Book review of, Apartheid’s Black Soldiers: Un-national Wars and Militaries in Southern Africa
Apartheid’s Black Soldiers examines the experiences of combatants from Namibia and Angola who fought in the security forces of
the apartheid regime, above all the Southwest Africa Territorial Force (SWATF), Koevoet, and 32 “Buffalo” Battalion. As the author,
Lennart Bolliger, argues, these experiences challenge the dominant notion that southern Africa’s decolonisation should be understood in terms of “national liberation” struggles, wherein liberation movements representing distinct African nations fought against colonial regimes and their “collaborators.” Rather, the encounters and trajectories of Bolligers’s research participants
point to the complex and highly constrained circumstances in which black men joined the security forces and the social alienation which they have collectively experienced in postapartheid Namibia and South Africa, the countries in which most now live.
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