Title: The Battle of Bangui
Subtitel: The inside story of South Africa's worst military scandal since Apartheid
Authors: Warren Thompson, Stephan Hofstatter, James Oatway
Publisher: Penguin Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Cape Town, South Africa 2021
ISBN 9781776094738 ISBN 978-1-77609-473-8
Softcover, 15 x 23, 376 Seiten, several colour photos
In March 2013, South Africa suffered its worst military defeat since the end of apartheid. After a battle that lasted almost two days, 200 crack troops who engaged 7000 rebels in the Central African Republic were forced to negotiate a ceasefire at their base. Thirteen South African soldiers died in the battle, with two more later succumbing to their wounds. The mission was shrouded in mystery from the start. The deployment and the diplomatic machinations that led to it were kept secret from the South African public and Parliament.
So, too, were an assortment of shadowy commercial interests held by businessmen, some with close ties to the African National Congress. In an investigation spanning more than seven years, the authors gained exclusive access to the soldiers who fought valiantly against overwhelming odds; travelled to Bangui to obtain documentation and meet the rebel leaders who took part in the battle; interviewed a deposed dictator living in exile in Paris; and spoke to the widows of the fallen soldiers.
They also met influential fixers and dealmakers, and unearthed secret files containing bribe agreements to unravel an intricate web of corruption and patronage reaching the highest echelons of power in South Africa and the CAR. After close to a decade of speculation and rumour, The Battle of Bangui lays bare for the first time both the litany of strategic, tactical and logistical blunders that ended in military disaster, and the secret diplomatic and commercial deals that led to South Africa’s worst foreign misadventure of the democratic era.
Into the Lion's Den
Forged in Blood
Long Live the Emperor
Live by the Sword
I Am an African
The Icy Shower
Ripe for Recruitment
A Very French Scandal
Road to Rebellion
A Secret War
The Wrong Side of History
Holding the Line
'Thermopylae se ma se moer"
Into the Kill Zone
'This is Not Your War, South Africa'
Cut and Run
Too Little, Too Late
The Day the Chaplain Came
Bienvenue a Bangui
South African Blood, Central African Diamonds
School of Hard Knocks
The Show Goes On: Enter the Guptas