoured entrance / access door, equipped with communication devices and also the medical kit. I am also asked, will you run out of air inside? No, it is not airtight, if that aspect bothers you, ensure some gasmasks for each person, to protect you against gas and teargas. Note, it is up to you reading here to get your family into that hideout, they need to be trained, alarm goes off, you get in and when everyone inside, lock it. And you do not tell everyone it even exists or it will defeat its purpose. One of the questions I am always asked is: “Koos, what happens if we are in the safe room and the robbers threatens to kill the maid or another member of the family if we don’t come out?”

I cannot really answer that one on your behalf, except to say my feeling is to refuse to come out. Assistance is on its way and whatever they do to the captive will not last long and they usually will try to escape. Your own family’s survival is more important than anyone else to put it bluntly and I will certainly not care who dies as long as mine are protected. I will order my wife (she said dryly I meant to say “ask her politely”) to stay inside the safe room no matter what the robbers do on the other side. Remember that these are truly desperate barbarians despite what their liberal lawyers think of them (abused as kids – not enough if you ask me). Yes, my advice is to stay put, such is life. You only come out when sure the police have secured the area and you can see so, on your cameras.

I have another trick here. Special Forces use a strobe for years now to disorientate hostage takers, the flashbang grenade we used in my day is now seen by some as the second choice and truth to be told, such a strobe disorientates you most dreadfully. They are hellish effective and I doubt if on the open market but on the same concept I feel such lights can protect you. My suggestion is that once inside your safe room, since most attacks are at night, cut the lights outside the door (the main bedroom in our scenario) and switch on the most effective white strobe light in front of the safe room door – that will keep them away from trying a blow torch or even shooting at it (not that it matters, it is armoured). Remember it must have a battery backup system. No, it will not betray your safe room as very few people know what it looks like or what it does. Please don’t try to play the fool with it and show it off to mates. If someone asks, you can always say it is a heater or perhaps a disco light for you and the missus if you are my age. Can it be shot out, yes, it can, but I assure you, not so easy when the alarm is screeching and it disorientating your aim. As with all we do, it is about reducing risk. Since you inside the safe room cannot see it, except on your screens, it will not affect you.

I know that in America as well as Europe, there is an alarm system designed to generate very dense fog during an intruder alert, it also has a rather ridiculous voice blaring “intruder alert” out at the same time. I am not won over by it as I want the robbers away from you, not stumbling around in the smoke and getting upset with life. I would rather frighten them off but some experts disagree. From what I understand by speaking to them, they mean it to be a system designed for housebreaking (with housebreaking you are not at home) rather than house robbery where the bastards are inside the house with you. It all depends on what your needs are. A farm type safe room for instance, needs more protection, the reason being that it will take longer for help to arrive, yet, the same principles are applied.

A farm has also a lot more places to be protected, we think of the barns, the vehicles and the animal pens. What we do is to link such places with CCTV capable of telling the farmer from a safe distance what is taking place. We also place pressure switch alarms on the doors and at times, where expensive breeding stock are involved, laser beams around the barn. Yet, you still need to get there when something happens and that is fraught with danger. We do not advise you to get out of the safety zone and into harm’s way, but if you have to, at night, switch all lights off, and use your night vision to great effect. If possible, use a buddy (your wife, oldest son, if older than 12) as extra cover, and move tactically, scanning around. Get out of your house by a side door, not the main entrance which is often monitored. Some, if elderly, switch the floodlights on and shoot at the intruders from inside the house, whatever is legal, and works for you. Just keep in mind, when you shoot, you may hit valuable livestock. We don’t want that.

Others build themselves a high tower, accessible only from the house. You have a problem with such a tower when in an insurrection. They may very well shoot you with an RPG and that will go through most civilian structures. It is an entirely different ballgame and one I am afraid the local police will not be able to handle. It takes training they simply don’t have. We have seen what happened in Rhodesia and if you wish to know what worked in combatting the terrorist in a rural area, read my book “The Egg Breakers – Counter Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa.” This is not the place.

I knew quite well, when I gave the names of our agents in the Soviet Union, that I was exposing them to the full machinery of counterespionage and the law, and then prosecution and capital punishment.” Aldrich Ames

Chapter 7

Crime scene & Media

Let us say that despite all our efforts, you are overcome and you survived the robbery or crime committed, and I do not wish this on you and even where you successfully defended yourself, you have to realise that your house is now a crime scene. Call the police and armed response and close the door and leave everything as is. There may be fingerprints or other physical forensic evidence which must not be disturbed.

p<>{color:#000;}. If a rape took place, do not wash your body or your clothes – there is valuable evidence to trace the culprits with. You will be subjected to a medical exam for this, and your clothing, bedsheets confiscated as evidence.

p<>{color:#000;}. If you have video (CCTV) with online storage – download it and give a copy to the police. Since evidence gets “lost” in the system we always suggest keeping the originals, make backups and keep them safe at another location. Keep this away from YouTube.

p<>{color:#000;}. Remember cell phones and laptops etc. can be traced online – here it is always better to approach private security firms to recover them than the police but you have to tell the police what were stolen.

p<>{color:#000;}. The same with bankcards and vehicles, it can be traced, we advise at times, depending, to keep them live, not to cancel immediately. It is not possible these days to draw money without being recorded.

I regret talking about these things but we need the forensic evidence afterwards and it is all about evidence handling. A contaminated crime scene is the best possible defence for a desperate trial lawyer and they look for such things, many say that OJ Simpson got off because of it. The best advice to you is to close the door and leave it to the police.

If you feel the need to engage a private detective, remember the first rule of forensic law, such an investigation must be done through your lawyer’s office, to guarantee legal privilege on what they find. You will not believe me, but I talk out of two decades of experience, you simply don’t know what the private detectives will uncover – it may even be your drug addict child that arranged the attack. We see that often and automatically place the spouse and kids with the employees on our number one suspect list. Also ensure that the private detective is registered and actually able to do the job, they are most certainly not all equal. If you then do not wish to continue, against your own child, you can stop the investigation, the evidence uncovered is privileged and cannot be used by the police.

Okay, let me explain that the function of a prosecutor (DA as they are known in the US) is not, repeat not, to get a conviction at any cost. Anyone saying otherwise should redo his subjects on legal ethics. His job is to bring the State’s case, that is what the detectives found, to the court in a way and manner prescribed by the law (the rules on evidence) and so it is. If your detectives fail you by contaminating the crime scene, or the witnesses are caught lying as they often are – the oath means nothing to some – you may well never see justice happening. There are lawyers out there which will say to you that you have 70/30 odds to win, or 90/10 or whatever. Listen to me, they are talking crap and it is to be wondered how they passed law school and the bar exam. Your chances in court is 50/50, you either win, or you lose, it is seldom that something else happens. In countries where lawyers are allowed to work on contingency, as the US, you will find a ridiculous amount of frivolous suing going on. In other countries, where you pay for the costs if you lose, we think twice. Yet, it is important to assist the prosecutor in his job, he is only as good as the evidence, it is that simple. So you need to preserve the crime scene. Remember if shots were fired and someone hurt or killed, your firearm will be confiscated for ballistic evidence.

We know in a place like South Africa an average of 30% of all house robbers have either committed murder, or won't hesitate to commit murder. They are truly dangerous and desperate people and have nothing to lose which is also why we find many die during shootouts with the police. They simply will not surrender to spend the rest of their lives in jail (which in Africa is no picnic or holiday as some idiots seem to think). This may well be true on your side, where you face a career criminal, don’t let bad evidence handling turn him loose to hurt someone else.

We found that a lack of education plays a major role in making a robber - of all arrested robbers, 90% had no school leaver's certificate or were unemployed. The remaining 10% who had been employed gave up their jobs when they realised how much they could “earn” from a robbery. The robber would commit 103 robberies over a seven-year period before being caught. This does not reflect well on the police and criminal justice system. It means that it is a good career choice and I also read somewhere these men do not care about life that much meaning they rob to party. It is about lifestyle. We had also seen that the conviction rate for house robberies in South Africa is only 7.67%. In the USA it is 53%. This is shockingly bad and yet close to 8 times better.

I wish to quote for you from the urban terrorism book, “Terrorist Takedown” relating to the media after you had taken down a terrorist:

“Here, I guarantee you, the CCTV videos will be checked by everyone to see what happened, you better not be lying. Hence I say to you, read me clearly please. No unlawful executions afterwards, you don’t want the mark of Cain on you and if you did a proper job, the bastard will be dead anyway, but do not become a murderer because of what I write and advise. I am telling you, don’t do such things, if the bastard wishes to surrender and surrenders, you accept that and wait for the police. Take command, secure the bastard by tying him down and evacuate the survivors, help the wounded, leave the bodies where they are, safeguard all weapons found and leave them where you found them or at least mark the spot and call your lawyer.

Above all, never speak to the media or the press, they are your worst enemy and will twist your words in ways you cannot comprehend unless it happened to you – they don’t mind printing lies if it sells and they don’t care if those lies cost you your home. Really, you have nothing to say, no comment, speak to my lawyer, now piss off! Cover your face as the terrorist will have mates watching to see who did his mate in and come for you and your family, yes, it happens. They are working in cells.”

I say again, never speak to the media, no matter what they promise. You learn that lesson the hard way. You have only seven words for them: “No comment, speak to my lawyer please.” Anything else is too much information.

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785

Chapter 8


I am contacted by many readers, we share the same ideas, mostly, or they would not bother and above all, we share our faith in the Christian God. There are many odd, inexplicable interventions which take place in a time of danger. Things which no atheist can explain to my satisfaction. To prove my point, I will take a couple of examples from a little known book, “God in Zimbabwe / Rhodesia” published by the good Reverend EC Wesson of “The Lundi Park Baptist Church,” Gwelo, Zimbabwe Rhodesia (at the time):

“A farmer’s wife in South Western District went to hang up her washing. Was aware of an evil presence so prayed earnestly. Some day or two later was faced with security forces who had captured terrs (terrorists), who told them that they had been waiting in-the bush outside the farm house to shoot the woman. They could not shoot for, as she walked out of the house, giant soldiers in white walked in front of her and when she returned to the farmhouse, these soldiers covered her withdrawal.”

“A man, sleeping by himself on a farm, was praying before going to bed. He got up from his knees to feel impressed to get down once again and pray some more. Not knowing what this meant, he simply obeyed the inner voice. The next day, a group of terrorists were captured and admitted to wanting to attack the farm house, but they could not, for it was surrounded by soldiers dressed in white.”

“Basically what happened on the 21st October, 1978 was this… We had just finished lunch when I asked Allan, aged 8, and Sylvia, aged 6, to move the two horses into some shade. The horses were tied to the inside fence of our two security fences.

Allan and Sylvia went out the gate of the first fence and along the fence to where the horses were. They had just untied the horses and began to walk them to the shade when 12 terrs (terrorists) opened fire on them. The terrs had come up from behind our sheds and the closest was 25-30 metres from Allan and Sylvia. The furthest was no more than 50-55 metres from them.

Allan ran down the fence, some 20-25 metres, through the gate and up to the house. The gate to the house is about 30-35 m. (Allan and Sylvia were both under fire the whole time they were running. The attack switched to the house later.) Sylvia initially ran to a tree between the two fences. She could not have been behind the tree for quite literally a few seconds, when she realised Allan had gone. She then left her shelter and ran to the house. Her distances were the same as Allan’s.

After the attack we went out and collected 193 spent cartridge cases. The tree where Sylvia had been had 21 bullet hits. The inside fence had numerous hits in the line where the children had run. The ground across which they had run was completely open without any form of cover except for the one tree which was not in the line of fire. In the meantime, we in the house returned the fire, and managed, with God’s help, to beat off the attack. We do not know if we managed to hit any of the terrs or not. Not one of us, however, had even a scratch except for Sylvia who had two marks, which we assume, were from the sand being thrown up by bullets as she ran.”

“I had a very bad scene on the 20th of March, 1979. We came under very heavy fire of over 60 C.T.‘s (communist-terrorists, Rhodesian Army slang). I had a section of 6 men and we were just by ourselves in that area. We were ambushed and taken by surprise. We automatically reacted and advanced for about 75 metres. We were stopped by very effective fire. We fired all our rounds to the last half mag. Fortunately, one jet fighter from Gwelo, which was on battle practice, rolled about twice above us and the C.T.‘s thought that the Fireforce had arrived. They all ran away, each man in his own direction. We then again advanced. We went through the contact area in a sweep and we only picked up one stick grenade. This contact reminds me of Psalm 22 verse 1-31. Surely God helped us on this date. We all should have been captured or killed but the Lord showed me His powers and protected me from my enemies. Oh the Lord is my helper — what shall men do unto me? The Lord answered my prayer and delivered me from my enemies.”

This was written by an African Rhodesian Army sergeant that loves the Lord and since many would now wonder what exactly was said in the quoted Psalm, let me put it down here:

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?

2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.

4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.

5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults shaking their heads

8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.

10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths widely against me.

14 I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint.

My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.

15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.

17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.

You are my strength come quickly to help me.

20 Deliver me from the sword
my precious life from the power of the dogs

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you

23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honour him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help!

I have no doubt that at times we are saved by grace, not by our own efforts. For myself, I had seen men killed next to me, I had a uniform hat shot off my head and I stared out of an armoured window, only to see it starring as the bullets, aimed right at me, bounced off it. I also stood with my head bowed at many police funerals where the criminal or terrorist got lucky. Why do some survive and others don’t? I don’t know, but I will stand by the leadership position a man has in his house. You do what needs to be done and be counted as a man. You need to reduce the risks and get the odds on your side and that starts right now, long before the attack takes place.

I am often asked, should we fight back? Should we not surrender to the criminals and let them take what they want? After all, you have insurance and it is only earthly goods. It is often advised by other security experts, keep calm, avoid eye contact, survive. You know what, when I know from research there is a great chance of being tortured to death, see my wife and soul raped in front of me, my answer is shoot to kill. I may die, but I will not arrive at our Lord a coward, I will go down fighting all the way. What you do, is your decision.

I leave you with a Rhodesian Woman’s Prayer, taken from the same book we started this chapter with:

“God give me courage not to weep when I say farewell yet again. It does not get any easier, though I had thought I would get accustomed to it. Give me your peace, Lord, which is not of this world. Give me a calm and gentle spirit, and a determination to carry on my daily life as normally as possible without my loved one. In this way, I can support him and be a strength to him and the country.”

This book is available online and in print

About the Author:

Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in hostage survival training and reducing legal risk in Sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, and counter terrorism issues. At times, he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters. Koos is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The picture is of him and his late “American Patriot.”

[Connect with the Author online
**]Email Koos at: [email protected]
Website: www.jklsafrica.com

ADDENDUM I – Personal Details Form


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ADDENDUM II – Goods Tracing Form


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IMEI number for every mobile device: _________________________________


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  • All bankcard details – not secret pin.


How Special Forces storm an aircraft – Code Name Wrangler

Usually, six men would form up next to each entrance point, the side doors or emergency doors on the wings which open outwards (official reason, not to clog up the emergency exit point, real reason, to get inside easily). The men in the teams are numbered – One to Six and have a colour, Alpha One, Bravo One, etc. and very specific jobs although anyone can replace the other at any time. Some have preferences but it depends on the platoon commander who would wisely leave them to sort themselves out. Most members were already experienced when they arrived, there was no such thing as joining Special Forces without prior service and there should not be, in my view. Two men, called Five and Six would cover the door and the windows above them. You can see them standing parallel with the aircraft, weapons aimed upwards and waiting. If a bastard pokes his head out (can happen with trains and other buildings, even with aircraft, the cockpit side windows open) he is shot between the eyes and then all hell will break loose. You are fully committed, you cannot now withdraw, you have to go in even if the weapon is silenced, the remaining terrorists will know their mate got to paradise before them. Another man, number Three, will remove the door with his mate, number Four helping him (detonating the explosives if used and planted by Three, otherwise he covers Three and carries the assault ladder). The door opening can be done by way of explosives, you have readymade charges with you. You fasten them (many ways to do that, stick them is a better word) onto the locks, and bend down as your mate (Four) blows them.

You can often see the lads, even the two covering the door (Five and Six), opening their mouths (shockwave), covering their ears with both hands and at the same time closing their eyes. At that point you should do the same, the C-4 is about to blow that door to kingdom come and back. I can tell you, in my company, with Geelslang as the senior platoon leader and acting as judge, jury and executioner over our practise runs when not leading his platoon, the emergency door is removed (it comes off entirely, no hinges) and thrown down to the runway below the wing. Before it hits the ground I would expect the first stun grenades to have exploded and the lads going inside, it is that quick or Geelslang will fail you and you will learn to become slick.

And then it gets interesting. As soon as the emergency or other door is blown, or opened the flash bang grenades go in, thrown by Number Two with Number One (the team leader) covering Two. The stun grenades explode twice, very rapidly, designed to stun and blind those inside for a few seconds. This part of the fun can lead to screw ups of note (Foxtrot used another word here which I scratched out, Angelique) because you nod at each other and you wait. When the attack signal comes, a flare, an explosion or just an order, the first lad (Number Three) opens the door and tosses it away, number Two had already pulled the pins on the grenades and now chucks the stun grenades into the aircraft and when the door is proving to be more troublesome for Four, you stand with that grenade in your hand and count the seconds whilst thinking how hard you are going to kick his ass (the youngest member opens the door) for taking his time.

It is an utter disgrace to hear the other teams entering and you are counting sheep at your door. They will hammer you in the debriefings but it happens, the door may be old, askew or whatever. Then you blow it or you hit it with an axe but you get in. You also learn never to let the lever go on the live stun grenades you have in your hands but you are a bit defenceless, having no hand free anymore. If that door does not open, you have to throw them as far away as is possible (and pray to God I don’t TWEP you afterwards because I might, you, Four and your team leader, One). And then, it happens in real life, the door goes off smoothly but the grenades are duds or they bounce back from a hostage-taker’s head or the bastard shows his low class Pommy blood by kicking them back at you. It really is not a written script, God knows, you must adapt and carry on and that is why we want experienced lads and we choose them extremely carefully. And we train them mercilessly. During the build up to become an operational team (the platoon took turns, to be fair to all) you practise hundreds of hours, shoot tens of thousands of live rounds (never blanks) until you are as slick as you should be.

But once the stun grenades (can be mixed with teargas also – not really recommended, they do start fires) are thrown in and it exploded (you count the bangs) you go in, Number One and Two, shoulder to shoulder with One leading and you have some protection because of the grenades. When a stun grenade explodes next to you, we all played hostages many times, your body is indeed stunned. For a few seconds your ability to see is shattered by the two bright flashes and your ears are ringing a lot longer than that. You also feel the shockwaves going right through you and that can cause loss of intestinal control and nausea in liberals, all designed to distract you as this is happening at the same time from all entrance points, really you don’t even have time to say “Allah, the Merciful” before the knights come storming in.

The chances of you surviving are miniscule. The black clad (the entire outfit is designed to shock & awe) knights are fully intent on killing you and it is most probably the last thing your mind will register before their bullets end your miserable life. The fact that you are female and pretty is not going to help you, we aim for your head to defeat body armour and to kill you as quickly as is humanly possible to do so. Some such hijackers end up being shot a dozen times as the following lads make sure that they won’t get up and attack you from behind as the Philistines did to the Israelites. Note this is not “execution” as the liberal idiots working as journalists often claim, it is part of the rescue and during battle and standard procedure. Executing takes place afterwards if it takes place which I am not denying or confirming, only after the bastard surrendered or is captured with the hostages.

As numbers One and Two go inside, the remaining lads, Three and Four follow as would Five and Six and this is really close together (like a snake, Angelique). The snipers, hundreds of yards away, are watching and may open up on whoever they have in sight. This can be over your shoulder and so you move rapidly turning either left or right as agreed beforehand and fight your way to the other Teams, also approaching from their entry points. You really need to trust each other as a crossfire in such a confined space has extremely high risks of blue on blue incidents, that too happens but not often. An aircraft is not easy to operate in, there is little enough space and lots of hiding places behind the rows of seats, toilets, galley. One skinny mother (I scratched the word, Angelique), now deceased after Geelslang found him, he hid in the luggage overhead compartment, almost got us. But with enough training (thousands of hours) you get used to it. You also must keep in mind, the aircraft or tin shack (depending where you are) is not armoured like a brick wall in a house, your bullets are going somewhere where they can hurt someone innocent outside. So you fire at targets only, not wildly and you hit what you fire at.

All this takes perhaps two seconds from the moment that the doors open and the grenades exploded. Take my word, it is organised chaos inside. You are heavily loaded (you don’t feel that, you are as light on your feet as a man on the morning of his wedding night, Angelique) with chest webbing, chest armour, a Kevlar helmet if so desired, teargas mask, extra ammunition, assault rifle or machine pistol, backup pistol, knife, individual medical kit, two way radio plugged into your ears, decent night vision (not the normal crap the infantry has) and extra explosives, grenades of all types and so it is, organised chaos as the teams move through the aircraft roaring to the hostages to bloody well stay down and shooting the bastards at the same time. Your biggest problem by far is not the terrorists who will either die fighting or die hiding but meddlesome civilians, crying, standing up and grabbing at you, God know why they do such things. In 1988, Geelslang smacked a hostage so hard he broke his jaw in three places. The man complained bitterly but to no avail. Angelique’s dad arrested him for interfering in official police business and kept him locked up until he and his stupid lawyer apologised for their liberal ways. (It is remarkable how much a liberal can complain without reason, Angelique.)

At times, it happened first with the Lufthansa Landshut incident where Captain Schulman was murdered, a distraction is organised just before the assault goes in. At Mogadishu, in the middle of the night, at 02h00 AM to be precise, a few Somali soldiers lit a large bonfire 65 yards in front of the jet. Two of the hijackers dashed to the cockpit to observe what was going on and at 02h07 AM the GSG9 blew the doors and went in. The cockpit terrorists died first and the most experienced team always goes after them, that is where the terrorist leader is to be found, in the cockpit, abusing the radios. By the time the fire was lit, the commandoes were already on the wings and at the doors. There are variants regarding the distraction, sometimes a flare is fired or an accident staged or a nearby aircraft guns its engines (covers the approach and attracts attention away). This is not a happy go lucky type of operation, it is practised so many times that is second nature and we are devious fellows wanting to win at any cost. Such attacks never take more than a few minutes no matter how large the aircraft and are mostly successful. Storming an aircraft on a friendly airport is really bread and butter work, not special and success is always expected. It is another problem entirely to rescue someone in enemy territory. As you may imagine, a house can be made virtually assault proof and then you have to get to it also. Bin Laden’s house in Pakistan was not assault proof, not even close, any middleclass house in South Africa has better security.

Once the aircraft is secured, and radio discipline is paramount, I will kick your ass if you talk on it without reason, the rest of the team will approach and receive the passengers thrown out via the emergency escape chutes. This is done whilst the attack is ongoing, to evacuate them. We see that often at hotels etc. where large amounts of hostages are kept. They will be made to lie on the tarmac, well-lit for this very purpose, until searched and identified and this is important. A bastard involved with the London Iranian Embassy Siege, where the British Special Air Service became famous, tried to hide among the released hostages. You have to keep the Stockholm Syndrome in mind at all times. It also happens these days – terrorists are improving, that they keep one of their own hidden. He has the extra detonators for the planted explosives and will set it off, blowing the aircraft and the rescuers if possible. To identify him is the most important job the intelligence lads have and you can do so by (I scratched Foxtrot’s explanation on how to do so, Angelique).

As the hostages are evacuated, the explosive experts and dogs arrive to search for more bombs. The bastards often leave devices behind already primed and designed to kill the detectives that take over once we leave. If the threat is high enough, and all the rescuers are trained in explosives, the entire aircraft will be abandoned with the dead in place to give the bomb disposal lads a chance for glory. After that, the aircraft is treated like a serious crime scene. The detectives arrive to take statements, take pictures, get DNA and what have you. They even confiscate the weapons used and only then the aircraft is handed over to its owners, now devoid of people, bodies and explosives but at times unable to fly. The bullet holes must be repaired, the systems tested and the blood washed away. It can take months before she is back in service and many passengers refuse to fly on her. Moreover, if the hostage drama was ongoing for a long time, the aircraft smells terribly (keep your gasmask on lads, the air is dangerously filthy) the toilets are clogged up, the food is rotting and some passengers / hostages defiled themselves. (Not always their fault Foxtrot, they have to beg to use the toilet, Angelique). It is a mess and then a fire might break out too as we saw with the EgyptAir flight.

Before you go in, you get a code word to signal success. A failed rescue (any death to your own or a hostage is a failure) is a political nightmare few of the turd brigade are willing to swallow and man up on. When the Iranian rescue debacle went wrong in 1980, Mr Carter had to go on television and explain why. By all accounts, he did a good job explaining, better than the actual rescue attempt which has gone down in history as a warning of bad planning and even worse execution. What is tragic about that rescue is not that it went wrong, it is the way it went wrong.

Everyone knows the story. When the helicopter crashed into the Hercules and caused the subsequent explosions, the operation descended to chaos. The helicopter, instead of going up and vertical as expected, followed the aircraft handler (making signals with his hands) all the way as he walked backwards to end up under the wing of the Hercules. And here the helicopter, fully refuelled struck the cargo aircraft. As could be excepted from newly refuelled airplanes a fire ball was inevitable. And then comes the part which makes people like me cringe in embarrassment. The four remaining helicopters, valuable Sea Kings, were left idling for the Iranians to find and press into service the next days. Yes, their US Marine aircrews did not even attempt to destroy them or the sensitive equipment on board. They simply abandoned them, still idling, and ran for the remaining C-130s. Why did they do that? They were hundreds of miles away from any two-bit Iranian counter attack. The Iranians did not even know they were there until Mr Carter made the announcement later that night. This and the reserve Sea King which turned back without any real reason, hence causing the operation to be called off before the unfortunate accident, caused the Delta Commander, Colonel Charlie Beckwith to call the Marine pilots cowards and he did so in public. It caused shockwaves because a marine is not a coward by nature. Yet, I fully agree. He had every reason in the book to be livid with the way the Pentagon dealt with his plan by adding more and more unqualified units, like the Marine pilots. Some were brave men but totally out of their depth. A valuable lesson was learned and kept to this day. Never combine Special Forces with run of the mill pilots or other line units. Get the Special Operations pilots and support teams involved. It is not for everyone to work behind enemy lines.

The code words for success on the 1977 Mogadishu raid were “Frühlingszeit! Frühlingszeit!” which is German for “Springtime! Springtime!” and with that comes the report, “four opponents down, hostages free, four hostages slightly wounded, one commando slightly wounded.” I wondered what the code word would be here and I asked Angelique quietly as she chatted with Mike Delta Three Eight. She had an idea.


Police Counter Insurgency Operations, South Africa – Mean Streets – Life in the Apartheid Police (Book 2) The Mean Streets

In the winter of 1988, just after or before the Strydom incident, I volunteered for the SAP COIN (South African Police Counter-Insurgency Unit) Counter-Insurgency Course and soon found myself at their premier training establishment called Maleoskop which is in Eastern Transvaal. It was an enormous farm with a self-contained military community inside. There were shooting ranges for rifles & pistols as well as mortars and air-strikes. In fact, everything to do with the training of light infantry in a counter insurgency role was well-catered for. Later years they also catered for anti-riot training and all which goes with that.

We were not the only course members as many companies of men were running around. SAP COIN always needed men and did not consider College or Army training good enough for their units. I am not sure if it still exists for I heard it was returned to the tribe it was bought off years before. If so, they scored quite a bit for it was in excellent shape…the one thing you never did was to damage the trees and bush without reason for the Instructors really liked the place and treated it as home. Therefore, the rumour of a wayward constable sent to run to a tree in the distance and bringing back a leaf for the Sergeant is nonsense. Especially if he brought back a branch and said “f pick one.” Man, I cannot imagine even a Rooinek from Durban being that silly. He would still be running and apologising for being a communist in disguise and arrested for damaging State property, that is one tree.

It was not my first visit as I also attended a three-week anti-riot course there as a cadet and had to run in front of the vehicle to feel chased as you will no doubt remember (See Book 1). Now we had more serious business to attend to. Our course was six weeks in length and in those six weeks we walked at least 300 miles and shot thousands of blanks in mock battles. It was immense fun and with some of our Instructors being ex-Rhodesians the training excellent. I had a wonderful time.

Why did a Police Force act like light infantry?

To understand why the SAP which is after all a Police Force and not an Army got involved in a counter-insurgency war we have to go into history again but I assure you I will keep it short. It is much more complex than my short explanation and there are many better books to read on this subject than this one. With the Apartheid Laws, the Liberation Movements decided to take up arms and as we know lost badly during the first attempts where Mr Mandela was arrested. However, many others fled the country and continued the struggle from outside. They made alliances with the home grown terrorists in Rhodesia (later called Zimbabwe) and Namibia (then called South West Africa and under South African control) with the aim to eventually take over South Africa. They fought in those two countries (in an insurgency role) and at the same time tried to infiltrate South Africa proper to cause internal unrest and urban terrorism. Accordingly, the South African international borders with Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and Botswana were protected by SAP COIN.

  • These countries are to the north of South Africa except Lesotho which is surrounded by South Africa, it being high in the mountains about the size of Wales and right in the middle of the country. It snows there in winter and has the longest ski slope in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rhodesia’s self-declared independence from Britain started what is called today the “Rhodesian Bush War” and it soon came out that black South African citizens were involved on the side of the terrorists. Consequently, the Nationalists sent SAP Riot Units to Rhodesia to arrest any black South African exile and assist the Rhodesians who had serious manpower problems. The first units found themselves in the middle of a shooting bush war. Hence they were re-trained by the excellent Rhodesian Army to form the core of what became known as SAP COIN. There was never Apartheid in Rhodesia by the way and the place more English than England. They dominated Sandhurst for instance and always won the Sword of Honour for being the best cadets. Besides that, they lost more men, per capita, for the British Empire, than any other nation in the Empire. And still their efforts did not bring them any loyalty from London.

The SAP COIN Units would at one time constitute one quarter of the available Security Forces. Just when it seemed that Rhodesia won the war the SAP COIN Units were withdrawn as part of a doomed political game called “détente” meaning arse crawling to the rest of Africa at the Rhodesians expense! The way the Nationalists treated Rhodesia can only be described as shameful and cowardly. No excuse in the world is good enough and everything that happened afterwards in Zimbabwe is their fault and on their conscience. As always they had no clear plan and were played like fools by the much smarter black leaders.

The difficulty for the SAP was that the SAP neglected its military capabilities after the Second World War since the red oath (taken to fight in North Africa, outside South Africa – see Book 1) men were English orientated and thus seen as not trustworthy by the Afrikaners. However, with the Rhodesian problem the SAP had to quickly relearn how to work as light infantry or die in the process. Two incidents hastened this belief…one was Rhodesia and its bush war and the other the Ongulumbashe attack which happened in northern Namibia, then known as South West Africa.

The Liberation Movements were never highly rated as terrorists by the international experts but could put up a decent fight when cornered. Their military successes were few and far between and despite what is claimed today, they never successfully established military camps inside South Africa from which they operated as in a classic insurgency war. Nor did they establish one in Namibia for longer than a few weeks when they were destroyed by elite Army paratroopers temporally sworn in as SAP members. This happened at a place called Ongulumbashe in Namibia back in 1966 or twenty years before I arrived on the scene. Why were Army paratroopers suddenly made to act as policemen? That is because it would look better in the eyes of the world if the SAP did the killing rather than the Army. Why? I don’t know. Ask the idiotic Nationalists who I am sure will have boring long haired liberal explanations.

  • The Nationalists were not sure how to deal with the armed insurgency which was happening in Rhodesia, Namibia and inside South Africa. They wanted to dismiss it as a police problem and expected the SAP to deal with it which it did, mostly. All terrorism is in some way or another crime and criminal activity and thus a police problem and most governments do so for the political consequences. To call the Army is always bad as it shows, in the eyes of the world, that the Police lost control and therefore the liberals love to describe insurgency wars as a police action. It sounds less serious and apparently better in the eyes of the foreign media. Why are the fat politicians so worried about that I wonder? Who cares who thinks what of them? We know what they are already. A turd brigade!

The Army Generals will tell you, bitterly, that the Nationalists were unwilling to have or admit to any white casualties…do not think for one moment it was out of concern for the soldier’s lives. Nope, they had to win elections and were willing to mislead the public for a pension and the right to talk nonsense in parliament. Thus they abused “mercenary forces” like the elite 32 Buffalo Battalion to do the hardest fighting. Black casualties were no casualties in their way of thinking and thus no need to reflect in the statistics. These Units were abandoned and left to their fate afterwards which is politics at its best. No moral fibre and we abuse people as much as we can. Let us go and wash feet for a pension.

The Ongulumbashe attack was not much of a firefight and quite a few arrests were made whilst a few terrorists died. According to some, three black policemen also died and their deaths were suppressed by the Nationalists. This incident played a major role to establish SAP COIN as the generals no doubt regretted asking the Army for help. This took place during John Vorster’s time as Prime Minister and he preferred the SAP above the Army (rightly so says I, we were better in all ways).

  • Surprisingly, many ex-Army members read the Mean Streets Books, they all, to a man, disagree. Nope, they were the best and so it is. I suppose it shows what the French call “Élan” and why not. I will not change my views and neither will they. In the end, we needed each other and it is old war stories, most don’t care and our medals are worthless, to be laughed at by lesser men. Such is life, only long haired liberals, who ran for London, complain. It is ironic, those who complained about us, so bitterly, now complain about those who followed us. Yep, ironic but they will learn, complaining will not help them much. What is done is done and so it is. There is no going back.

You may ask why the Ongulumbashe attack took place in Namibia which is a separate country on the western top side of South Africa. Well, during the First World War, the (English) Union of South Africa attacked the German colony of German South West Africa on behalf of the British Empire. This caused the infamous Boer Rebellion…just before which General de la Rey was killed by the SAP roadblock as discussed somewhere in Book 1.

After the First World War, the captured German colony was given to South Africa by the League of Nations to rule over it. We saw it as a fifth province and pumped billions of dollars in infrastructure into it and also Apartheid which the Germans never did. It became known as South West Africa and later, after independence in 1989 as Namibia. As can be expected in the late 1950s when England lost its Empire the locals also demanded independence which the Nationalists flatly refused. An international court case followed which South Africa actually won but still the UN adopted a popular resolution calling for South Africa to withdraw and hold fair elections on the one-man-one-vote principle. This was called resolution 435 and a curse word for us. We refused again, and the Liberation Movements took up arms. So the fight was on and by 1966 the Security Branch cornered the insurgents at a place called Ongulumbashe as described. But that was only the start of the bush war.

The plot thickened when the South African Army invaded Angola (just to the north of Namibia) in 1974 to help Holden Roberto and Jonas Savimbi to gain political control in Angola. The country was in total disarray after the Portuguese colonial authority fled in disgrace and left the Portugese nationals at the tender mercies of the terrorists. So ended almost 400-years of Portuguese rule…they really just packed up, lowered the flag, got into a naval ship and sailed off. It caused chaos as everyone scrambled for power.

The Angolan difficulty was also part of the Western political “Domino Theory” that if one country becomes communist the rest around it will follow and fall like dominoes. One by one! Today we know it was just political nonsense but it caused Vietnam (with rest of South East Asia) and many of Africa’s problems. As far as I am concerned, it boils down to Prime Minister John Vorster listening to the pleas of the other African leaders and sending the Army into Angola on their request! He was played like a violin by the African leaders on this matter and the result was something that anyone with two brain cells could foresee. The invasion itself was called “Operation Savannah” and the Army (despite their ancient Second World War equipment) had no problem in destroying the Liberation Movements and whoever else in their path. They reached the outskirts of Luanda (capital of Angola) quite soon after and stopped. But by now the Russians (Soviets) were pouring in weapons and a few Cubans into Luanda to ensure the communists took power under a political called Dos Santos. The conflict which was up to then very much like flying columns seen in the Second World War and later by mercenary Colonel Mike Hoare in the Congo (DRC today, Zaire before that) now had the serious risk of becoming conventional. At this stage it was not.

  • From a military history view this was further and faster than what even Field Marshal Rommel could do in the Western Desert during the Second World War. One of the South African commanders was even dubbed “Rommel” because of it. Obviously, and without being dismissive, Rommel faced better opposition by far than what we faced at this stage of the South African Border War.

Politically it was a complete disaster for Apartheid South Africa, such as the African leaders had hoped it would be. There was a lot of international outrage and condemnation and the Nationalists quickly realised they were played like the fools they are and withdrew the Army back to Ovamboland in Namibia. None of the promised modern weapons from the US arrived and the Nationalists knew they were now isolated. The entire exercise made the Army generals decide they needed new equipment and fast as their Panhard Armoured cars (French origin) were simply outclassed. Since the rest of the world refused to sell it to us (not African conditions orientated anyway) we decided to build our own. From this came the modern arms industry and nuclear weapons etc. This included the excellent Ratel mine proof infantry fighting vehicles still in use today. Fascinatingly, the Police Casspir came out of Rhodesia and SAP COIN operations there and made its first appearance in Owamboland (Namibia) in 1979. The Army did not want it at first…a rather silly mistake they soon realised and rectified by copying the SAP COIN units in vehicles and tactics. By that time SAP COIN was the established counter-insurgency experts and not the Army (except Special Forces and Air Force crew).

The withdrawal from Angola had huge political consequences inside South Africa. The Liberation Movements thought (wrongly) that the Army was defeated and kicked out. They believe this nonsense to this day and so will our children because it is ultimately what they will learn in the history books. The South African Army was defeated in Angola – it is rather entertaining but anyway. This was one of the biggest reasons why the 1976 Soweto uprising occurred and not Afrikaans as a language taught at school. In fact, the Army was never defeated and there was nothing in the Southern Hemisphere to defeat it anyway. They were on a rampage and always did what they wanted, even later on when air superiority became a problem. At that stage, from 1987 onward, the Angolan airspace was the most hostile in the world, more so, according to experts, than the skies over North Vietnam twenty years earlier. Unlike the USAF, we could not afford to lose even one fighter jet and some pilots took huge risks in bringing back damaged Mirages. One in particular, Air Force Captain Arthur Piercy, flying a Mirage F1AZ, is today in a wheelchair because of this (and coping well, he does not need nor asks for pity).

Cuba then became involved on the side of the Liberation Movements and sent tens of thousands of troops to Angola. They had up to 50 000 men in Angola at one stage. They got so badly defeated that their top general was executed by firing squad for his defeats. We thought they were something of a joke and never rated them high as fighting men either. All in all, South Africa seldom deployed more than 3000 men at any given stage.

A few years after Operation Savannah, in 1978, the Army re-invaded Angola and occupied Southern Angola for the next decade. It was necessary to destroy the terrorist camps and to help Jonas Savimbi fighting an insurgency action against the Marxist Angolan Government. (The war became conventional later on.) With the destruction of the terrorist camps it became very difficult for them to even reach Owamboland in Namibia. All of this is called the South African Border War or just the “Border.” However, it would be wrong to assume that the war was only in Angola / Namibia and Rhodesia (up to 1980).

The rest of South Africa’s borders were protected by SAP COIN where things now and then exploded into the open. All the major battles though were in Angola. There are no books (that I know of) about SAP COIN on our own borders. It is something of an unknown war because it was more aimed at counter-terrorism as counter-insurgency and the combination of both. The tactics used were totally different between the ones in Namibia where SAP COIN acted as highly mobile mechanized infantry. In other words, mostly in Casspirs from where the fighting took place and the SAP COIN Unit “Koevoet” became very famous. This book has nothing to do with Koevoet as SAP COIN was withdrawn from Namibia in 1985 (one year before I arrived on the scene) and you can read Jim Hooper’s book “Koevoet” if interested in Koevoet. In my view it is by far the best book about them. Technically, Koevoet was transferred to the South West African Police and did not fall under SAP anymore, they became known as South West African Police Counter Insurgency Unit (SWAPOL TIN in Afrikaans), yet the name “Koevoet” stuck. Also remember, not all policemen doing duty in Ovamboland were part of Koevoet, they fell under the Security Branch, COIN under SAP COIN.

Faded camouflage was a status symbol

At first the SAP members had neither camouflage uniforms nor specialist vehicles which offered landmine protection. That is probably where the art of appropriation was first learned but SAP members were always practical men. With the years a camouflaged uniform and the brilliant Casspir anti-mine armoured vehicles were in service and this was totally unique to the SAP COIN Units. The Army never had camouflage uniforms and the SAP was frequently misidentified as the Army by foreign long haired liberals. That was a major insult to us to be corrected with a fatherly talk. The camouflage uniform itself was designed by the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and not discarded Rhodesian camouflage as I read on the Internet the other day much to my amusement. Unlike Rhodesian camouflage, it was well made and did not fall apart easily.

There were two different SAP camouflage uniforms which looked slightly dissimilar. That is the uniform before 1976 and after 1976. I took immense pride in mine (new style) and made sure that I chose the patterns which looked the best at SAP Quartermaster in Silverton. For an expert eye, the differences are easy to spot though it cannot be used as reliable evidence to establish when the pictures were taken for many kept wearing the old style uniform (it was never withdrawn officially) until the end. It was in fact a status symbol to have the old style camouflage but you better also be entitled to it for the owners did not take kindly to interlopers and wannabes. A wannabe, I can tell you, was spotted miles away and dealt with accordingly. For us, the experts, it is easy to see or to ask a few questions to know the truth.

We all wanted floppy Australian type bush hats which was only manufactured up to 1976 and thus scarce. Since we were never actually issued the bush hat, we wore a baseball style cap with the gold SAP Police Star engraved on it. This cap did not give nearly as much shade as a floppy hat but worked well enough. It came with an orange day glow inner so that the Air Force gunships could see us during a contact or thereafter by wearing it upside down. It also made us sweat more than usual as the heat could not escape as easily. All in all, a good design and even if we never used it, it had another design feature which was an inbuilt neck protector which could be released and rolled down to cover our necks against the sun. According to our instructors that made us look like “degenerate f Cubans or something worse!” So much worse in fact that I cannot repeat it here. Sufficient to say there was a toilet involved in their less than elegant description. Hence we almost never used the neck function. Anyway, I never saw it used.

We had neither combat helmets nor bullet proof jackets which amazed a former US Marine Colonel who found himself attached to us to observe or something. He used to say we are mad (crazy, not angry) and operate in ways which they would never consider unless part of the Recon Platoon. I don’t know if this is true but we did operate in small groups and very rarely above section level. What exactly that Marine Colonel was doing there I would not know and never asked as our lieutenant told us not to be long haired liberals and made sure the ancient Colonel is safe from all harm including us.

He was a Korean and Vietnam veteran and I can tell you, I have never seen a man that old that fit ever in my life since or before. He never got tired and always polite no matter what. Hell, he kept us safe and I greatly admired him. (I think he was just jealous with his remarks on us not being all there – we were rather happy to be considered normal.) You may be sure I learned what I could from him which was much for he liked to talk about history, combat and poetry. All things I loved to talk about myself so we got on very well. He refused to believe I was a sergeant though and suspected me being an officer from Military Intelligence (what an insult, almost ruined a friendship, I was never in the Army).

  • I don’t know why that US Marine was with us for those days or why with my section in particular so it is no use writing and asking. I doubt if it was “official.”

It was a status symbol for us to wear faded camouflage as it indicated veteran status in our macho world. As always we took that to the brink and it reminds me of a rumour I heard. It may be true for it was told to me more than once. Apparently, during the Rhodesian war a small contingent SAP COIN members that completed their tour of duty met up with a fresh contingent beginning their tour. In those days SAP COIN flew to Rhodesia and did their refresher course there. Thus one group landed and went home and the other boarded and went to the bush with the same aircraft. It was usually quite easy to distinguish between the two groups as the veteran’s uniforms were faded and the fresh contingent brand new. A veteran walked over to give them the lip (as SAP custom demands) and was held / kept on the same aircraft from which he just arrived.

No one believed him when he said he just came back for he wore a new camouflage uniform for reasons only he will be able to explain. The new contingent sincerely believed he was making jokes in rather bad taste when he wanted to jump off and started crying and made horrible threats about kidnapping innocent constables returning from Rhodesia and minding their own business so to speak. Therefore, they handcuffed him to the aircraft and he had to do another three months which he did, not being a long haired liberal. His former lieutenant paid his bonus into his bank account when they realised he was missing at pay parade. I believe, seriously, he should feel lucky he was not arrested for absconding without official leave. Anyway, he was told exactly that when he came back three months later a wiser man but somewhat bitter, having now lost seven months of his life at home. SAP COIN was kind enough to send his old kit to him the next week which was lying around so he had no real complaints.

  • The policemen came from all over the country to form ad-hoc platoons and companies. So they would not have known each other well enough to know he could indeed be returning from the bush. Anyway, no harm done.

In my time, the Air Force made sure we waited in the departure lounge before they allowed us close to their C130 Hercules transport planes. There they packed us in like sardines on collapsible canvas bunks where we sat patiently in the dark for hours. The windows were few and far away. Worse than that, the flight engineer would come around now and then in mid-flight to look at the ceiling or rather roof as there were no ceiling and the cables exposed for all to admire. He would shake his head, and make the sign of the cross, and speak in a phone to the pilots who would poke their heads out and looking worried. This act, as you can imagine, started seriously concerned discussions amongst us but I knew the air crew’s communist tendencies from long before and was used to the inside of a military transport plane. Still, (be prepared I say), I looked around for a parachute and promised myself to appropriate the flight engineer’s if needs be. I knew how to operate a parachute and had no intention of staying with the plane if it goes down because of the Air Force’s long haired liberal ways in maintenance. It seemed to me the flight engineer was a disciple since he made the cross all the time and could afford to stand at attention before God whilst I was not too sure about that one at that stage. You will remember that I did not see the white light twice when I thought I should have, once in the empty swimming pool and before that in the church where the christening pool ambushed me from behind. Further, he wore a wedding ring which made him married and I did not wish to die a virgin before my time which settled the matter as far as I was concerned. Naturally, as a non-SAP member and acting out long haired liberal tendencies he was not terribly important in my eyes and probably just jealous of us anyway. So I decided the parachute would have benefited me more but luckily we always landed and had no cause to become long haired liberals to complain about their silly jokes.

One time, I saw a constable arrive at SAP COIN a bit worse for wear and when he opened his kitbag; his mates loaded his cricket kit in and chucked his uniforms out. He had to be re-issued at SAP Quartermaster. The look on his face was something to admire and his language educational. It must be said SAP COIN found that hilarious and had a fine sense of humour about it. Another claimed he buried a bottle of Captain Morgan rum in the hard sand packed floors of the Tin Transito (SAP COIN) base two years before and dug it out with the satisfaction of a born rum drinker when we challenged him.

  • Such hard liquor was forbidden, if caught he would have been in serious trouble.

These days I always associate the scent of rum with tough policemen on the border and thus told my wife (the one before my American Patriot) that her reeking of rum will make it impossible for me to become romantic never mind cosy with her. Yeah well, I see the tough bearded policemen and lose all romantic notions on the spot. It was a severe handicap for she liked her rum now and then. No wonder she told me soon after to take a hike!

  • My American Patriot, does not drink rum and even if she did, I would still have loved her. She was too cute to refuse; it is often that way with souls.

SAP COIN was very effective

Statistics show that SAP COIN was responsible for 90% of all terrorists killed during the South African Border War. The question is why? What made it so different? Remember the SAP COIN Units were very much smaller and used rejected Army weapons for most of the bush war. So you must ask, what did they do differently?

In reality, a SAP COIN platoon is not in the least comparable with an Army (conscript) one. In SAP COIN platoons you always found a few detectives who knew how to interrogate suspects and gain the information / intelligence so crucial in hunting terrorists. The Dog Unit would arrive with their dogs and patrol formations were adapted to accommodate them…those dogs could smell explosives and run faster than any terrorist yet born. They could track spoor (tracks) when needed and the Rhodesians went one step further by training their police dogs to run on the ground whilst being followed by helicopter. That we never did but it is extremely impressive and if I knew about it, I would have tried it.

  • See my book The Egg Breakers – Counter-Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa for more details if interested.

Black policemen also joined us, they were the majority mostly, and they could speak the local languages and they were loyal to us. In places such as Bophuthatswana, two of the local (mostly ex-SAP) policemen would be seconded to us and under our command. They also knew their own areas well giving us a home court advantage. We were furthermore much older and much harder because of our mean street experience if not in age. Shootouts or contacts (firefights) in SAP COIN terminology were nothing new to us. We were accustomed to killing terrorists wherever we could find them and quite unexpectedly sometimes. Many of us had combat experience from our Army days which we taught the rest when needed which was seldom for SAP COIN training was, in my opinion, better than what the Army taught…purely because SAP COIN had much more counter-insurgency experience from their Rhodesian Bush War days.

Most important though, was the mean streets instincts which could not be reasonably expected from servicemen. We knew if someone lied to us even if not why he is lying and would become fatherly…this ensured a good flow of information and without information you simply cannot find the terrorist. And if he cannot be found he cannot be killed. Having had the same basic training, the different skills of the policemen were an asset. I believe that there is more “strength through diversity than homogeneousness.” This was the major difference between SAP COIN and the Army conscripts. Each member contributed special skills with one objective to kill terrorists. It worked well as the statistics proved.

  • The other day I looked at some books on the South African Border War and it struck me how ridiculously young we were and how much younger the conscripts looked than us. Keep in mind, when on the mean streets, you become an animal, a survivor and the policemen had the instincts to survive and to kill before SAP COIN got them. We also had our standard SAP moustaches and really looked harder. I am not surprised at my 2012 conclusions. We were likewise volunteers, that makes a difference. We wanted to hunt terrorists and had immense fun doing so, mostly, because we won.

I say again that drug use and avoiding contacts never happened in SAP COIN or not from what I know of or heard of. We almost never lost a firefight either…that is a rumour spread after the war for which no evidence exists. I saw a television story after 1994 where a whole platoon of SAP COIN was “killed” by the Liberation Movement. It bothered me so much I could not sleep that night being utter nonsense built on the liberal god of political correctness. Clashing with us meant almost certain death for the other side. There was nothing average about us or our methods and we deserved the fear and loathing the terrorists had for us. It was thoroughly justified by almost three decades of successful operations in more than four different countries (Kenya, Rhodesia, Namibia & South Africa). Even today, we are considered the leading experts in counter-terrorism (of which counter-insurgency is part of) in Africa.

The SAP COIN calling up system was very simple and worked well. Each Unit and Police Station had to provide members for SAP COIN every 3 to 4 months. They preferred volunteers and only thereafter whoever infuriated their colonel enough to be sent packing to SAP COIN. This caused that the skills varied as widely as discussed above. It was strength, not a weakness. The border duty was anything between 3 to 4 months in length depending on operational requirements. We were paid a few Rand extra but it was not worth the money to go since the tax robbers took 25% before we even saw it.

Still, I bought a decent Technics Hi-Fi with mine (stolen in the new South Africa) and a few other things – also stolen). Adventure was what attracted me and a keen interest in counter-terrorism. Some members, (I believe), felt the need for a break from their wife or normal duties. Others dismayed their commanders in some way…. there were rumours that only the troublemakers went to the border and we were proud of that too. With counter-terrorism that is precisely what you need. The fellow who thinks and acts unconventional is likely the best terrorist hunter of them all. He simply does not fit into the normal mould and the mavericks did well.

We would meet for the first time at SAP COIN Transito base in Pretoria. SAP COIN HQ decided who goes where (as long as the Flying Squad Casspir “abusers” are as far as is possible away from each other). At that stage SAP COIN had camps / bases everywhere along the international borders. Some camps were next to Lesotho, in the snow, where you were entitled to two glasses of whiskey a day instead of beer (to combat the cold). Many members saw that rule as two beers and two whiskeys a day just to make sure! Others went to Botswana or Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and the Mozambique borders.

It was a unique experience because the terrorists rarely operated in uniform but shrewdly in civilian clothes. All shootouts or contacts were unexpected…it was much more counter-terrorism activities than traditional counter-insurgency although SAP COIN could do both equally well. The idea was to kill or arrest the terrorist wherever he could be found and parliament enabled powerful laws to this effect. For example, any vehicle or person could be searched physically without probable cause (bona fide suspicion in South African law) if found within a certain distance from any international border. This gave us a lot of power which we used (note, not abused) to great effect.

Usually a lieutenant took command of a SAP COIN camp with a warrant-officer under him. As with the mean streets, the sergeants commanded the rest with his constables and were expected to get results. Where no sergeant was available the senior constable, usually Dog Unit members or a detective would assume command. Rank did not count for much and not often displayed on uniform either. I was in charge of one base and second-in-command of another through the years but I preferred to patrol in the bush or in the mean streets. That’s where I felt happy with life and where the action was and you know how our Flying Squad mentality worked by now. I was also lucky enough to have an old detective with Rhodesian Bush War experience in my first command and he took a fatherly interest in me. He taught me many tricks for which I am suitably grateful for and applied wherever possible.

Most camps had no more than 25 members and some as few as six members. One small camp, Klein Kopfontein, was hidden in the kopjes (Dutch word for hill) and had a beautiful rock pool. All or most camps were surrounded by wire fences and sand bags with machine gun posts strategically placed. However, the sphere was the forgotten part of the war and we never had the best or latest equipment unless it could be appropriated from the Army. Despite this, we were effective enough to put the fear of God in terrorists trying to get into the country. For most, to this day, the war was in Angola / Ovamboland and nowhere else, they were wrong.

  • I spoke to many former terrorists whilst working as a lawyer in a famous Human Rights Law Firm after 1994. From their viewpoint we were something else and to be avoided like the very plague. We brought death to them wherever we found them. For me it was an eye opener and I thought for the first time what they were facing and the fear we created by just being around. It is a strange thought, we never feared them, respected yes, but that was it.

Our kit was not modern. Rejects in fact

I was not unhappy standing at ease with the rest of my class listening to the COIN Company Commander welcoming us in true SAP COIN fashion. “Men” he said “this course will ask a lot of you and like all good things in life there is a price to pay. In this case it will be sweat and blood and a lot of sore feet. Listen to your instructors and do your best and all will be well…I suspect though there are some amongst you who do not wish to be here but came to lose some weight. Don’t worry, we will f fix your long haired liberal views and you can f thank me for it later.” Yeah, I felt like I came home.

We drew our kit on the first day which consisted of a pair of camouflaged overalls, old fashioned sail webbing (suitably appropriated from the Army just after the Korean War), a sleeping bag and an R1 (SLR) rifle without a strap and two magazines. The rest we brought with but soon learned you needed almost nothing in the veldt for it had to be carried with you. That means weight and weight is your enemy when moving fast behind properly scared and running terrorists. We will talk about weight again in this chapter.

We made sure to clean the magazines regularly as they got full of dust. The R1 (SLR) rifle also demanded a lot of cleaning since shooting blanks fouled the barrel very quickly. The rifles had a blank firing device fitted at the end of the barrel and that needed to be taken off when firing live ammunition or a huge fatherly talk followed. You may be sure surprise inspections were done and without being disrespectful, God would not have helped you if your equipment were found to be non-serviceable because of dirt. The instructors took great delight to show such men the errors of their communist tendencies in not feeling grateful towards SAP COIN who gave them, free of charge, an assault rifle to shoot with. Yes, they “f knew exactly what to f do in such f cases. The f least you can do constable, is to clean the f equipment!”

Mess tins and water bottles completed the kit and that was about it. The water bottles had an aluminium enclosure which doubled as coffee pot and we soon learned not to touch it with our lips as it became very hot and burned your lips to blisters. Every so often we heard a few choice words about it early in the morning as a wayward constable forgot this lesson in physics. All of which started with “Your mother and father and f auntie…” I knew that in advance and brought a plastic cup and also extra cord to keep the bivvy tied to trees above me at night. It kept the rain out and sort of dry which is a wonderful feeling. I soon learned to carry the sleeping bag high on my ruck sack as it made a better pillow whilst leaning against a rock and surveying the bush with proper attention. Others had it clipped on below their ruck sacks but I disliked the constant banging against your legs all the time as you walked. You know I’m very ticklish and it made me uncomfortable to be honest. No real man wants something banging against his ass when he walks.

Everything was about weight and we suffered with our 1950s sail webbing which was very outdated and consequently we appropriated decent chest webbing from the Army afterwards. The Rhodesians kept saying: “Men, half or what you are carrying is unnecessary. Get rid of it and then half it again.” They were correct. You don’t need to carry more than what is absolutely necessary and furthermore should not. After twenty years of counter-insurgency, they knew all the tricks and we were very lucky to have them around if not nearly grateful enough. They had two distinct handicaps counting heavily against them. Not only were they English (and the Afrikaner dislikes the English for the concentration camps) but worse, SAP COIN suspected the Rhodesians of assassinating a SAP COIN foot patrol. We don’t know exactly who did it or what happened but the suspicion fell on the elite Rhodesian Selous Scout Regiment. What we do know, happened was as follows:

The Nationalists met with the terrorists in a railway car in the middle of the Victoria Falls railway bridge for a meeting. What useless dramatic crap that was! It was part of John Vorster’s détente chaos & rubbish and the terrorist’s chosen representatives got so drunk on the free liquor, supplied by the South African taxpayer, that they could not speak further nonsense and had to retire to bed before the sun went down. Something which happens often in my limited experience with diplomats whom I hold in very low esteem. They are not the worlds smartest people and have to duck non-existent snipers in Bosnia.

During the great drinking match at Victoria Falls Railway Bridge, a truce was in place and broken. The SAP COIN patrol was caught whilst swimming and killed, meaning executed one by one. The patrol sergeant’s body was never found and the whole story is very sad for the patrol was taken unawares during the truce arranged by the Nationalists. This took place just when Rhodesia started to win their bush war…and the Nationalists stopped the fighting to give the terrorists a fair chance to regroup. They also removed one quarter of the Rhodesian fighting forces by withdrawing the now experienced SAP COIN Units overnight back to South Africa as the terrorists told them to do. This also meant the secret air support and Special Forces operations came to an abrupt halt and things were never the same. The doomed patrol was completely at ease and probably should have known better than to trust a terrorist or a Nationalist arranged cease fire. Certainly made me (and many others) took an oath that I will never trust a truce despite whatever nonsense the Nationalists promised about it. I assure you we recalled this incident when Mr Mandela was released and a truce between the fighting parties arranged in 1990. By then, anything the Nationalists did was suspect in our eyes…we were not as stupid and out of touch with reality as they were. We saw a lot on the mean streets and could add two and two and get to four.

  • I want to state clearly that the “Rhodesian / Selous Scouts attack on the doomed SAP COIN patrol” has never been proved and the Rhodesians denied it vigorously. They were pretty upset about the allegations. The story is that the patrol was killed by the Selous Scouts to scuttle the truce. They could have done it, meaning the Scouts had the ability to do so. However, it would start to come out with the years since and nothing ever came out. I refused to believe it but very senior SAP COIN officers wondered about it. Still do in fact. The entire incident was the fault of the Nationalists. The deaths of that patrol is on them, they created the truce by playing politics.

There is a book which I can recommend to anyone who wants to learn something on COIN operations and that is “Devils Guard” by Robert Elford which has excellent ideas in it. Admittedly there is speculation if it is fiction or fact but it should be read by all COIN operators. One of the revolutionary tactics in it which impressed me was the silent ambush. Normal COIN doctrine is the maximum amount of violence in the shortest time possible in an ambush which means a lot of noise. In this book they used snipers with silenced weapons to initiate contact and take the leader out without the enemy knowing what is happening and then opening up with silenced machine guns. The shock effect to see men falling around you must be worse than hearing the ambush. Reason being that all terrorists are well trained in counter-ambush attacks but then you must know you are under attack! It takes only a second of hesitancy to die. You can take for granted that (being my school’s history boffin) I read every book I could on COIN and what I read I never forget. My knowledge was more extensive than most instructors though probably less than the Rhodesians. Man can learn much from history and survival is a serious business.

Historical perspectives

We started believing our own propaganda which is always fatal. Any idiot should understand that the parents of the children (young men) who joined the Liberation Movement will explain to the Army and SAP they were kidnapped! What do you think the child will say after being rescued? That he went voluntarily because the political system is of such a nature that no educated person can endure it? Of course not! If he does, the policeman will arrest him and kick the (you know what) out of him for his long haired liberal tendencies. Yet, we were constantly told that the young people were abducted as recruits. Completely against their will that was! Poor things needed rescuing…strangely enough, the same young people voted for the same “kidnappers who abducted” them afterwards. All of them must have suffered from the Stockholm Syndrome then. I wonder about it and I think we have to accept today that the Liberation war was very popular to them. Our Nationalists simply did not want to believe they are wrong and the rest of the world right and just could not believe the ungratefulness of black people not to accept Apartheid. Their view was propagandistically transferred to us for it is a myth that the Liberation Movements ever had a shortage of willing recruits. They had more than enough and believed as much as we did.

Do you really believe your “hearts and minds” efforts are successful when the terrorists have thousands of men and women joining them without being abducted? Should that alone not suggested that they might be more popular than you thought? It should have been our wake-up call but it was not. The reason why not, was our own success because we succeeded to kill so many. We thought that our kill rate was excellent work and in all honesty it was phenomenal. Yet we lost the war because we did not address the political realities. That is something that could only be done by the Nationalists and was not done for four decades for reasons we have already discussed in the First Book. Thereafter, they could not run fast enough to wash feet and happily accepted their 30 pieces of silver in the form of a nice state pension paid for by the tax payer (and it must be said, honoured by the new government).

The Army propagated the idea of stopping “communist expansionism in Africa.” I think that is nonsense but I say this respectfully. I never disliked the Army that much but it is an idea that has no logical foundation. Any country that embraces communism should be left to pay the price for their stupidity. We had no right to intervene in the domestic problems of other countries…not when we were telling the world shut-up about our own domestic problem called Apartheid. Even the Holy Bible says in Mathews 7 v 3: “Why do you notice a chip that is in your brother’s eye, and you do not observe the plank that is in your own eye?” We did not hear the message and I wonder if the reverends can explain to me why not? The Nationalists thought of themselves as deeply religious men and always sat on the front seats in the church. Half of them studied Christian Theology before joining parliament to create the Apartheid system! The rest were lawyers with many law professors amongst them. We were forced to pray to God before and after everything as I am sure you noted in this book. I wonder, how could they go that far wrong unless greed and every other Satanistic oriented thought played a big role? I have no answers for it is not me who needs to answer it. I am saying this for the sake of history so that you who read here may understand the future.

  • Some tried, they wrote to repeat the same circle arguments of the dreadfulness of communism and the mistaken belief that the Liberation Movements were indeed communists. This idea is a myth…they were supported by the communists, yes. And they gave good lip service to the communists too whilst abusing their assistance, yes, but afterwards? Not so much, there is no communist regime in the new South Africa right now. Why not? Think about it. The South African Communist Party is ridiculously small and hanging on the shirt sleeves of the ruling party for jobs and incomes. It is not the other way around and I ask again, why not? Simply because they never were true communists to start off but nationalists! They wanted freedom, of course, their dream now turned into what many always said it would, sadly so. South Africa is not even the biggest economy in Africa anymore but the most developed (that too will go away as the structures crumble). It is a story of pathetically bad leadership and crisis management on the worst possible scale.

As for me, I believe that the “Border War” should have stopped in 1974 with Angolan independence and Namibia given over to communism if that’s what they wanted. There was no need for Operation Savannah and it was only done because John Vorster wanted to play with his idiotic détente policy. If either Angola or Namibia, or whoever else, wanted to become a communist and that’s what one-man-one-vote decided then good luck…it is their choice and not our problem even if they then die of hunger afterwards. It is often the price of freedom. See Nazi Germany after the war as an example.

The people voted and they voted fair and square. Respect their choices even if you disagree and would never agree. That is called democracy. Know this; you simply cannot win a counter-insurgency war by only killing terrorists which is clearly something which the fat politicians will never understand because they are mostly pathetic leaders in the first place. You win COIN by good government so there is no reason for war or riots. I wonder how many men and women have died because of their lack of leadership and greed. It is indefensible as much as what is happening now, is indefensible in history.

SAP COIN techniques

We made fires at night and invited the terrorists to attack us so that the spoor could be followed next morning. Being far more mobile, that was a death sentence. Yes, we knew about moving silently on foot patrols and to back up on our own spoor and to keep quiet in a temporary base. The snorers were sorted out too with a fatherly chat and placed on guard duty where they could not sleep and create horrible noises (serves them right says I who suffered from sleep apnoea until my American Patriot made me sleep with a CPAP machine and now I am cured). Yet, the silent way did not bring any kills and we wanted to kill enough of the enemy to discourage their communist behaviour.

The Army followed the conventional path, though I read the other day that some of the senior Army generals admitted they never knew about the “Malayan Principles of COIN” which is utterly shocking to me. It is sine qua non for any COIN operator to know the principles by heart even if it did not work in Africa and probably will never work again.

  • See my book The Egg Breakers – Counter-Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa for more details if interested.

The Army walked millions of miles on platoon level making enough noise that everyone heard them six miles away. They also discarded so much equipment that SAP COIN could scavenge enough to equip themselves! This is no way to attain kills and I wondered if it was done on purpose to scare the terrorists away. Certain SAP COIN thought so but I would give them the benefit of the doubt. They did their best in my eyes. The point I am making is that COIN is not a bunch of red and blue lines on a general’s map but as personal as it gets. There are no mountains to storm and holding territory means nothing. What you want is to kill the terrorist and his infrastructure and keep on doing so with no loss to yourself.

You need to know your environment and understand the ways of the locals. There are always signs of terrorism if you know what to search for and use police techniques to do so. What makes it hard is that the terrorist is not going to attack you openly. You must identify him to kill him. He is not a coward but a shrewd adversary. You would have used the same tactics yourself and you did during World War Two and afterwards with Special Forces everywhere even today. I get dismayed when people does not respect their enemy. It shows arrogance and silliness in my eyes. These were brave men and women who believed in their cause. That should be honoured with some respect.

Operational security is everything in COIN and that starts by not allowing any civilian into your camp. It is that simple. Everyone and anyone not looking like you is the enemy but I usually lost this struggle where the cleaners were involved. “They are here so make peace and don’t be like a f long haired liberal now lad.” I simply made a 180 degree turn once out of sight from the camp and never allowed the civilians in the radio room either. Also kept quiet on my next moves and gave them the evil eye.

The next thing is small and highly mobile patrols with immediate backup from the air or elite fire forces to respond to the first contact. It is always a sound military principle to re-enforce success. Making contact with the enemy should always be successful to you – otherwise you are playing staff games on a general’s map walking here and there and achieving nothing in particular. You will also take casualties for there are only that many roads you can walk or drive before you are showing a pattern. We deliberately crashed through the bush in order not to be on the roads and that was whilst we had nothing to fear from landmines. Our Casspirs neutralised the landmine threat completely. Only extreme bad luck could leave you hurt in a landmine explosion whilst inside a Casspir.

I also believe you do not need tens of thousands of men for COIN operations. If you need to deploy that many against a Fifth World country, you have lost the war politically already and the population is against you and your ideas. Then go home and let them stew for that is their choice…as hard as it is to believe some tribes / savages / groups don’t want your kind of freedom / religion / political system. They are happy with their ways and you will not change them and you cannot make them like you. Nor does the American way work, which is to buy their trust, for they know you will return to your country at some stage in the future and abandon them. It is proven time and time again in history. You will never stay and you have zero credibility because of it. From an African view you ran away from Vietnam, Mogadishu, Iraq and soon Afghanistan. With such a record why are you surprised when we give lip service to you?

  • Read my book The Egg Breakers – Counter Terrorism in Sub Sahara Africa on what else the West is doing wrong in Africa with their so called “War on Terror.” The Chinese Military Academies are reading it, so should you.

Why do you think the Israelis have only short sharp wars which they win every time and then allow the rest of the world to broker peace? Because they are shrewd and fighting for survival and they know one defeat in war will be the end of the State of Israel. So how do they do it? Technology with tough soldiers combined with world class intelligence. Yes, and they are brilliant on pre-emptive strikes to destabilise the enemy and not scared to do so whatever the world thinks about it or not. All the same, they never linger around walking silly patrols on a general’s map or chase statistics since they know and we knew that surgical strikes are not done on divisional strength. I believe, and it is only my opinion, for which I am constantly criticised, that the current US President (Mr Obama) is more successful than his predecessor because of the way he fights the so called “War on Terror.” Time will tell who is right.

We took the COIN operations very seriously and jumped up and down before any foot patrol to listen for noise. Anything rattling or shining was taken care of. Since bath soaps can be smelled miles away we never washed when on patrol and in any case had no water to do so. Water is scarce in Africa and may be poisoned and thus not to be used unless the locals use it or cattle tracks are around. Even then it may contain the most horrible diseases and must be boiled thoroughly or otherwise decontaminated. The terrorists also developed the bad habit of booby-trapping the water resources so it needed to be approached with caution.

Ironically, the water sources also were a weakness for the terrorists. We were Africans too and would spend hours in an observation post to observe the watering holes and what the tribe is up to. Too many cattle being chased up and down meant to us they are covering the terrorist’s footprints. Making food unexpectedly for more people that what they normally needed made us suspicious. The way the women acted meant a lot to especially our black members who grew up in the kraals and understood the traditions. And I can tell you that most, if not all white policemen had at least a basic understanding of the local traditions. We also knew when people lie to us.

Water is always scarce in Africa

The engineers, smart people, knew about our water problems and all our Casspirs came standard with about 52 US gallons in its water tank which sounds a lot but is not enough for ten men. We learned to fill it with clean water before every patrol and of that I made sure as I did not trust the driver to remember. One even forgot his rifle and had to borrow my Z88 (M9) for the duration of the patrol. There were no fatherly talks afterwards as I knew him as an excellent man who was busy with readying the Casspir. These things happen. Anyway, the water tanks were filled up frequently for running out of water though was inexcusable and asking a mate for water was even more pathetic.

It’s terrible to be without water and the SAP COIN instructors made sure we understood that basic fact of life. You start daydreaming about an ice-cold beer and then any f beer. Will settle for cold water or lukewarm too. Ah, to drink until your stomach is full. My kingdom for a cold drink! Gosh, I wish that f instructor would stop f drinking his ice cold Coke in front of us. Starting to f hate him now, the f bast-rd! Its f torture to do that! Do you know it is f torture you f bast-rd? Your mother too and I hope you f choke on it. Rather concentrate on something else my boy. Ah, f cold beer or lukewarm also if need be. Sigh. Thank you sir! I got the f message and remember it to today and now I am thirsty enough to walk to the fridge and make some of my American Patriot’s Earl Grey tea. She will understand.

  • She did after reading here. And would you believe, some former members wrote to say they did the same. They became so thirsty they just had to get a beer from the fridge! It is one of those things which happened once and once only to you.

The smokers really suffered as absolutely no smoking was allowed on foot patrol as that could be smelled many miles away. Being smokers, they always took a chance with that and me not being a smoker would smell it immediately and have a fatherly talk. As said before they do not share with mates and it will take some convincing to have me believe anything else. You would also not believe how far it can be seen at night. Miles and miles!

The art of camouflage and breaking your silhouette was taught extensively. It is always amusing to me to see pictures of a soldier with a few diagonal camouflage stripes across his face only. What about your white hands lad? The back of your neck? The long black stick in your arms called a rifle? Really, Hollywood should listen to their highly paid advisors and become more realistic. Lesson number one is that anything which glitters in a counter-insurgency turns to granite and not gold. The granite of your tombstone after I kicked the (you know what) out of you. No need for unpleasantness. Survival is a serious matter and if the terrorist or heat does not get you, I will.

Walking patrols you need to keep formation and be quiet. You are not on a vacation stroll my lad…you are trying to find a terrorist who will ambush you if he finds you first. Look around you and look through every bush and tree and make sure nothing is untoward. If you see something tell me or start shooting but do not f ever just stroll along.

We never suffered from bad food as the Army did. We had an allowance per diem to buy what we wanted (more than needed to be honest). Thus the warrant-officer would go to the nearest town and buy the groceries and with good financial controls we ate very well indeed. All meals were eaten at a table where the senior member sat at the head. He was expected to say grace also. Thereafter, everyone helped to clean up or rather whichever section was on camp duty. Black and white ate the same food from the same plates…made no difference to us and some of them made excellent food! We learned each other’s cultures but we never ate together unless in the bush on operations. Apartheid ruled as always.

One irrational white sergeant caught the “dove” and refused to eat anything marked with the halaal sign as being “offered to gods which he does not believe in.” SAP COIN had no time for religious freaks and gave him ration packs to eat until he saw the error of his long haired liberal ways. We also began to invite him to barbecues and then gave him his rat-pack whilst we ate meat and other delightful food in front of him brusquely refusing to share it with him. It must be noted he came from the South African Railway Police and did not have the benefit of the SAP College of learning what is important in life and what not.

Many of my friends joined the SA Railway Police and I was on the parade when they were re-amalgamated into the SAP in 1986. They were excellent men and good policemen with better weapons than the SAP with their Uzi against our Walter HMC. I don’t know where the above one came from for he was not usual. I had no problem with them whatsoever and really respected what they did. Especially their Special Task Force that was Israeli trained and very good. I wish someone in their ranks would write a book for their story deserves to be told. I liked their unique camouflage uniform also, you don’t see or hear much from them these days (well, it is a long time ago, 1986, when they went out of existence).

One day I was invited on train duty with them and they placed me with a shotgun right at the front of the locomotive under the headlight. I am still not sure what I was supposed to do there but it was great fun to see the world flashing past even though I made a promise to myself to jump if another train approaches on the same track. And while no one says it aloud today; they kept law and order on the communications lines. None of the nonsense of today happened under their watch. The railway stations were clean and safe for everyone to use.

  • Today, when you drive past railway stations in the rural area, the roofs are stolen, the window frames are broken out and the bricks will be gone soon. Oh, and the trains have their own massive, multi-billion frauds and embezzlements of funds. We don’t even notice anymore. Such conduct is expected as is faked qualifications and the fact that it is ALWAYS “Apartheids” fault.

The ration packs were good enough for me and I love the milkshakes we made by adding water to the powder. After a while ration packs become a bit dull even if we horse traded whatever we could with each other. Weirdly enough our ration packs seldom had a tin opener with so we used our Swiss Army knives as we had no bayonets as you know. None of the food was freeze-dried and mostly heavy cans with dog biscuits etc and quite old in years but I am not complaining. In those days I loved a decent adventure and made the best meals ever on my little pocket size oven. The Rhodesians, with their British Army background, advised us to put curry or Tabasco sauce in every meal. I said to one we did not join the Indian Army which he found hilarious. I always made a point to speak English with them as their Afrikaans was not that good if acceptable. This is not unique to me…most Africans will speak English to foreigners as a way to show respect even if they talk African with each other.

  • When my American Patriot first came to South Africa, I had the odd sensation of speaking English to old friends whenever she was present. In 27 years of friendship, my friends and I never spoke anything but Afrikaans with each other so it felt bizarre…now we are used to that (and back to Afrikaans although I translate all her fan mail, thank you, for her in English before reading it to her).

Chefs were chosen by weight and not skill

SAP COIN also trained chefs and very good they were too. Unfortunately, in any view, there were too few of them and us being practical men simply ordered the fattest constable, one white and one black, to be chefs. The theory being if you are fat you like to eat and thus know how to cook! They were not always happy but had as much choice as a police dog in what they like or dislike. In all honesty this system worked very well and no food was wasted as I read in some of the anti-war politically correct books written by former Army conscripts after 1994. Worse, they seemed proud of it, wasting food. They must be great liberals.

Wasted food would have led to a serious fatherly talk and their meals better had to be tasteful too if they wanted to survive us. Sometimes we took turns in cooking and if you fancy yourself with a special dish you were welcome to try it and many did. As a result, a lot of us arrived with a few recipes and it was good for morale to eat your wife’s or mom’s special dish. Yeah, we knew how to take care of life as any fool in Army brown can be uncomfortable.

That snake which the gate guard shot in the tree (see the First Book), gave me an idea and I had my kitchen constable skin it when we made my special chicken a la king dish the next day. The lads enjoyed the chicken a la king (just right says I) but turned very ungrateful if not downright communist when the snake skin was found in the kitchen refuge where I planted it to be found. That caused a tremendous debate amongst themselves. Until this day some believed they ate the snake which everyone knows taste like chicken superficially (it does not). They interrogated my constable assistant for two hours before getting to me. I had to point out I ate the meal too (in front of them) and that one skinny snake cannot feed 24 men…I am not Jesus of Nazareth and unable to break the snake into pieces (even if the Flying Squad is known for its brilliance) and feed 24 hungry policemen with nothing!

That Bible lesson apparently meant nothing according to the main interrogator who was an experienced detective. He had this assault on them figured out: “Maybe I f like snake meat in my f food. It is not that they did not f notice that I do not get f mail either. Maybe that’s why I do not f get mail because of my f strange eating habits. They knew f sad experience the Flying Squad f otherwise to begin with. Besides, where is the rest of the f snake anyway? Just the f head and skin were found at the crime scene, namely a rubbish bin next to the kitchen where I, the main f suspect, prepared the f food…food which they f ate in good faith even if prepared by the f Flying Squad. Food which f looked suspiciously like f snake now that they f think about it!”

In the end I had to take an oath on my mother’s honour (I was still unmarried and going blind) that it was chicken and not the recently departed snake. I even said I was Jewish (not really / debatable) and we don’t eat snakes but they did not believe me: “First, we know you are not f circumcised because we saw you often enough in the f showers. Hmmm….secondly, your f dog-tags say you are a f spark plug (an Afrikaner Church called NGK) like us. Thirdly, we saw you f eat bacon every morning for the last few months which we know for a f fact real Jews f don’t do.” They finally left me alone after three days but even then I was never allowed in the kitchen without independent oversight. It was genuine chicken but even if it was the snake it was not as bad as what happened to another SAP COIN base whose name I will never enter in written journals.

As you can imagine the men grew tired of each other after a few months, and we arranged a volley ball and darts match against a nearby SAP COIN camp. Drinking too, for we fancied ourselves in any bar. We duly practised every day on how to cheat within the rules for we wanted to win the case of beer which we put up as first prize. This is standard SAP procedure since College days, whatever we did, we wanted to win (see the First Book why). We expected our opponents to have the same principles or lack of them if you want to be communistic about us. Alas, they were not.

We duly arrived the Saturday afternoon at their camp where we found them totally dejected and unable to speak coherently. The gate guard was drunk and their lieutenant stared at his whiskey and winced now and then. An educated man, he also mumbled something before spitting out his whiskey, and immediately refilled his glass afterwards with a bottle which he kept under close observation at all times. They all gave us the evil eye without reason too leaving us in no doubt that we were obviously not that welcome. At first we wondered if someone died but we knew it could not be for we were well-skilled in the art of intercepting everyone else’s radio communication including the Army’s to steal their spoor if and wherever we could. Thus we knew no one died. It was much worse than death and took us hours to learn the horrible and sad truth.

They flatly refused decent conversation and drank with the determination of men who wanted to forget something awful. Therefore, we joined in brotherly comradeship for it was plain to see something terrible happened to them. After no less than seven hours of non-stop drinking the truth came out. Apparently, they appointed their chubbiest constable as chef as was the SAP COIN tradition and he did quite well even if bitterly disappointed not to shoot some terrorists. They were young and active, and he cooked so well that they asked for seconds on more than one occasion. The chef was a kind if slightly portly man and said: “No problem mate, it is prepared with love, help yourself then.” Which they “f did because you don’t waste f food as everyone knows that you should be grateful for SAP COIN’s f generosity and they don’t have any f liberal communist views over food.”

Then they discovered him donating a natural white sauce to the food, so to speak, after they returned from patrol unexpectedly and his “kind words got a whole new f meaning which they f disliked on principle if not f medical reasons.”

Consequently, they sorted him out until such time that their lieutenant threatened to shoot them (witnesses) as soon as he stopped kicking the chef to death himself. Fearing that a murder was about to take place they overpowered the lieutenant (to save him from himself) and took turns to kick the chef further whilst holding the lieutenant back by handcuffing him to the snooker table. The lieutenant felt “f fatherly about the attack from behind as the f Philistines of old and refused to talk to them although they all f apologized!”

They were even less happy when another remarked that he “thought the food tasted familiar in a f way.” Consequently, he too was fatherly sorted out and the Chaplain (visiting by chance) took both culprits away for their own safety before they could carry on with their fatherly education which is “f uncalled for from the Chaplain and shows f communist tendencies they did not expect from a SAP Chaplain.”

Their lieutenant pleaded to kick the two f long haired liberals further…but the Chaplain did not want to agree saying: “They should stop f acting like f liberals themselves. The lads feel very bad about the f misunderstanding and f forgiveness is what is f needed here.” Of course, he never f ate the food since he only f arrived that morning and rokkof-fed the same day leaving them to recover from their f nasty experience alone.

They took a solemn blood oath never to discuss the incident again but as we kept asking they decided to share with us. No one can bear such a cross alone. That was three days ago and since then they drank to forget and to wash their mouths with alcohol although the communist f chef said it was the first time it happened. Or rather, that is what the Chaplain said he said but they lost “f confidence in that Chaplain who obviously does not f understand SAP COIN’s sacred ways and they sincerely suspect now is a f long haired liberal himself.”

The lieutenant also said he “is f-cked by this incident because he f regularly appropriated the f leftovers of the leftovers out of the fridge when the others did not watch and he would f never be able to f eat again in his life! Any f white sauce makes him throw up and gives him f violent shudders. How the f will he explain that to his wife who f happens to like salad and sauce which is f white in colour in case we do not know? And she is a f good detective warrant-officer who always f knows when he is f lying ever since he f met her years ago in the f College. So now he is completely f-cked because he shall definitely f not tell her the f truth and she will get f motherly about it and f torture him for f life for the f truth.”

  • Not really, I am glad to say he wrote to say they are still happily married and she understood the sensitivity being a policewoman. She did find it remarkably funny though. Even now, whenever she sees a white sauce, she gives him “a look” which makes him regret not shooting the f Chaplain and kick the f communists further for their own f good. But as I f know, only long haired liberals complain.

Besides all that one of their two police dogs started throwing up in sympathy and it’s “f unfair to a poor f noble beast to see it suffer like that!” Who cannot have sympathy with such injustice? We stayed on to drink their bar empty and then left after they forfeited the games but in their own words “they gave a f too” and continued to drink. Just to make sure we ate nothing, and almost died of hunger on the way back. Since that day I always asked my wife never to tell me the food is “prepared with love.” Hell, it’s almost worse than the rum episode for me.

  • That was the first thing my American Patriot learned, no food with love, ever, and she also found it humorous so I suppose it is a woman’s thing. For myself, I still get nightmares about their anguish and sorrow. I would have executed the culprits and the Chaplain for interfering in SAP COIN business! Thereafter I would have gone after any and all witnesses. It is assault, attempted murder and torture most foul.

Every Saturday night was barbecue time, and I can tell you that every South African male regardless of colour or religion fancies himself behind a grill. It was and is a great tradition from which all women are excluded or rather excused to the kitchen.

  • A fine African tradition I had to patiently explain to my American Patriot twice who does not take kindly to being excused from her own kitchen. She is an excellent cook as can only be expected.

I don’t know why, but whenever I am close to any fire, the smoke attacks me unreasonably so I often used my gas-mask to barbecue with. A very practical solution which never caught on and led to rather unkind remarks by those jealous men who did not think of it first!

  • I stopped doing it now since my American Patriot told me in no uncertain terms it scares the children and I apparently look like the “long lost monster from Africa.” Would have thought a terrible cough on the verge of death is worse for the kids. American women have strange ideas but I know what is good for me so I am not complaining. As you may imagine, she has the customary US Navy views on shirkers and complainers about a little natural smoke. I also proved in another book, beyond any reasonable doubt, that one American woman is worth more than an Empire.

Every SAP COIN base issued standing orders that by Thursday afternoon we must have collected enough wood from all over our operational area for Saturday’s barbecue. The English had their tea breaks and we had our barbecues. No war or general was going to interfere with it. It would have been cruel to deprive us our traditions which is the same under all race groups. Attacking us whilst barbecuing was seen as very mean-spirited and against the rules of war and common decency. Such acts would be dealt with harshly as a matter of honour. There is no such thing as a tree which we could not bring down with our Casspirs and we learned to drive over any tree of moderate size which looked like it could make decent coals and not poison us. If we could not drive over it and we had explosives with us, we used cortex cord which is better than any chainsaw I heard of. Very efficient it is. Getting wood was not a big problem but the tree might be 50 miles from the camp because the lads maintained the tradition in previous years and took the ones closest. Anyway, we needed a nice and clean fire zone around the camp.

Once down, the tree was towed to the camp behind our Casspir which had the added advantage that on the way there, the leaves and snakes and what else will fall off. There was anyhow no space inside a Casspir for us and the tree and sometimes a constable would sit on the tree whilst we tow him. It was great fun and another variation was to tow a discarded mattress on which we took turns to “surf.” As can be expected we came off at speeds up to 30 miles an hour but were never seriously hurt…because of good SAP COIN training no doubt. A few times we forgot about the surfer, and accelerated to our normal top speed in which case he held on for dear life and never fell off (which proves that falling off was long haired liberal tendencies to start with). Bit dusty afterwards though but all for a good cause and usually everyone laughed about it.

One lad however, was so upset that he used his service pistol (Z88 / M9) to open fire on us after he stopped rolling across an ant heap. This act made me fatherly unhappy for the bullets bounced harmlessly of the Casspirs armoured steel sides…wasting bullets is not SAP COIN’s way of doing things or mine for that matter. As a result, we fired a few dozen rounds back with our R1 (SLR) rifles before he wisely apologized for his unsporting liberal communist behaviour. We had to catch him first, because he ran for cover when we started shooting at him (in self-defence says I who gave the order to shoot him). He negotiated the formal surrender from behind a big tree which we circled like hyenas to flush him out. During that time, he had to duck and dive to keep that tree between us and him for we kept shooting until he gave up his long haired liberal communist ways and apologised to everyone involved. I don’t understand his way of thinking anyway but he was from a small station in the Karoo (a semi-desert area) and lost some of his good Police College education. That is what counting sheep does to humans. And he was grateful for my fatherly interest too and thanked us for allowing him to sit on the towed tree stump again. Survival is a serious matter. He did not try that trick again.

Once in the camp we manhandled the tree into a two-foot-deep trench and ordered a constable to keep it burning with a few dozen gallons of Helicopter (Chopper) fuel until we had nice coals on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. On Monday, we started searching for another tree. I must add, before the long haired liberal tree huggers complain, that we only selected trees which already died for obvious reasons…. we don’t like smoke from wet wood.

The one respectable part about the SAP COIN training base Maleoskop is their food. We only had two meals a day but that was superb in quality and quantity. We ate well and anyone saying different is a long haired liberal with communist tendencies. Afterwards we washed our mess kit in warm soapy water. That gave me a love of doing dishes which surprises many people and probably attracted my American Patriot to me in the first place. It is agreeable to see dirty dishes become clean right in front of you. Therapeutic I would say…especially when standing in the veldt looking at nature and of course, keeping a sharp lookout for the prowling instructors.

The dish water was not always hot enough, sadly, and a many of us had what is universally known as gyppo guts or diarrhoea in normal language. It is a horrible disease to suffer from whilst wearing an overall which did not unbutton as fast as normal pants. Many had accidents which were not only embarrassing but rather smelly. I am sure if we were more cultured we would have thought of a better name for the “SAP COIN shuffle” in getting rid of the kit and the overall down in a hurry than what we called it. It is so unprintable that I cannot repeat it here but I assure you it was a sight to see a man dropping kit and rifle and overalls in one go behind the closest tree if the need was too urgent to wait. It was no respecter of rank and survival is a serious matter. Man got to go when he got to go and so it is.

SAP COIN was very military in its ways and we followed the Rhodesian (read British) Army tradition where to run to during such inconvenient times. Hence we always dug a trench downwind whenever we stopped for more than a day somewhere. A few enterprising lads (all constables are that) built a structure to do number two on and that gave way one day. He fell straight into the (you know what). We banished him and his buddies downwind of us for our own survival. To ensure he stays away, the instructors gave him the MAG or LMG for the LMG is always on the flanks. It would have been criminal assault to put someone else close to him or leave him in our midst. However, the original LMG operator was very sour about the uncalled loss of his machine gun and had decidedly communist views about it.

I remember on my second bush trip a stomach virus attacked us, and 21 out of 23 men were hospitalised. One doctor died or so I read in the newspaper. It was terrible with us bent double unable to keep anything down or inside. I prayed for the death that day and two days after without ceasing.

  • I know men are not tough and complain easily. I certainly am always looking for sympathy from my American Patriot, but really. Some guys had to have drips and called for the f Chaplain and their moms. Since that day I thank God every day that I was not born as a woman because I will die during labour and unfortunately not fast enough. Only the arrival of kidney stones many years later was worse, and that is as bad if not worse than giving birth to a child. But then, as I pointed out to my American Patriot, you don’t give birth unless something nice took place beforehand, nine months before. With kidney stones, you just suffer, nothing nice, you comprehend? She was not overly impressed but kind enough to let it go.

The groans and moans were something terrible. The nurses enjoyed it so much they kept laughing. I am sure they were long haired liberals in disguise. Some were quite attractive but we were not at our best and did not impress them until day four. Doctors are also much better catches than a poor policeman anyway.

  • Actually, many swore that marriages between policemen and nurses worked very well for both were used to working shifts and death. Shrug, I would not know.

There was a joke or rumour of a constable who crept up to his mate doing number two, and proceeded to catch the excrement with a spade. He then replaced it with the intestines of a dead animal which caused the victim immense emotional stress and the frantic demand to be evacuated straightaway as he lost “half his f intestines during the number two.” He also became dehydrated and delirious within seconds of seeing the intestines and wanted the Chaplain to “help him to the f pearly gates he can see approaching in the distance.”

You know this could have happened for many would take the time to smoke a cigarette and gaze over the veldt and not concentrate enough on surroundings. Kind of tradition and good luck to them too. You have to enjoy everything and a flushing toilet is one of the great luxuries in life as we found out standing hours on parade with sweat drops on our faces begging the sergeant to let us go before we disgrace him and the SAP and our pants. It is in the First Book. I also heard of one dropping a cigarette down the hole so to speak and it ignited the gas inside. He had to be treated for dangling burns much to the rest’s amusement. How do you explain that to the medic? “Don’t f rub now mate and be careful!” Yeah, I can just imagine that.

Always walking

At the Riot Course I had the exceedingly bad luck to be in “Charlie Camp” which I still hate for we were treated unfairly and had a horrible time. This time we were in Foxtrot Camp which is between two mountains. It was brand new then and since it never got sunlight very cold. How we hated the communistic engineers who decided to build it there. On the other hand, it was only about seven miles from the main shooting range and that made things much easier for us for we walked everywhere.

I don’t mind walking. Like it in fact, but that walking was something else, for it was always with as much kit as you needed, carrying your rifle with you everywhere: “What to f do you mean your feet hurt constable? We are but f ten miles away from the f last smoke break! Arrived f unfit and f fat on mama’s f food now? We know how to deal with your long haired f tendencies and you can thank us later f fatherly concern over your f health.”

Our feet began to suffer and soon the medics (read really cruel instructors) took great delight in opening the huge blisters and injecting the wound with Mercurochrome or something. I have no words to tell you how it burned. Just take my word, you will never again complain about a blister. I heard grown men, tough lads, cry for their mothers and a rifle to shoot the f medic with. It may take three powerful constables to keep the victim pinned on the ground during treatment! And you know what, it did work! It made our blisters much better and yes we did thank the medics for their fatherly concern. They were just trying to help, I am sure.

The only other advice is to thoroughly wash your feet and dry it whenever possible. Especially between the toes and wear clean socks every day. If not, the blood will seep through the canvass boots and the instructors have a fatherly talk about your lack of taking care of your feet. They had no sense of decency or humour about that. So we learned the hard way that their way is the only way. The furthest we walked was 30 miles in one day to test our fitness levels, and we mostly made it even if the medics had a great time treating our broken feet afterwards. The fact that we carried full kit with us did not help matters, and to make sure we do not cheat with weight, we slept the night before next to our starting point at the shooting range. Before we left the instructors made sure we carried whatever we had to carry. It will take a big lad on a horse or my American Patriot to get me to walk that far in my life again. Am sure I will drop dead at the 3-mile mark or so I hope. There was a mad lieutenant who was a marathon runner of great renown who ran the whole distance. Surely he cheated for he wore nothing but his R1 rifle doing so and was finished hours before us giving us the lip as we trampled in. We made sure to give him the evil eye back, he cheated, he should have stayed with his men.

The LMG lads got seriously stuck in that day. We wanted to help them carry their MAGs but they became communistic about such things. Another obnoxious lad discovered six bricks in his backpack which did not belong to him and he was very fatherly about it. Did not think the assault is funny though we thought so. At least later he laughed and swore revenge. It is the SAP way of course, to give the evil eye and take revenge.

One of our practical problems on our own borders was that many thousands, if not millions of black newly liberated Africans, wanted to live and work in Apartheid South Africa as the living conditions were and still are very much better than anywhere else in Africa. It was not uncommon to find spoor (tracks) crossing the border and the trail leaver using backtracking techniques to get rid of us. All that meant was that he may have been a terrorist during his own war of freedom and now starving, as freedom brought hunger with it when the white farmers were chased away. In consequence you never really knew what you were dealing with and took all precautions following the spoor (tracks). Our Police background helped a lot to establish if the captured one was a terrorist or a man who is hungry enough to be desperate. Most were deported, and that was hard on them and us…we knew they were dying of hunger across the border. With the white farmers went the food. Something their communist masters did not tell them about.

Every SAP COIN Camp had a helicopter landing pad and we stored hundreds of gallons of chopper fuel next to it for emergency use. The pilots did not trust the fuel and would test it before allowing it into their tanks. They did this by looking at it very carefully; flatly ignoring our hurt looks about their lack of faith in our storage abilities. Survival is a serious matter.

Chopper fuel played a major part in our lives for we burned the ash heap every day with it. That was very enjoyable for someone like me, I am naturally gifted with all things capable of exploding. The correct method was to gather all the rubbish. Then you pour a few gallons over it and light a match making sure to stand wind up. You would think this is easy enough but one day two Rooinekke decided to make a bonfire as they “were homesick and it reminded them of the beach” or so they said during the fatherly talk which followed. They proceeded to pour no less than 55 US gallons of chopper fuel into the rubbish dump and light a fuse. The subsequent explosion was spectacular if not very efficient as it blew the ash heap into mid-air from where it fell back all on the camp. They spent the next week cleaning up. Still they had fun for a few seconds and we thought we were under attack.

We had a few commissioned officers with us on the COIN course. They had to repeat the course once commissioned even if experienced bush fighters. Some of them took a dim view of the proceedings and who can blame them? I too repeated the refresher training about six times. According to regulations you had to undergo refresher training every time you went to the border. This lasted for about a week. I understand that the refresher training which was necessary for some but not for me who went on a trip and came back only to go again to release the ones who released me so to speak. That went on for two years and I spent in total about twenty-one months with SAP COIN. I am not complaining for I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot. There was a lot of freedom to do what you please once you left camp…as long as you got results. Such orders made sense to a man like me who enjoyed it very much.

Regrettably, our camouflage clothes were designed for the Rhodesian Bush War much further to the north and simply could not cope with frost and below zero temperatures of South Africa in winter time. The sleeping bags were not nearly warm enough either for the prevailing conditions and let no one tell you South Africa cannot get cold; it is freezing at times. We really shivered in the cold. At some stage we were thinking along the lines of Brokeback Mountain but with me not the hugging type to begin with I suffered silently giving my mate the evil eye when he inquired as survival was on the line. Being cold is not nearly as bad as an unshaven (or f shaven, male, hallo, one reader asked) constable lying in your arms according to me. You can always think good thoughts to keep warm (nah, does not help, you just shiver and pray for daylight). We likewise soon learned the hard way that to complain of the cold was to invite a fatherly PT session to get warm again. Unfortunately, (I know the instructors meant well), the sweat then turned to ice making it worse. Later on I got wise and created my own camouflage jacket over a civilian wind-breaker which gave much more warmth. This was frowned upon by the Generals who never slept in the cold but in warm beds at home. Wearing such a jacket at the SAP COIN training base at Maleoskop may have ended in arrest for damaging state property so I had to be smart about it. The Special Task Force lads had a windbreaker, specially made, for the mountaineering work they did, but we obviously never had such jackets and I only saw it once.

I recollect having a few words with a young instructor once when he saw my shirt sleeves were cut off and wanted to make it an issue. At that stage I was an experienced Flying Squad sergeant on my way to the border for the sixth time in eighteen months and not about to take crap from him so he backed down. The adjustments were done very neatly and it actually looked good but according to regulations only instructors had access to such factory made camouflage. I had to bribe a female constable to adjust it at home for me, she was quite cute. (They all were, there was no such thing as a fat policewoman.) It must be said that most, if not all, SAP COIN instructors were very decent men and carried on with the job of training us without too much unpleasantness. Our level of fitness was a serious concern and I am sure if one of them reads here he will have a few choice words to add about unfit policemen arriving for training. They were never really mean just for the sake of it and treated us well enough…especially when they sensed when someone was genuinely interested and not being clever about it, even if from the Flying Squad known for their “otherwise” behaviour.

  • Yes, a few did read here and had a few choice words about fitness levels. It wasted time and they had no time to waste.

The unfit ones really suffered for SAP COIN did not waste any time…either you kept up or a fatherly talk followed until you do. Doing the odd push-up is part of training and to be expected but then again, SAP COIN had a push-up called a Chinese push-up or something where you stood with (you know what) in the air leaning on your hands and it was really tiring. I felt it was slightly (read totally) ridiculous and would start to giggle which is always a recipe for a fatherly talk. But even that was better than imitating a Muslim without knowing it. Mind you, anything though is better than the College which had a “duck walk” which was not for educated people and should be banned by the Geneva Convention…that we did a lot and it is plainly horrible so I am not mentioning it again. The instructors regularly shot at us and between us to get our attention. Most kindly they also tried hard to hit us as seldom as possible. Grateful for that! Not complaining. Survival is a serious matter.

  • I know of only one instance where a SAP COIN instructor actually shot one of the trainees. The trainee was doing Chinese push-ups and the instructor wanted to shoot next to him (not sure why) and wounded him slightly in the ass by mistake. No big deal. These things happen even if he was on light duty for a week or two. Only long haired liberals complain without reason and it was only a flesh wound anyway. After all, the instructor did apologise. (The apology was unnecessary in my eyes but anyway, he probably felt bad – nothing officially happened, rightly so.)

The Flying Squad always carried the radios

It did not take SAP COIN long to realise they had excellent radio signallers amongst the Flying Squad members for who else knew radio procedures better? As a result, we carried the long distance TR28 radio besides our normal kit and if not that, the shorter range A53 designed for squad communication. Carrying the long distance radio I actually volunteered for because the radio was strapped on my chest. I figured out it balanced the ruck sack on my back nicely and did too. Carrying the radios made me walk next to the commanders and relay all the messages so I knew what was happening being inquisitive by nature. I could and did study how they commanded the platoons for on the border a sergeant would do that. Regrettably, the SAP COIN radios were ex-Army and never worked as well as they should have. We got so frustrated that we used the radios sometimes as plates for the Casspirs jack in soft sand which bent them like an overripe banana.

  • That made a retired Army Signals Colonel I met after the war disgusted beyond any description and I soon stopped telling him about it. The man really got fatherly about it. I had to apologise and said I made a joke.

I have to say here though that the vehicle borne radios worked well. It is only the portable ones I had doubts about. The portables came with weird and wonderful antennas which could be thrown in a tree (and how do you get it f down again I asked before the subsequent push-ups made me shut up). They were all line of sight FM types even if they had frequency hopping and other interesting abilities we never used. Interestingly, they also worked on normal torch batteries which we carried around and they weigh a lot for what they delivered. My dad was a signaller when he did his national service in 1953 or there around and they carried car batteries so we should not be like communists and be grateful.

The torch batteries had other uses too. You could always throw a wayward constable with one against the head if he does not follow your hand signals during foot patrols and a good size stone not close enough to use. Shooting him would make too much noise though I am sure it was considered a few times. During foot patrols the hand signals caused much mirth as the sign to “come here quickly” could be mistaken for wanking in public. Any veteran will be able to demonstrate what I mean. It is very funny. Just don’t demonstrate in public lads for the Sheriff may want to arrest you for public indecency.

  • “No they won’t Honey” says my American Patriot who reads here before you do. “Many of the Sheriff’s men and women are ex-military and understand the signalling system!” Still, I take no responsibility if they don’t but perhaps the judge is also ex-military.

Loaded like a pack mule with the long distant radio I was a bit taken aback when they also gave the FN MAG light machine gun and begun to wonder if the traditional hatred of the Flying Squad from other units was perhaps playing a role in that decision. As you may expect by now I made sure to remember that instructor’s face. A few months later, when he needed a lift in Pretoria, I volunteered to pick him up in old ROMEO 4. Yeah, he missed his connecting flight because I had to attend a bank robbery first. Life can be tough sometimes. Don’t be long haired liberal lad. Just thank me for dropping you off only an hour late. (In all fairness he quite understood and enjoyed the action immensely. We were also glad to have him; they are crack shots.)

MAG gunners tend to be no taller than five feet five and are a breed on their own. They would hug that MAG and give anyone the evil eyes for daring to ask if they need a break. They forced everyone to carry the belt link ammunition so they could fire hundreds of rounds at the slightest excuse. And you have never heard anyone roar like a MAG gunner who wants “new link right f now!” Thinking of it, I am sure my old RSM was a MAG gunner earlier in his life. (See the First Book about that terrible man.)

Carrying the MAG and the radio really did not suit my taller frame but not being a long haired liberal I carried it with me for the next few weeks giving everyone the evil eye as SAP COIN tradition expected me to. Besides that, the Flying Squad was not going to back down without dying first even if I sometimes wished for death going up and down Boleo (a large mountain). I must say the MAG was a delightful weapon to shoot with. The barrel became white hot and could be changed without any special equipment within seconds. This made it better than the American M60 which you may know. It was heavy though, even if we never had it in sustained fire role or with optical sights where the extra gear made it ten times heavier than usual.

Naturally someone had to carry the spare barrel and be close to the MAG all the time. Your average MAG gunner was very much Flying Squad material in arrogance. He controlled his loaders with much passion and a few kicks no doubt if his evil eye did not bring immediate results. They were indeed tough men amongst men…if you wish to die violently you only need to use his MAG as a chair for it stood on a bi-pod when not being carried. MAG gunners have no sense of humour about disrespect to their MAG and got fatherly about such things.

We made sure to load enough tracer rounds and during night firing exercises it was fantastic to see the tracers spewing out in a long line of red lasers. The terrorists used green tracer on occasion but it depended who supplied them. The MAG itself was fired in short bursts from which the individual machine gunners could be recognised. They wore no special insignia and everyone was trained on its use but they were a breed apart. One Rhodesian Warrant-Officer showed me how a MAG can be fired without a trigger but then you need to keep it pointed in another direction all the time by standing on its butt. Not so easy if the pistol grip is missing to control it and I heard of incidents where the MAG had a run-away. The poor machine gunner had to hide from his own machine gun…in such cases you need to twist the ammunition belt to stop it firing. I am sure he had to face a lot of lip about it too.

We never called it the “pig” or anything else but a MAG or LMG and it always worked. Utterly reliable and very accurate it fed the belt from the left side which is better than the Soviet RPD (a light machine gun) which we also trained on. That one feeds right to left which is weird. Being the school’s history boffin I knew most Russians were right handed so I often wondered why they designed it as such. After three weeks the instructors disliked a Rooinek constable for some reason and gave my MAG to him and his R1 (SLR) to me. I was appalled but with the heavy radio not appalled enough to dispute the point for we were walking longer patrols by now and the MAG lost some of its magic. I still had one at the Flying Squad in any case. I found it lying in the armoury and took it with me on patrol to shoot stolen cars with but never got the chance much to my disappointment. I can tell you, getting out with a MAG at a disturbance made everyone shake hands and apologise for troubling the Sergeant. It was a fatherly talk on its own.

MAG gunners always walked on the flanks and it took me years to figure out why since not even the Rhodesians could tell me. Historically, it started in the First World War where it was found that crossfire was a lot more effective against large bodies of men attacking from the front. In consequence the MAG stayed on the flanks. Of course, the MAG was only manufactured after the Second World War and the well-known CZ Bren, Browning BAR and MG43 were used in the same way. After studying the patrol formations, I decided that the MAG should be very close to the front where it could give suppression fire when ambushed whilst the rest counter attacked. In fact, I read, being the school’s history boffin as you know that the US SEALs did that with their Stoner Machine Guns in Vietnam ten years before. Something which the ex-Marine Colonel confirmed but he added they were mad too. Always doing stuff no sane person would do.

As can be expected, the terrorists always targeted the commander, the radio operator and the MAG gunner and thus I never (read seldom) wore rank insignia on my camouflaged uniform. There must have been many who thought I was a very arrogant constable but then what else do you expect from Flying Squad members? I sometimes think the rest of the Force was resigned to us doing what we do and our obnoxious ways (rightly so, we were better).

I know one general who certainly was not resigned to our ways and we had a satisfying dispute about me not wearing my hat at an accident scene in Pretoria. I admit that and that it is against Police Regulations but I was on my knees giving second aid to a dying man and the thing fell off. I arrested him for preventing me in the execution of my duties and told him to shut up before I had a fatherly talk with him. Now I must tell you, he was wearing a stupid night dress and I did not know he was a general. I did not believe him either when he told me he was and added a charge of impersonating a policeman. Yeah, that caused uproar…especially when I refused to back down out of principle and called my lawyer family members in to defend me. We squared up for a major punch-up but eventually the whole matter was swept under the carpet and I was given a warning (to wear my hat) by a much embarrassed Police HQ colonel who apologised to me afterwards. It was the only internal police charge ever against me in six years and it kept me away from warrant-officer rank. That did not bother me much. I already lost faith in generals wearing a night dress (my word, he looked like a twat) and I took much pleasure in seeing him squirming at the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) some years later. By that time, I was giving legal advice to the Squeezers from the Human Rights law firm I worked at as a junior attorney and he retired before his time. Life is very ironic and I praise God for that. I mean, who wants a boring life anyway?

  • I admire this particular general. At least he stood up at the TRC and flatly refused to sell his lads down the river. He was a hard man even in his retirement and I respect that. He was right too…dying men are not as important as a cap on your head. Police Regulations always override common-sense and discipline must be kept at all costs. There are no knives to grind here, he is still alive and not bothering anyone.

This reminds me of a joke about the Army which I heard from a COIN instructor. Seems like a general was expected to do an inspection or whatever generals do when they don’t pick on sergeants. To ensure everything went like it should, the RSM told the gate guard to be on the lookout for the General, and let him know as soon as he arrives so that he can inform the Colonel. When the General arrived the guard said to him: “You are in deep trouble mate, the RSM is looking for you and you better run along now!”

I don’t think anyone can dispute that the SAP COIN Course was not thorough. By that time SAP COIN had more than 25 years of experience in COIN operations in four countries and the Rhodesians brought their Bush Warfare experience with them. We really learned whatever there is to know about COIN operations and we would apply what we learned. And we would adapt, with the tours of duty came hard won experience.


I talk a lot about Casspirs. So perhaps I must give some background on this remarkable vehicle (see pictures also at the back of this book). When SAP COIN became involved in Rhodesia, the need for a landmine resistant vehicle arose quickly as the terrorists just loved planting it wherever they could with no regard to civilian life. It is a good terror weapon in that regard. The new vehicle also had to be bullet proof against the AK47 and be able to operate in rough terrain.

The Army had nothing to appropriate and remember this was in the 1960s before the Army was re-equipped. First SAP COIN tried sandbags on their Bedfords and the Unimogs they could appropriate from somewhere. Sandbags were however a Second World War method which did not work well even if better than nothing. One of the first attempts for a mine proof vehicle was known as the Hyena built on a Ford F250 chassis. It was the first of the V-hulls to force the landmine explosion away from the occupants. They even put sail covers down the sides to hide the V-hull (top secret at the time). Another vehicle tried with limited success was the Ribbok. All failed in the end because it was not good enough and not tough enough either. The Rhodesians welded thick steel plates over the wheel arches of their Land Rovers and that worked up to a point by protecting the occupants but the explosion destroyed the vehicle.

Something better was needed and the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) designed the Casspir which became operational in the late 1970s and still are reckoned today to be in a class of its own. The Casspir was purposely built with a crew of three being the driver, side gunner and commander. Sometimes the side gunner and commander was the same person but ideally it should not be for the commander needed to command and give suppressing fire and worked the radios at the same time. He stood just behind the driver in the middle of the floor with his own hatch to see what is happening. It was indeed a wonderful feeling to stand there looking around. I loved it.

The new Casspir had space for ten men in the back with their rifles if not much else for the vehicle was relatively narrow to fit between the wheels. All extra gear was stowed in bin boxes behind the driver and side gunner and individual rifles had specially built spaces to be held in place. The bin boxes could and were filled up with ice to keep the beer cold. Obviously that was against regulations. Above the bin boxes were the radios which worked well enough as said. The vehicle stood high above the ground which was not a design fault but gave added protection against landmines and the ability to see terrorists in the savannah grass. Forward view was restricted but adequate enough to drive in towns with even though it was never originally designed to work in towns.

As the internal situation deteriorated the Casspirs found themselves repainted decent SAP yellow with a blue stripe in the middle. It really looked ugly and was used by the SAP Riot Units to patrol the townships. The Nationalists decided camouflage looks too military. They were so worried about image! Usually that indicates a guilt complex of note. Bizarrely, the yellow Police Casspirs took a lot more fire than the few remaining camouflage ones. Some say this was because it could be seen better but I think the camouflage ones looked more sinister and were thus left alone. However, with the operations in townships the need for bigger side windows became urgent and thus a Mark 2 version came out with very nice and large side windows. It also had a slightly tilted bonnet for better view even if still not perfect and a turbo charged engine. This was the Mark 2B and the best of the lot.

One afternoon I drove at top speed (what else?) down a dirt road when I saw something in the road. At first it looked like a black line and then I realised it was the mother of all black mamba snakes and decided to kill it. In case you don’t know, the black mamba is probably the most dangerous and aggressive snake in Africa. It can kill an elephant and that says a lot for unless you stood next to an African elephant you cannot imagine how big they are. Silent too for they move quietly around and only make a noise to attack or frighten you away.

Any mamba is really a nasty reptile to be avoided at all costs. I accelerated and the constables sitting of the roof admiring the view started to dive into the Casspir as they also saw that black mamba and realised what was happening. As said, the forward view of a Casspir was restricted in the sense that you could not see right in front of the vehicle for about six feet. As a result, when that snake disappeared from view I thought well that is bye bye Mr Black Mamba and started to congratulate myself. But it was not to be. The next instant it reared up above the bonnet which is seven feet off the ground and out of the way to strike against the big side windows where my knee would have been if the windows did not break the snake’s teeth. I can still see the venom running down the window as I type here.

That snake was really angry at life! If anyone tells you that a black mamba attacked and bit someone inside a car travelling at 70 miles per hour you better believe it. Keep your windows up and the air-conditioner on is my motto since then. For the long haired liberal snake lovers, no I do not regret attacking that mamba as we just came from a school where a black kid was killed by a mamba whilst walking to the latrines.

  • Schools depended very much on where and for whom they were built. White kids had magnificent schools with excellent sporting fields, gyms, labs and whatever a school needed. The rest? No, not really but once again this depends. Some coloured schools in the big townships were quite good but in the rural area, even today, they fall apart and you would not believe the dilapidated condition with toilets half a mile away in the form of pits. Today all schools are fully integrated in law if not practical terms. Teachers, even those with college degrees (most) are paid lowly salaries, about the same as a constable and that I can tell you, is pathetic. Most attorneys charge more in one day in court than what a teacher is paid. The legal secretaries are worse off, mostly, they get about a three-hour fee per month (yes, praise the Lord I got kicked out of the profession, it is scandalous).

After the spitting / biting, it took about 300 yards to stop and reverse back to the ambush sight where we saw two black mambas sailing rapidly into the veldt. I believe we fired more than 200 shots at it before it disappeared, and no one including me volunteered to walk after them and see where they went. They are still gone but I was actually relieved to see them sail into the grass. They could have been stuck under the Casspir to ambush us when we get out! Snakes can and do get into the engine bays of cars…I remember once at a roadblock, when a fellow arrived and abandoned his car in a great hurry. Thinking it may be a car bomb, we lined up to shoot him first but he shouted that a snake is underneath the car and kept running. We found one wrapped around the prop shaft. Since it was injured we killed it with a shotgun after making sure that no one stood on the other side of the vehicle.

As you know I have a fear of snakes, and the very worst was when a tree snake fell into my Casspir whilst on patrol. We were driving under a tree minding our own business so to speak and since we went on a week patrol the Casspir was fairly well laden with sleeping bags and equipment. As the driver I saw something in the rear mirror (in the middle, not sides) and the snake tumbling in slow motion into the troop compartment and on top of my constables. That was enough for me to escape through the open hatch above my head and jump the eight feet to the ground. The Casspir was still moving when I exited and it kept on moving without its driver (me) now on the outside and waiting to see what will happen next.

The rear doors opened and all remaining eight men flew out simultaneously. The side gunner went out through the commander’s hatch like a rocket. He made a running dive off the roof and it took him a few minutes to regain his breath for he fell on an ant’s nest (a very hard upright structure). That left the Casspir occupied by the snake and since it could not drive a Casspir, nor had permission to do so, the vehicle crashed against and went over a few trees before it stopped about a hundred yards further. I was much relieved as I imagined the consequences explaining the loss of one Casspir with all our kit due to an unfair and illegal attack from behind, like the f philistines, by one tree snake. In addition, it was a three day walk back to camp. We then realised all our kit and assault rifles were still inside the abandoned Casspir with the snake which made us distinctly uncomfortable to say the least.

Hence we had an impromptu smoke break discussing what to do next. Someone suggested shooting it with our side-arms but I knew we could not shoot the snake inside the Casspir as the bullet may ricochet around the armoured sides and kill more than one tree snake. In fact, this happened with the Army in a Ratel IFV or so I heard.

  • Apparently 3 soldiers died and another 4 wounded because of this incident. A Ratel is an 18 ton wheeled infantry fighting vehicle the Army used with great effect. Many shot the terrorist’s Soviet made T55 tanks out during the conflict in Angola. I disliked them on principle being meaner than my beloved Casspirs.

Our fear for tree snakes was that there was not a known cure if one bites you. Admittedly, that does not happen often for it is a shy reptile and not as aggressive as the black mambas. Its teeth are also in the back of its mouth so it cannot bite that well but if it gets lucky, you bleed to death. I may be wrong but that was what we believed then. There simply was no way out alive once bitten. We did not mind dying for the cause (we believed) but that did not extend to a silly snake bite. Yet, we wanted our Casspir back and by now the low air pressure buzzer was screaming so I climbed on the roof to switch the ignition key off (by leaning into the cab from the driver’s hatch).

In the meantime, my black constables made “knob kieries” (traditional fighting sticks) out of the trees the Casspir drove over after I abandoned the steering wheel. One of my Zulu constables told me ceremoniously to “f watch them sort the f snake fatherly out as certain things in Africa should be f left to black men Sergeant.”

Fair enough, let them do then what white men apparently cannot. The white constable and me sat in the shade under a tree to watch the fun. (Yes, we did check the tree above us with great suspicion before making ourselves comfortable below it. We may be scared of snakes but we were not stupid you know.) It was always wonderful to me to see Zulu men take command. They are natural leaders and have no inhibition to shout orders or fatherly enforce their orders if needs be. This one was a big lad with broad shoulders and always grinning about life in the SAP and planning his wedding with a Zulu female constable for whom he already paid ten head of cattle. He was now on his third border duty trip in a year because he was saving for a new and fancy microwave oven she wanted…the previous two tours of duty paid the lobola.

He took the lead and with another Zulu they threw all the kit out, and as they threw it out the rest would hit out with their sticks where the kit used to be. As I expected, one of the other tribes hit my Zulu by accident on the arm. This caused a punch-up / tribal war right next to the Casspir with the snake temporarily forgotten. I had to stop them after a while, we had a Casspir to recover, and after they made peace they got the snake and threw it on top of a Xhosa constable who promptly resumed / started the punch-up / tribal war after he stopped running and them laughing at him at the top of their voices. This time I let them be, my Zulu ended it with a straight right on the chin. Amongst men, fist fights are not a big thing and there were no hard feelings. They all shook hands afterwards…this time meaning it a bit more. The snake sailed away to find another tree unharmed and looking disgusted with us. I was just grateful to get rid of the snake and we could continue our patrol and this time avoiding low hanging branches just for in case a snake was in it.

I then found out my Zulu could throw a stone twice as far as any known man or device and gave him four hand grenades to carry which he did with a smirk and grin. I also went to his wedding and met his dad who was a tough detective warrant-officer. Wonderful people.

The unique design point in Casspirs was not the V-shape hull to deflect any landmine explosion but the wheels which were not underneath the vehicle. They were on the side which meant if a wheel was blown off and it could be repaired within hours and caused no damage to the vehicle itself. The engine itself was well protected and suffered no damage from explosions. During tests it idled on without even registering the extra heat from a triple landmine explosion underneath it. Opening the armoured (read heavy) bonnet was easy enough for it lifted with air pressure. And when not, we just lifted it up anyway by hand for we checked the oil and water every day. Our lives depended on that engine and we made sure it was in perfect condition at all times.

The real magic came when the CSIR realized that the force of the landmine explosion, even a triple boosted one, is still very much less than a pilot ejecting from his aircraft. We must remember that the crew, (as opposed to the pilot) did not know when to get ready for an explosion. Up to that time, stop-gap vehicles seats were metal with a thin carpet cover to prevent spinal injuries. The hard seats caused many complaints even if policemen are not long haired liberals for it made the vehicles uncomfortable which is bad for operational efficiency. Remember it drove quite often over rough terrain and not smooth roads, shaking violently and they were top heavy, the first attempts (not a Casspir, it does not fall over easily). A comfortable thick rubber type seat was installed in Casspirs which we also used as life jackets in water as it could float and keep the average constable above the water. Naturally that was an unofficial and unintended benefit. With swimming we always made sure that we do not imitate the doomed Rhodesian patrol. History can save your life.

I read that the top speed was about 45 miles per hour but I assure you that is nonsense. We drove up to 70 miles per hour at times which was slightly dangerous as there were no ABS brakes. Thus we used the manual gears and exhaust brake a lot but those were normal Flying Squad skills anyway. I am sure former members reading here will email me with claims that they did 100 miles per hour downhill and I believe them. What I will not believe was the often claimed top speed of a Station Police “van” (truck) in some remote area which is apparently faster than any Flying Squad car ever built.

“I am telling you Sergeant. This f van will make your f Flying Squad car stand still. It was built on f Wednesday and secretly tuned by my mechanic mate (whoever). It f spins in third gear.”

Many a time I said to the story teller more correctly known as an arch liar: “Bring your f van and I will bring my Ford XR6 (or whatever I drove at that stage) and we will test this f theory of yours! You’ll f thank me for the fatherly f lesson in physics.” Alas they never showed up. My offer still stands!

It was a good thing too that the lads were proud of their Units and Stations. It was an unwritten rule that no one from outside may criticize and if they do they tender for a fatherly talk about their long haired liberal tendencies in life. It shows the excellent morale which the SAP enjoyed up to the end. There was pride, in themselves, in their country and their service. The system worked very well.

The Casspir had a turbo charged water-cooled six-cylinder diesel engine. Hence the weak spot would have been the radiator but it was not. The radiator was protected by armoured vents which opened up in the form of a hinged door so that it (and the radiator) could be cleaned of grass (a killer for radiators for the seeds block the air flow and may cause a fire if dry enough). For that very reason there was a grass filter between the armoured vents and the radiator. It doubled up as a remarkably good barbecue grill when needed.

The hull itself was and is oddly angled to deflect bullets and completely armoured against the AK47 and lesser calibres. There was an unfortunate rumour that the first Casspir ever built, was built with the wrong steel and not armoured through some embarrassing mix up at the factory. I made sure to shoot mine with my R1 (SLR) which is more powerful than the AK47 just to make sure the long haired engineers did not make that mistake again. I am glad to say they did not. Still I felt better afterwards knowing it. I assure you, I made sure not to hit the windows which would have been difficult to explain. Then came a rumour that a bullet turned around would penetrate the armour being something of a shape charge or hollow-point. I tested that also and the answer is negative. It did even less damage than a normal one. I think the misunderstanding started because of a lack of appreciation about the difference between a “hollow point” and a “shape charge” with explosives that will go through most armour.

Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and armour piecing rifle grenades were a problem for us. They were all based on the “shape charge” principle. The Casspirs did not have explosive reactive armour to combat RPGs and it was dealt with by suppressing fire and rapid movement. Luckily, we seldom to never clashed with RPG armed terrorists in our forgotten operational area. That happened more in Angola and Ovamboland but they had heavy machine guns mounted in turrets to give more suppressing fire, we did not. They also had, mostly, K-car (helicopter gunship) support, we had none.

The Casspir’s off-road capability was excellent and would amaze most even today. However, the four-wheel drive system had a design fault in my view for it would go into low range automatically whenever engaged. This made it much slower even if as strong as all the oxen in Africa for the first gear was really low. It could climb mountains like a goat and recover other Casspirs stuck in mud or sand. Being fully armoured it was about eleven tons fully loaded. This figure is disputed as I always thought they were closer to seven tons. This meant they needed low range when in deep sand (quite often). And they did get stuck, that happened no matter how good you were. Yet, I believe that a high range four-wheel drive system would have been much better in sandy conditions and increased the fuel range. It had a rear diff-lock as standard equipment which could be used whenever in four-wheel drive mode or not and often was. Like all military vehicles it had enough instrument dials to make anyone happy, especially me (it does not take much says my American Patriot). How I remember the big red buttons light up when four-wheel drive and diff-lock were engaged. It is worthwhile to buy a Mercedes Gelande Wagen for that reason alone.

Another problem was the power steering which depended on the engine running and if the engine cut out the side gunner had to help turn the steering wheel for it was too heavy for a normal human being even if from the Flying Squad. I once experienced an engine cut out in front of the SAP COIN camp and drove right through the gates and into the lieutenant’s bungalow being unable to steer. He had a terrible fright for he was in his bed doing things with his right hand which polite people do not discuss in society. When the wall came tumbling down and the Casspir’s nose appeared above him and his hand he assumed I tried to kill him.

He cried for five minutes afterwards (shamelessly says I). That notion is anyway nonsense for he was still alive to cry (from embarrassment if you ask me). The officer was a plastic policeman from Police HQ who we disliked intensely being an idiot on his first bush trip and worse, a pathetic leader of men. He caused major problems being buddy-buddy with some constables. It ruined the natural respect between the ranks and it destroyed the system in record time. The sergeants and the warrant-officer were in tears about it for he kept on stopping them from becoming fatherly. Ironically I saved his career one night when he got so drunk with his constable cronies that he could not exercise command and the Company Commander made an unexpected visit. I must admit that besides him I cannot think off hand of any other depraved commissioned officer in SAP COIN. Most were experienced street policemen who could be respected.

Anyway, he was so upset for me disturbing his right hand that I decided I needed a break before something really happened with him and people blame me without probable cause. I spoke to our Major (ex-Durban Flying Squad) who I knew from other bush trips and volunteered to do all the sewage removal at the various camps. He agreed and I had a wonderful time as I travelled with my Zulu constable to all the SAP COIN camps towing a 1300 US gallon trailer fitted with a suction pump. Once there we hooked the pipe and sucked the sewage into the tank driving away with it to the nearest farm where we dispersed the contents on the fields as fertilizer. The farmer did say thank you, not being a long haired liberal in real life. They always made sure to invite us for lunch speaking Fanagalô with my Zulu. We were for obvious reasons, treated as royalty at every camp, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I made sure to stay away for days on end and hardly ever saw the idiot again.

  • Fanagalô is a “pooled” language which is used on the mines to communicate with each other. Almost like a universal slang consisting mostly of Zulu, English and Afrikaans.

I had peace until one day when I had to clean my own camp, and the pipe came loose. Not on purpose or so I said anyway. The idiot stood knee deep in what he talked. This little incident caused another uproar which ended in us, my Zulu and I, to be banned permanently which suited us fine. However, we had the ear of the Major who wondered why I flatly refused to service my own camp. He exploded in fury when he heard the story…the idiot was replaced with a decent man who had no fear of being killed by his own men. Fragging etc. never happened but I can tell you I made silent promises to myself regarding the idiot which I cannot put on paper. I am glad to say we never met again and I hope never to meet with him again. I assure you also that his buddies from then on suffered severely for their uncalled for arrogance. They cried in their sleep and prayed for any assistance (they got none – God is not a long haired liberal) as we fatherly took their hideous long haired liberal tendencies out of them. Should be grateful I say who made every effort to be nasty to them and their tears left me cold.

Back at the Maleoskop training base we learned how to jump out of the Casspir whilst still moving. The idea behind it (copied decades before from the British Army) was to drop patrols clandestinely as the engine never stopped running and theoretically the terrorists would not then know that the patrol was already on the ground. That was never used in practise for it caused too many casualties. There was nothing to it though. You just open the rear doors and take a running jump falling on your face if lucky.

The instructors had this figured out. “What do you f mean you will fall to an early f death constable? Did the f chaplain not explain to you in College you cannot f die before your f time? Be like rokkof now and f stop your f liberal tendencies before we get fatherly concerned about you!”

I heard of men who claimed to have stayed upright after jumping out of the moving Casspir but never met or saw one. They are all liars or not doing it right! The entire exercise was to see who could somersault the most and live afterwards. The instructors almost injured themselves laughing at our attempts and I am sure took side bets too. Being naturally clumsy, I did quite well, scoring 9 out of 10 for my landing of which I can remember almost nothing. They laughed for five minutes non-stop and one applauded me for making their day even more f funny.

Thing is, you should be prepared to defend yourself after the jump. Meaning that after a few minutes you had to stand up and look military prepared for whatever comes at you not including the sniggering instructors. Yeah, I can tell you, I would much rather have laid there wondering who was going to believe me when I say I died and was sent back by the Angel Gabriel and St Peter who seriously suggested I needed a break. It made no practical difference if you landed on your feet or your face, for the foot patrol continued afterwards and the Casspir will only pick you up on the next RV point so: “Don’t be a long haired liberal my lad, just keep on f walking now. By the time you f reached the RV point you would have forgotten about your f cracked ribs and broken nose.”

  • A former member wrote to say they actually did use this method in the townships when assaulting suspect houses searching for terrorists. He did not mention their own casualty rate. Perhaps that explains it all. Well, so you learn.

Being bullet proof, all Casspirs had 2-inch-thick armoured windows. As the years went on the Riot Units Casspirs windows had a thick wire mesh around to protect it against stones. As you can imagine the windows were rather expensive and very heavy to carry. It was one of SAP COIN favourite ways of expanding a more practical fatherly talk to wayward constables who carried cast-off ones around for punishment. However, it stopped an AK47 bullet without any problems and had a green coating to reduce glare in the sun. I experienced this one day at Maleoskop during training by not noticing the Casspirs approaching. We were walking patrol and the next moment nine, (well maybe four), Casspirs came straight out of the bush and drove right through the patrol. I had a terrible fright and jumped out of the way in great haste shouting a few choice obscenities at the drivers. I learned something that day in how it must feel for the terrorist. It has given me much hope for my side for the massed vehicles appearing from nowhere is certainly a shocking experience. They just appear and they kept coming and you cannot believe how fast that happens.

One lad started running and in spite of our calls we had to track him down for he never stopped running for an entire hour. The instructors were fatherly provoked but I understand his shock… the Casspirs went inches past him and they threw flash-bangs (stun grenades) on him too as he scrambled away on all fours. We found him in a tree after a long while with his eyes closed but still holding his rifle which made the instructors go easy on him. He still suffered from our comments and jeers. Of course, that was only to be expected.

The worst design fault in a Casspir was its headlights which could be closed with armoured slats to allow only the faintest of light through. But even open, the headlights was quite bad and a problem when driving in a township or anywhere at night. I checked on the Internet the other night and noted that the Indian Defence Force (they bought most of the Police Casspirs) took the trouble of mounting decent headlights on theirs. I often wondered if anyone would notice if I put extra spotlights on them. I mentioned this initiative to the Company Commander who curtly dismissed it as coming down to “damaging of state property, or more properly, SAP COIN property and they won’t f take kindly to such f long haired liberal tendencies! Really Sergeant, you Flying Squad men are all the f same. Now lad, if you would only f drive slower, then the f headlights would be f fine!” He was just jealous of us of course. Who would not be?

We had no night vision equipment issued but I obtained a complete kit via the Army which worked well and I jealously guarded it from all others. I learned another valuable lesson that day as I found out that as long as someone signs for it, the Army did not mind helping us out. I had no need to appropriate kit any longer. I could not believe it was that simple and being deeply disappointed in their long haired liberal tendencies for breaking a 20-year-old appropriation tradition I told everyone I appropriated it from them. I mean someone had to protect their reputation amongst us. I moreover signed for it as Colonel H Saunders (from KFC fame) expecting them to wizen up but all what happened was that I was saluted wherever I went…wearing no rank has advantages sometimes as well as a Flying Squad attitude. Well, they should have known that no SAP Coin colonel could ever be less than 40 years of age, I was 22 but I looked a bit older.

  • The Army should also have wondered why my own men did not salute me and started roaring with laughter whenever the Army lads did! Perhaps they expected SAP COIN to be otherwise to begin with. I don’t know, I never hated the Army as so many others did on principle. I knew they played a role in the fight against terrorists.

The night vision goggles put the fear of God into my section who had to sit in the dark not knowing what was happening whilst the Casspir swerved all over the dark road with me driving. Wearing the night vision, I tried to kill the hundreds of horrible snakes which you see at night lying in the road. I will never drive with a bike on a tar road in Africa in the summer…they are everywhere. I missed them all though – think they feel the trembling or something and sailed away much to my disgust. Most were of the dangerous puff-adder specie too.

The swaying made my men sea-sick and a deputation to me to stop experimenting with their f stomachs (translated, lots of shouts about the f Flying Squad driving techniques which is not for decent f people, like them). You may guess by now what my answer was but I did feel more compassion after experiencing it myself. It’s really bad when the Casspir brakes and swings, and you cannot see anything and you have no idea what will happen next. You need great confidence in your driver in such cases which I had.

It must be said that driving any Casspir anywhere was great fun, and I certainly enjoyed it very much. Keeping the revs in the green zone was something which I excelled at and we seldom went into the red. I also made very sure to have the turbo cool down by idling for a few minutes before switching off. It never broke down on me but I did run out of diesel once. Long story, the diesel gauge was never very accurate and you learned to calculate the distance travelled by the known fuel. So you learn.

We felt superior in and on our Casspirs for the Army, for once, had nothing in comparison. They did however use their bigger budgets (many times ours) to buy hundreds of Casspirs from the manufacturers. With such an insult we could still live but then they started a life long feud by painting them in their ghastly brown colour. Man, the sight of which still makes me puke. It is almost as bad as the Nationalists who ordered us to paint them decent SAP yellow. In the end, the only good news, we could more easily appropriate spares, and especially spare wheels of which the Casspir had two. The spare wheels were first mounted on the side just above the armoured transfer gearbox and later on, high at the back for protection against POMZs (small anti-personal mines, to slow follow-ups down). Changing a Casspir tire is a job for two constables and an angry sergeant. I always warned: “Gentlemen, do not f urinate on the f tires for that will bring f bad luck and they will f deflate somewhere and f sure as (you know what) you will then f change them too.” No one ever listened, and I took great delight to sit in the shade watching the culprit change the tire by himself. Sometimes a mate would volunteer to help him if the sun was not too hot.

  • Actually, this depended on what we were doing. When needed and in a hurry, everyone helped, and the changing of Casspir tires became something of an art form. It was hard work for the tires were large and heavy and could kill, I am sure, if it fell on you. Organised chaos took place to change it operationally but it was done and quickly too.

Casspirs then became a symbol of oppression. Every second liberal newspaper had an article of Casspirs covered in gun smoke with the policemen firing on the crowds (but never on what made the policemen shoot). The Police Casspirs were sold off after 1994 at ridiculous discounted prices. Very clever that was, no thinking went into it, business as usual, for there was nothing to replace them with. The Army Mambas were apparently a failure and had to be redesigned to the RG32 which only the Americans can afford. The off-road capabilities were anyway incomparable and that alone made them useless. The logical Police replacement called the Njala will be discussed in the next chapter when we look at anti-riot duty. That too had many problems.

We see the same Casspirs that served us so loyally, all over the world today. They are in the strangest camouflage and some even air-conditioned (no such thing in our days, we need to fire from the roof, so closing it was a silly idea. We find them in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and all over Africa as well as the Sub-Continent. They are widely acknowledged as the inspiration for the US Marines MRAP project which saved so many lives in recent years. In its time there was nothing that could compete with it and I think with much nostalgia of them. They have many times provided comfort when their armoured sides shrugged the terrorist’s bullets off. They made me contemptuous of landmines and took me where I wanted to go. I look at the pictures of them being used during counter-insurgence or anti-riots in the townships and I remember the smell and sound of the diesel engine, the turbo whine, and above all, the cheerful constables at the back. With it came the memories of the sound of gunfire and shouted commands during emergencies, all in all wonderful memories which I treasure. I flatly refuse to let the fat politicians bother me with their silly decisions in life and prefer to see the sale of the Casspirs as a compliment – it must have scared the living (you know what) out of them if they still live in fear after all these years. The poor things! Survival is a serious matter.

  • A reader showed me an article where a city in the US obtained a South African Casspir from the US Army to use for local police work. They said in the article it has 12 gun ports to shoot from. I have news for them…you will never be able to shoot accurately from the gun ports. We never used them and simply stood on the seats and fired from the open roof which is now closed for some reason. It is the only effective way to fight from a Casspir. Nor does it boast permanent four-wheel drive, and it does not weigh 15 tons, lol, not even close. That particular model is one of the first made, you can determine the age from the small windows in the driver’s cockpit, as well as where the spare wheel is fastened on the side. I am, however, quite happy that a Casspir is used by my wife’s people. Hope it saves many lives in the future. But this shows you the ignorance among journalists and worse, people read that crap and believe it, sadly so.

Hand grenades were excellent fun

One day we shot rifle grenades with our R1 (SLR) towards an old car wreck. Being from the Flying Squad I fired mine out of my shoulder which is not for the faint hearted. It kicked like a mule. Having said that, I leaned hard into the shot for I knew the instructors expected me to fall on my ass and I had decided no way that will happen. It turned out to be a useless weapon and never used in real life. The Army captured enough RPG7s for everyone but it was never used on the South African Borders. We never faced an armoured threat as the lads did in Angola although the weapon could be used against people and bunkers too.

With the throwing of anti-personnel hand grenades, I excelled. Since I fancied myself as a fast bowler on a cricket pitch I knew well how to throw anything which looked like a cricket ball or a stone (if the male teacher would only allow me to do so…the brute). My well established fast bowling tactic was to go for the nose or crown jewels and see what happens next. It worked like a charm if you give the incoming batsman the evil eye, and pre-arranged for the wicketkeeper to make the sign of the cross when you take the ball. He also had to take two steps back (no need because I was not fast to begin with) and inform the slip in a suitably loud voice about the terribly nasty incident the previous week. You know, where the batsman missed the ball and is still in a f coma with his mom and sister praying for him at his bedside. Yes, the priest too, and it does not look good for the SAP is investigating the incident and blah blah blah. In those days we had no helmets and learned to watch the ball all the time. Of course the other team wanted to take revenge for my splendid efforts (just jealous if you ask me) and we quickly developed ducking skills second to none. We wanted to win every time but unfortunately, the English lads had an unnatural ability with cricket too. We lost more often than not. Nonetheless, I am sure, we put the fear of God in some whilst doing so. As a matter of common decency we only bowled bouncers to the English schools anyway. I assure you, they retaliated in kind.

  • See the Third Book for a cricket match which I am will sure will go down in the history of the game for all the wrong reasons, we wanted to win and did with our usual methods. It is a tale of skulduggery rarely found outside parliament.

Luckily by this time the “stiff arm” throwing motion for hand grenades was not in use anymore and we could throw it anyway we pleased as long as you hit the target, and not attempted to murder the instructor during the process. First we threw the blue practise hand grenades, and then the green High Explosives one. All this whilst standing with the biggest instructor known to SAP COIN in a sand pit. He gave us the old evil eyes for it was his job to ensure our safety if we should freeze and drop the hand grenade in the sand pit…an action for which you would pay in blood and tears afterwards.

I cannot understand why someone would freeze whilst doing this as it is excellent fun. The first thing is to remember the hand grenade must be held in a certain way (and only that way if you want to live for the instructor watched like a hawk). Then the pin is pulled in a twisting motion and most certainly not with your teeth! The fun started as you threw it and waited to memorise where it fell. You had 3.5 seconds before it exploded so took some time, and at the very last moment you dropped down for the explosion to go over your head. Man that was great! I hit the target every time and later had to be restrained from throwing to give others a chance. I gave them all my evil eye over the injustice because some lads did not want to and I wanted to but that’s life. Sadly, it made a rather small explosion and I was somewhat disappointed as I like things which go boom and have a natural ability with it too. The bigger the better!

Part of our Anti-Riot training was to take cover if a hand grenade was thrown at us, and that was to first run a few meters away. You will be surprised how far you can get in those seconds…f far enough as we said at the same time roaring “grenade” and then falling flat on your face with your feet towards the enemy grenade. Your feet must be nicely together to protect the old crown jewels. That took some practising for us men. Then came the hard part, and that is not to protect your head as you see in Hollywood and which is logical, but your chest by folding your arms along your rib cage and keeping your mouth open for the coming concussion. It takes practise and the COIN instructors made sure it became second nature. (We had no body armour whatsoever.) The shrapnel can be stopped by your feet or arms which is not really crucial unless you bleed to death afterwards. This was very useful in anti-urban-terrorism.

I assure you, we took the time to look closely at what was thrown at us before shooting the attacker in a fatherly way for his long haired liberal tendencies of attacking us. Generally, though, it was only bottles and stones which may be empty or not and both hurt if they hit you hard enough or in the unmentionables. I remember one memorable case where a frozen chicken came with great accuracy towards us but we sorted it fatherly out by forcing the culprit to apologise, and holding the frozen chicken against her head until it was melted. She complained bitterly of a frost bitten face and hand which we ignored with our usual aplomb. She should have been grateful says I. We could have arrested her and her stupid chicken, for the unwarranted attack. There are very logical consequences for long haired liberal tendencies in life. Somehow the lesson did not enter her skull before this.

Another trick in the Wild West was to graciously refuse all tea and coffee in that area. I saw a new constable throwing up one day when he realized the milk came from the complainant’s breast and not the fridge. So you learn that experience is something wonderful. He had to wash our squad car alone for “being disgusting and not f listening to good f advice. Don’t you f know your sergeant is always f right constable?”

  • The Wild West was a nickname we gave a certain part of Pretoria, situated in the western half of the city. Ironically the SAP Police College was also in that area. See the First Book.

On counter-insurgency, you would also roar grenade and get away if you can whilst still shooting whoever threw it in the first place. Throwing your own hand grenades was a matter of communication to warn your mates about it. I remember part of our training, and of every refresher course, was what we called “fire and manoeuvre” which some dreaded with much reason. It meant forming a skirmish line and walk slowly forward towards the “enemy positions.” The instructor walking behind you, fired his side-arm into the ground, and that was seen as the start of the exercise. As those shots went off, we went down and fired a few shots towards the target and since we worked on the buddy system, one pair would fire straight ahead, and the next pair rushed forward past them.

I assure you we took great care to run straight ahead for turning left or right meant almost certain death by friendly fire if you are lucky. If you survive your mates, the instructors would have a fatherly talk to you until you wish you did die, and then you would do it again and again and again. Anyway, after about seven yards of rushing forward, the pair would go down to their knees and start shooting and the rear pair rushed past them and so it went. What we wanted to hear was constant firing and the MAG would open up when a lack of fire become apparent. I made sure I had a good MAG gunner and treated him with much respect.

The exercise was done with live ammunition which makes a lot more noise than blanks. It is also much heavier. As we reached the enemy positions, we stood boldly upright, and fired into the “enemy positions.” At that stage, I would roar and wave with both arms to show I am about to throw a HE (high explosive) hand grenade which I duly did. We all went down for the explosion but still shooting. After that we rushed the enemy stormed right through. Afterwards you walked back to fetch discarded magazines quite grateful to be alive. This is standard infantry tactics.

Fire & movement will be done all day until perfect and we would grab our mates webbing to drag him forward if he hesitates or looked as if he forgot which way is straight ahead. It really did not matter if a bush or thorn tree is in your way…you simply went straight through it! Black and white members were mixed during this exercise (as always, they had their own quarters, Apartheid) and the two had to learn to work together. Their training was the same except that they were naturally fitter than most of us. At the end of the day, the terrorist’s bullets did not differentiate between colour groups. Like the mean streets, combat, is not artificial but the theatre of reality.

We never officially learned how to deal with bunkers for that was the Army’s job but since many of us were ex-Army we knew what to do. Moreover, we had a lot of experience storming houses and clearing rooms. Doing that, where hostages may be killed, is a lot more difficult, in my eyes anyway, than clearing a bunker where you had no such fears. You simply shot whoever was inside the bunker many times.

  • Our biggest fear when storming houses in townships was to shoot straight through the corrugated zinc walls and hurt one of our own. Something which no foreign policemen even think about because he is not used to operating under such conditions Another reason why I find the imported UK “experts” utterly ridiculous. They know nothing and the should not be here, we don’t need them, don’t want them and cannot afford them. But, Liberals Inc. will ensure more taxpayer money is wasted.

We also learned about various smoke grenades which came in wonderful colours for signalling purposes and to cover our advance (we never learned how to retreat or surrender, such things never happened). With the smoke grenades came the hand grenade I respected most and that was the White Phosphorous (WP) which was treated with enormous respect. It did not really explode in the sense that there was no bang but rather a popping sound. Still, it caused havoc, for it would burn right through flesh and almost nothing except distance could protect you against it. At night it made a really beautiful dazzling white display which had to be seen to be appreciated. As most beautiful things in life, they were exceptionally dangerous.

I recollect discovering six WP grenades in the armoury one day which were so old that they leaked! The bomb squad sweated blood removing the grenades and did not thank me for calling them either. They were almost abusive whilst we stood as far away as we decently could to jeer them on. (We would not have done it with a genuine bomb where their concentration was required.) They succeeded in getting the leaking grenades away and blew them up – standard procedure with old grenades – without inviting me to watch the fun. Now that is serious communistic behaviour says I. They should have been grateful for the practise session. Survival is a serious matter.

  • The same happened with dud grenades at training grounds. An instructor would warily approach with a small piece of C4 (plastic explosive) and destroy the dud and we kept silent, no jokes. This was dangerous, I saw more than once the dud grenade explode when they approach and they never had any bomb disposal kit on. Such things were seen as normal by us. Remember, by then we were fighting a counter-terrorism / counter-insurgency war for 22 years. We were disturbed though about the number of dud grenades, it was abnormally high and hence never trusted them (they were also old, ex-Army stock).

We learned about various trip flares and other signal devices. It was great fun. I once almost sank a merchant ship with a flare but let me rather not talk about that. Merchant sailors are known to be dirty fighters in any punch-up and may still be looking for the fellow who shot the flares into the air which made their ship change course towards land to investigate. Don’t they understand what sonar is? Bad watch keeping says I. They should be grateful for that lesson in physics.

Six uses for an unused condom

A Rhodesian warrant-officer asked, one day whilst staring at me: “Give me six uses for a condom in COIN?” and I looked at him in wonder when he rattled off without waiting for an answer: “Signals when inflated to a nice size, gloves, water carrier, keeping your documents dry, floating device when crossing a river and to keep the dust out of your rifle’s barrel.” This fellow must have harboured thoughts of becoming a writer as he always ended his sentences with “Unwanted Child by FL Burst” which made us smile after we caught the joke. It took a while too for he said it with a straight face.

We called mock air-strikes which was easier than what it sounds. I was used to working with the SAP Air Wing now and then and knew that you have to speak slowly and clearly to them. Otherwise the pilot hovers above your Flying Squad car to give you the evil eye or his version of it anyway because they wear their Ray-Bans even at night. And they never got out to enforce their evil stare anyway so we shrugged them off with our own stare. We knew who would win any enforcement on the mean streets and that their inbreed transport brethren always get lost.

  • “Scandalous, Honey,” says my American Patriot who also wears issued Ray-Bans.

We did a lot of map reading which is a skill which no man can easily learn as we know where we are going and don’t need a map which is anyway for wankers and long haired liberals with strange tendencies! How many men would ask their wives for directions? Even these days with GPS it is not in our nature to ask and we would rather get lost, much to our wife’s amusement. I know I do! The scenic route is also nice, you know.

  • In our defence we cannot do two things at the same time as all women ought to know and knowing it they should forgive us then also as I patiently explained to my American Patriot on many occasions. She is a walking compass herself and never gets lost “as only Air Force pilots and Army aviators get lost and that over dry land with clear markings!” Yeah I am Navy too these days as I know what is good for me. Navy aviators cannot afford to get lost, they either find the carrier or they die.

Getting lost in SAP COIN had dire consequences as we navigated to water points and I learned another valuable lesson. As with such things, the harder the lesson, the best remembered. We approached a water tank and expecting to fill our bottles drank them empty and even washed our faces for it was hot. The instructors really enjoyed our faces and language when we discovered the water-tank to contained diesel and not water! Thus we walked another ten miles in that heat to the next one. Yes, I got your f point and never forgot it. I even mention it in my boring book more than 20 years on! I dreamed of beer and water and much else as I described before! And I have never been that thirsty in my life and some passed out of heat exhaustion. That meant forming a circle and urinating on them to cool their core temperature down or anyway that was the intention.

In case you don’t know it, it is not easy to urinate when you don’t particular need to and the instructors keep on yelling “to do it right f now and the victim will thank us for it later.” This is what I referred to when discussing the erotic movie somewhere. Performing like a police dog on demand is tough for any God fearing man. I concentrated so much that I got sweat splotches on my forehead. Seriously, I think I’ve hurt myself internally during the process for I had to run for a decent number two afterwards behind the closest tree.

The victims did not thank us by the way and seemed fairly angry but that apparently is also a symptom of heat stroke. As the instructor said whilst giving them the evil eyes: “You will f thank us later” and they did when they appreciated what would happen if they did not leave their long haired liberal tendencies and become suitably grateful for our combined efforts. Survival is a serious matter. One lad I know for a fact was just taking a short nap and luckily woke up when we formed the circle around him. His language was educational, even to me used to the odd expletive. I learned a few new words to use on civilians who did not give way for our flashing blue lights. He was good and I recruited him to the Flying Squad on condition that we never mention the forming circle again.

  • He wrote to say he still has nightmares of bearded policemen unzipping their zippers around him. Me too, but from the other side, I sometimes wake up dreaming of instructors howling “to do it right f now!” Sigh, I then have to get up and run for the bathroom at such memories. My American Patriot finds this exceedingly funny, why, only she knows. It is abuse.

The same instructors also told us that fresh urine is a good anti-inflammatory liquid in emergency, but I just don’t know for I never tried it, and they were grinning rather evilly when saying so. Perhaps a medically inclined reader can inform us if this is true.

  • Apparently, yes, two doctors responded. One was a Special Forces medic. What do you know.

We were lucky enough to be trained on most communist weapons and even to recognise the sound it made being cocked and when shooting. That gave me a lifelong respect for the rugged reliability of the Liberation Movement’s weapons. Those long haired Russian engineers were clearly thinking ahead all the time. They even designed their mortars (and other ammunition) to be a few millimetres larger than the NATO ones so that they could use captured NATO ammunition but NATO could not use theirs as it was too big. That is exceedingly ingenious and shows forward thinking, I was impressed when I found out. Such deviousness should be respected.

SAP COIN did have mortars, and no, it was never fired from inside a Casspir as I read the other day on the Internet. At least I have never heard of it before. The Rhodesians had specially built Unimogs for that and the Army a Ratel IFV converted to fire heavy mortars but never Casspirs. Silly idea to say the least for the roof (or rather open roof) was quite narrow. It could be done but would have been exceptionally dangerous. The mortars, 60 mm, fired high-explosive, WP and illuminating rounds to great effect and many were trained in their use. It was a separate and volunteer course. We did not use them at the South African Borders and I never saw one at the SAP COIN armouries. Our war was more in counter-terrorism with some counter-insurgency, not a conventional war as was happening in 1987 in Angola.

Aim low and then lower

One day the Rhodesians decided to prove another point, and hid a few targets in the bush less than fifty feet away. They then courteously invited us to shoot into the area, and see how many targets we could hit. We fired 747 shots and hit two targets. The rest of our bullets were too high and went over them. Point being to shoot lower than what you expect to. Less than six inches from the ground as the terrorist will go down when the bullets hit their ankles and from then on it is easy. A lesson I never forgot.

Firing into bushes, which is called reconnaissance by fire, is a good idea if you cannot actually see the terrorist. An interesting fact about this tactic is that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, last seen accepting the disgraceful surrender of Tobruk, did exactly this when he commanded the 7th Panzer Division in France 1940. He was almost seen as a war criminal for firing on civilians. Not many people know this and with me being the school’s history boffin, I knew and gained considerable respect from the instructors.

  • See the First Book, the surrender of Tobruk in 1942 by a South African Army general was a major debacle and sent shockwaves throughout the Empire and especially Winston Churchill, parading naked in the White House, at the time. With the surrendered troops was the SAP Infantry Brigade who took a very dim view of proceedings. They (correctly), forever after blamed the Army for surrendering them in such a way. On the other hand, Tobruk was not the fortress it was the year before when the Australians became famous as the “Rats of Tobruk” and ironically, the British Regiments, also holding out and for much longer periods in Tobruk than the Aussies, disappeared in the void of history. It is also so that British Armour Divisions ran right past Tobruk to Egypt leaving it to its fate. Yet, the surrender was a military disgrace in my eyes no matter what excuses are made. I had an uncle (of my father) at Tobruk, he won the Military Cross leading his men, he was an officer, out along the beaches.

We were also taught to walk along a ditch with targets appearing from the sides and your front. This you would shoot with the double-tap method. It was practised very hard and only stopped when you hit the targets properly. Great fun it was also with the instructor behind you to discuss your technique with fatherly concern. Some hated it, but for me it was just fun. You shot at the targets with both eyes open…almost instinctively and funny enough very accurately too! The double-tap method was then used everywhere by the elite units, you fire two shots, extremely fast (it sounds like one) and this brings the target down very rapidly indeed. Especially with pistol calibres this worked very well and was first used by the British Special Air Service, the Rhodesian Army used it then and so it got to us. It is a sign of professionalism in my eyes. Anything else is crap.

During the last week of the COIN course we chased ‘terrorists” all over the training area. They were in fact very fit constables and we were warned not to become fatherly if we succeeded in catching them which made me wonder what happened at previous courses. Apparently a few members got so caught up in the training that the instructors had to rescue the “terrorists” from their capturers. We tried hard but they always escaped us which is perhaps also a good thing. After that week, we graduated and went back where we came from. I immediately volunteered for the next border duty trip and kept on going until the war stopped.

The constant border duty or “bush trips” as we called it created havoc in my life as you never really settled into wearing SAP blue and driving at top speed in Flying Squad and then the next moment you are in camouflage in a much slower Casspir. It was a difficult transition to be amongst crowds in a city where the lights worked as we were used to generators switching off at ten pm on the border. Or having your own bathroom as long as you wish without worrying about leaving hot water for your mates or walking back to your bed with your rifle in one hand and soap in the other! But then again I have no complaints, for I really loved that life-style and shed no tears when arriving at SAP COIN Pretoria with my kitbag after a few months away. As an unmarried sergeant I think I did a lot of married men a favour by volunteering and why not? They had families and I had myself by choice. It was always amusing to see the other member’s arriving with their kitbags which were heavy and they walked slowly into TIN Transito with long faces. I assure you, when leaving a couple of months later for the train station, they ran, not walked, ran full speed to the trucks as if the kit bag weighs nothing with a curt “Bye bye sergeant. I am going home and f the rest.” Now that I was married twice I understand their feelings better. At that stage I understood nothing, and could not sympathise with their worries about home and children and even the family dog! Their antics made me even more determined not to get involved seriously or even worse married.

This should not be seen as an indication that the morale was low. Not at all! After a few hours of making new friends they all got into the swing of things, and decided somewhere some terrorist is going to regret the enforced absence. As the clever poets said; “Distance makes the heart stronger!” I saw tough men wipe tears over a letter when it did not arrive or how their faces and attitude softened when the letter arrived. They were absolutely beaming and in a good mood for the next two days. Many times they would walk to a secluded corner and read the letter for his dog whilst feeding him biltong (beef jerky) sent by his wife. You could even see the police dog grinning and smelling the letter for he knew where it came from. Of course, some got “Dear Johnny” letters, may such women rot in hell, they did not pick up the pieces like we did. Common decency dictates such things to happen when at home, not in harm’s way, really, no excuses. They were, in my eyes, low class and good riddance.

In this regards, there were many rumours of how to get rid of the children in order to have quality time with your wife after returning from the border. None of which I am going to repeat here but it had to do with knocking on the front door and run like hell to the back door. Or collecting a few cents to throw on the grass keeping the children busy, all in good spirits you know. No disrespect meant. Former members know exactly what I meant, reunion and all that. Well, I never had that but I heard the stories, it may even be true.


Crossing a river with four-wheel drive vehicles – Code Name Green 41

Rivers in Africa is not what you may see as a river where you are, most are dry ditches for most of the year, with soft sand and they may not even have water in them to qualify to be a river in this part of the world. Down south you find few perennial rivers, that is, full of water all the time. The first time I saw one I believed it was the sea, not a river, I must have been 4 years old. The Limpopo River is something in between – it has water but not deep water. However, when it rained it may well be in flood and rather dangerous. No matter what the level of water, you will find crocodiles and hippopotamus at water, a serious problem when crossing on foot. At this ford we knew, since Terminator and Lentliziyo already crossed to the other side, with us covering them, that the water was not more than three feet and the sand underneath quite firm. It would be in no way be a problem to cross and I assure you, we knew everything about crossing rivers with wheeled vehicles at that stage of our lives.

By tradition the wife swims the river with a cable around the waist. Or she walks, whatever, and her husband who should know her body, can judge to an inch how deep the water is. Someone has to cross first and ensure the vehicle does not drown and we all do our part unless you are Mon Cheri Général de Division Angelique (Retired – yeah sure). She is not allowed by her Frog Security Team to do so any longer (it is bully boy tactics, I protested in vain, Foxtrot agreed with them! Angelique). She is seen as too valuable and anyway, our twins took over, age six, with a life vest tied to each and a rope tied to the winch of the vehicle. They went storming into the flooded rivers with great aplomb, shouting in laughter but first arranging that their mom shoots any snake or crocodile close to them. Angelique was completely taken aback when one of her European friends suggested they were perhaps a bit young for such things. She had to point out that their combined age was 12. In our culture, you really should be able to shoot accurately (one shot, one buck or terrorist carcass duly delivered, we don’t waste), drive any type of vehicle including tractors to plough with (and we expect neat & straight furrows), and have a part time job at the farm for pocket money or swim flooded rivers for the cause. But all this was in the future – Lise and Odette had a wonderful childhood, they say so too and get “otherwise” when their boyfriends look worried when they cross flooded rivers. It is what they do, there is no danger, you can always reverse the vehicle and tow them out before trying again, and you will try again. Tradition is a (I scratched this word, Angelique).

The problem the One Alpha Team had, was the lack of night vision goggles, they left theirs at the base in Mozambique in order not to betray themselves if searched. In my day that was almost standard to use your eyes only. We seldom had such equipment with us and simply did the job without but these were youngsters, the new generation and they were without doubt learning lessons the hard way, making their way towards us, slowly. Fortunately, Angelique had thought ahead and brought the night vision goggles and their specialist weapons with her when we flew out, their parachutes also, that is why we needed five Geckos. And so Terminator and mate stood waiting waving a red torch light at the vehicles, they stopped and switched their headlights off and approached on foot to see what was what. Terminator gave them their night vision goggles and that sped things along. Before long, the first Mercedes truck was waiting on the riverbed, with no lights on or needed. We had a rope across, as a guide line with infrared glow sticks fastened at ten yard intervals, the driver simply needed to stay next to it, and create a bow wave in front of the engine. The water was not deep enough to disconnect the fan belts or hurt the whirling radiator fans and the trucks empty. I foresaw no problem until the last few came across and the sand below them loosened up by the previous trucks, that we took care of as well. Proper planning is the name of the game.

The drivers knew all this. God knows, it is a common technique and they trained in it as well as night driving, nothing is left to chance. Everyone there knew what to do and did so. We used in the eighties, during training, Field Marshall Montgomery’s tactics of 1940 in France when the British Army ran flat out to Dunkirk and ignominy. He had a brilliant system going, we really admire Bernard Montgomery as a tactician and staff officer, by painting the trucks’ rear differentials with glow paint and adding a very tiny white bulb underneath the chassis. This enabled the driver following to see the glowing diff but never from the air. He could move his entire 3rd Infantry Division at speeds which astonished those who did not practise night manoeuvres the Montgomery way. You don’t need high tech all the time, you need to know history, from history you will be able to figure it out.

The first truck came through the river at a steady speed, another skill, you don’t want the bow wave you created to smash back and over the vehicle and it will happen if the vehicle stops or changes speed. You have to keep the revs up without making too much of a noise, so that you have instant power available at all times, from the engine growl I knew she was in low range, second gear, rear diff locked. The truck had a long tow rope attached at the rear, the river is not that broad at that place and two tow ropes snatched together did the trick. Now the second truck would be anchored to the one already across and on firm land. And so it went on, all eight trucks crossed, the ropes there to pull them along if needs be. Indeed, the last three were being hauled, the sand under the wheels was now loosened enough to be a problem. It would settle down, after an hour or two, but we had not time to waste. I tied the last tow rope to our vehicle, engaged low range and locked all the diffs and waited for Angelique. The other side of the tow rope was anchored on the remaining Land Cruiser on the Zimbabwe side, the captured one, also in low range to assist us.

She was talking earnestly to the Army lads, and one Assassin who came over in the trucks. They nodded as she explained what she wanted, standing by to rescue us if needs be, they could re-cross the river easily. After that they would leave for Mozambique, stopping for a hot meal at the lodge first. If I had expected stiffer opposition, I would have left them on the Zimbabwe side from where they could act as a mobile reinforcement team no matter what Angelique said about generals wanting to lie with straight faces. For now, I deemed the risks acceptable to have them cross to safety first. Since they had their original weapons, the AK47s with night sights, they would be a handful, well able to intervene. I wondered how Geelslang and Mike Delta Three Eight were doing, we heard nothing untoward yet but they would be waiting, cutting that road, I had no doubts trucks were going to start burning soon. She jumped into the vehicle, smirking at me.

“Okay, they know what to do, good lads all of them. We can go, the Inyosi Ubusi will be sinking in a few minutes from now! I want to hit the place before they can react. It is as we expected, a barn with two mixer tanks, one holding five-thousand gallons, US and the other two thousand gallons, US. The liquid is pumped into them from the arriving trucks and then further across the border. There are two guards and four others around, mostly in a small office on the left side as you walk in. The pumps were working as they left, so it is being pumped over, good. Low range, second gear, Foxtrot, the diffs are locked? Yes, okay. I am flashing to Terminator to expect us.”

She leaned out of the window and flashed with her infrared torch. I felt the rope pulling and drove into the water, the water was about windscreen high which is acceptable, the diesel engine gets its air from a snorkel mounted on the side and the bow wave kept the engine dry, not that a diesel engine cares about being wet but the spinning fan blades do, they break. The FJ-45 was pulling from the other side and we got through easily enough, not even wet inside, a few drops only. Sometimes you have to use the seatbelts to prevent you from floating sideways, not good for driving at the same time. As soon as we were through I stopped so that we can have the final briefing. It was past midnight; a new day had arrived, the last day for some.

“Good morning all of you, you did very good. Any problems I should know about?”

Angelique greeted her remaining Assassins and Lucy, standing around us, wearing the night vision Terminator brought over. They were checking their weapons, the night vision sights on their assault rifles and looked mean, to be honest. We were also removing the tow rope, rolling it up for further use.

“No, nothing to report, Madame. Good morning.”

One Alpha replied after the handshakes and hugs, my word. Even Lucy looked calm, serenely so. I nodded to Terminator to keep an eye on her, my original order was not revoked, if she makes a move at my issued wife she would die. Angelique took command, it comes naturally to her.

“Right, we are splitting into two groups, six persons each, three two man teams. One Alpha, you lead your people in the second vehicle and provide perimeter security for us. We will be upfront in your vehicle, it is known to the sentries, you follow in Foxtrot’s Land Cruiser. We have silenced weapons and will take down the guards, you say there are two? Yes? Okay, we will take them. We then move in and secure the place. For political reasons the soldiers are here as translators only. Terminator, you and Lentliziyo stay with me. You are to protect me from capture or being killed, you have no other job. You get? Okay, the rest of you, no shooting with your unsilenced weapons, you too Lucy, give me the Kel-Tec, no keep it but you then come with us, three silenced weapons are better than one. Hmm, Terminator, here is my Kel-Tec or rather Geelslang’s, it has a 30 round magazine, you carry it and cover us with it. Any questions? No? Well, good luck and remember, if caught, you run for the South African border, you are authorised to kill. Foxtrot, I am waiting!”

“Eh, you are beautiful!” I muttered and she nodded satisfied as we made our way to the FJ-45 Land Cruiser a few yards away.

Terminator took the Kel-Tec from Angelique and gave her his Grach pistol. It made sense, we now had four silenced weapons in the assault team, the Kel-Tec pistols, one carried by Lucy who looked very diminutive against the bulk of Terminator. Then my own silenced MP7 in 4.6×30mm and Angelique Vintorez, semi-automatic or fully automatic sniper rifle in the 9×39 mm calibre in emergencies. She had a twenty-round box magazine on, not the usual ten-rounds and it is deadly, the projectile weighs twice as much as a standard 9×19mm Parabellum we use in the West. That gives it energy or killing power second to none and far above what is normal for such a calibre, I knew it was loaded with the SP-5 rounds, subsonic and hollow points. I had the same type of ammunition in my Heckler & Koch, designed to kill humans as quickly as possible. The rest had their pistols and AK47s with the fancy night sights. I had no doubt we would be able to take the place. That is seldom the problem, it is getting out which is where the problems start.

Using vehicles to get to a target is also not new in Special Forces warfare, in the late 1970s the Rhodesian Special Air Service used Land Rovers, the British Revenge, to get to Lusaka in Zambia to kill one Joshua Nkomo, an obese terrorist leader whose gallant fighters shot down two unarmed civilian airliners. Some of the shocked survivors were executed afterwards, including women and two small children, something the bastard apparently found funny enough to laugh about on the BBC when interviewed. Of course, if white terrorists had shot down an airliner and execute the black women and children survivors in cold blood, the world would have taken a bit more notice, I am sure. A liberal wet dream that would be.


The Author has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this book, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of crime. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, the author assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizations are unintentional. Readers are cautioned to reply on their own judgment about their individual circumstances to act accordingly.

End of book

Safety Net

Safety Net is a book which must be read by home owners concerned about the safety of their families from violent criminal attack. The book exposes which popular security measures are not effective, as stated by the armed robbers themselves, and yet sold to the public by over eager salesmen. It deals with layered defensive systems and the JKLS System of self-defense perfected by the author, proven to have saved souls across the globe. Safety Net will change the way you look at security for the better.

  • ISBN: 9781370168095
  • Author: Jacobus Kotze
  • Published: 2017-06-28 06:50:17
  • Words: 78715
Safety Net Safety Net