The Infantry School

Not a star in the Oudtshoorn crown, such as there is an Oudtshoorn crown

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 7 May 2013. 08h30. The SANDF. Methinks us Safers should hope that Lesotho do not ever entertain designs on us. Especially as our Navy doubts its own ability to patrol and safeguard our coast, and our submarine fleet being all but beached like suicidal whales.

I know Lesotho is landlocked. That’s the point.

The Infantry School in Oudtshoorn is an embarrassment even to the SANDF which is in itself an embarrassment – I need hardly elaborate.

Media24’s excellent Defence Writer, Erika Gibson, reports today that recruits at the Infantry School had been assualted with broomsticks and that several are hospitalised.

This after some training deaths over the last few years and numerous reports of sexual and racial discrimination and sexual violence on the base.

Some time ago I approached the guardhouse at the base entrance to complain about an alarms that went off sporadically at all times of the night.

I was treated, by a Major whose name I an happy to have forgotten, in a rather aggressive manner. The reaction triggered my own disdain and some heated exchanges followed over several days before the problem was fixed.

I was mostly upset that alarms can be ignored in military bases…

I have little respect for the SANDF and its training bases. My opinion is based on what I see: The general demeanour of officers, NCO’s, and enlisted troops on the streets, and in shops. The way the troops march to town and back.

Irksome attitudes that indicate ill discipline. And ill discipline in an army leads to death – on the training field; on the battle field.

I am, for what it is worth, not impressed.

Some weeks ago I had a twitter argument about the SANDF with Adv Pikkie Greef, National Secretary of the South African National Defence Union…

“@PikkieGreeff: M23 rebels have a quick finger on the twitter trigger, but they will do well to remember that twitter doesn’t return fire,but SA soldiers do”

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff M23 should fear twitter more than the SANDF. I live in Oudtshoorn; I see them train; no enemy need be scared.

“@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird really? You live in the base? You’re an instructor?”

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff No, I’m an observer. I see the ill discipline. I note the training. I have engaged snr off’s on social & neighbourhd issues.

“@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird and that makes you an expert on the entire 57 000 members?”

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff No. I simply report my experience of unimpressive soldiers and my opinion of their very probable ineffectiveness.

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird right so its opinion, not fact. Opinion based on singular and restricted observations.

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff Of course it’s opinion. Based on my observation I have no confidence in the SANDF. I may be wrong & will admit if proven.

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird exactly.

“@PikkieGreeff: Why always the need to react belligerent to criticism?”@ewnupdates: JSC hits back at Smuts’ criticism http://t.co/6ckFT7RIJq””

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff Indeed! My criticism of the SANDF Inf training facility refers. Sub-standard by observation, incl harassment known to you.

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird one base does not defence force make…

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff I should be able to judge WW, say, by observing a major training facility. All is not well, and by a long way.

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird I don’t know what WW means, but all training facilities are major ones.1 doesn’t represent all. That’s why we are on their case

“@PikkieGreeff: Anybody realize what tremendous military fête it is to fight yourself out of a L formation ambush? That’s what our paratroopers did. Proud!”

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff Jesus, Pikkie, you make it sound as if we scored after the hooter. Should they not rather not have been in the “L”!?

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird please don’t use profaniies when tweeting me. Facts is it is an accomplishment no matter why you are in the L zone.

“@PikkieGreeff: How many know that our commander of battle in Bangui was wounded, holding his own drip in one hand and his rifle in the other?”

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff Chuck Norris would have had a broomstick up his bum, sweeping as he went! What’s with this wheedling? Membership drive?

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird wheedling? What does that mean?

“@PikkieGreeff: Usually people who demean the bravery of others are just exposing their own feelings of inadequacy and doubt of self worth. Exhausting.”

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff War and its poisoned fruits celebrate only man’s abject failure at rationality. There’s no pride in barbarism.

@PikkieGreeff: @DrewanBaird no but their is pride in being brave under immense death and destruction in any situation.

@DrewanBaird: @PikkieGreeff I agree, but war represents a poor theatre for the exhibition of bravery. Battle bravery glorifies the vileness of war.

Sela.

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6 thoughts on “The Infantry School

  1. Yes Ed. I did read Die Burger and that was the mouthpiece of the Nationalist. So ‘n mens moet maar dit vat van waar dit kom!

  2. No Andrew!

    Mark is right!

    Have you never read Die Vaderland and Beeld and Die Burger!?

  3. Mark you must go for some debriefing you never kicked any butt in Angola. Its a figment of your imagination bru and that’s what Old Magnus Malan & Co wanted you to believe.

  4. (78-79)Sorry don’t agree with you…….I remember us kicking Russian butt in Angola!!!!!

  5. actually in my day (79 – 81), if the russians had of invaded on a wednesday (in fact they would not even have had to invade), let me rephrase that. The russians could have walked into South Africa on any wednesday, kla. (funny thing is, don’t think they didn’t know it…. there was no real threat from without, anyway. but that’s another topic altogether.

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