2008 Report: Russian General’s Analysis of a Future (Terrible) South African Civil War – Assesses current re adiness

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[This is an article an awesome American supporter, JoAn Wilcox found on a Russian website in 2008 and she translated it into English. This was a Russian General's assessment of SA. He was not impressed with the Blacks. Jan]

Original Post Date: 2008-04-04 Time: 00:00:00 Posted By: JoAn

Submitted by List:

Gennady Shubin from Moscow Institute of African Studies is well-known analyst in S.African affairs in Russia. H In the past he was an author of book about Boer war.

Recently he published an article about current situation in SANDF. Full text in Russian is here.


Obviously it was not a text for S.African readers
That is why I tried to translate something.

“The …problem of SANDF is racial quotes…”

“I ve seen a level of SANDF by my own eyes… September 23,2006 during artillery exercises in …Potchesfrom (?????), North-Eastern province. It was a comic scene..”

Later he is talking how 8 Black soldiers could not hit a big mark (a bus) in staight line from “fine howitzer” G-5 from the distance of just 4 km.

“My personal impression is quite simple: SANDF real readiness for war is zero”.

“The result of change of old soldiers and segeants for new military personnel … is operetta groung army”.

“If S.Africa will be divided by tribal homelands” newborn Black officers “will run in Cosaland (??),Zululand etc”. These poor-trained officers “will receive generals uniform”.

Later he writes that “economic situation is worsening” and next part of the articel is a huge text about a “weapons in possible civil war in South Africa” (??).

Further below in the comments is a translation of the Russian article using Babelfish. There are some slight differences, and so I have decided to include the Google translate version. Between the two one can get quite a bit of information. e.g. The Babelfish version uses the word “buider” for something that seems to relate to “armoured car” or “carrier” or some type of armoured/&/or vehicle. Herewith is a translation of the article by Google Translate.

PS: The Google translate says that the date is MAY 2008 – even though this is now April 2008. I’m not sure if there is a problem with the Russian calendar. Don’t the Russians have their own calendar???

I was so impressed with the contents of the Babelfish translation that I sat down and did the Google Russian translation & included the excellent pictures:-

Shubin G. (Institute of Africa, ê.è.(237)í.)

(Report at the International Conference
African Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. May 2008)

In 1994, the most important and a priority, which is the new military leadership of South Africa, has been integrated into the new armed forces of the “old” Army Pretoria (SANF), the Armed Forces (albeit few) four previously formally independent “bantustans” (Transkei, Ciskei, Bophuthatswana and Venda), “Sizwe” ve Umkonto, APLA (military wing of another Liberation Organization – PAC), as well as “self-defense squads” created “Inkatha Party of liberty”, a new unified army in the country – SANDF.

The difficulty was that after the merger had a significant and rapid reduction in the new armed forces. Thus, the personnel of the SANDF, consisting 131 thousand people who cut in a few years to 70 thousand.

However, many experienced officers left the army in private companies because of a much more substantial salary. This was particularly evident among the pilots, sailors and military engineers.


A specific problem of the armed forces of South Africa are racial quotas, thus reducing the overall level of preparation of generals, officers and enlisted. Thus, it was decided in 2012 to have 64% of SANDF Africans, 24% white, 10% coloured and Indians 2% (according to the population of each racial groups except white – there should be twice as much in the Army than in the whole of the country) (1).

In other words, military schools to correct the disparity in favor of the percentage of white officers were forced to “pull” the black ears for cadets and deliver these nedouchek in troops, and better-trained young white officers who received both from the military profession and university bachelor degree, take hunting Working in private companies.

Accordingly, as early as June 2004, the South African Defence Minister Lekota M. was forced to acknowledge that the SANDF has not been able to withstand racial quotas personnel, as White preferred not to enter into military schools or not to continue the service after their end, and left to the private sector. And because the Africans did not have such opportunities, and they went into the army (2).

The author of the article was lucky enough to see with his own eyes the level of alertness of the army of South Africa (SANDF) during his visit “open house” in the part of the artillery in the city Potchefstrom (North Eastern Province) 23 September 2006, which show itself fighting capabilities of military equipment left quite comical impression.

One of the existing rooms – shooting a 120 – millimetre heavy mortar type M5 combat grenades (dalnoboynost – up to 6100 m and 10531 m before – rocket grenade). The battery of three mortar rounds (the entire crew – Africans), 15 minutes set in mortar and pritselivalas target (old BTR), located at a distance of three kilometers on the slope of the hill. But hit (motionless) to target only the sixth or seventh rounds from each grenade.


More impressive sight was shooting shells direct-fire battle of the South African excellent long-range G-5 howitzers (155 mm calibre, dalnoboynost to 39 km, is made by American technology). The target – old white minivan – in the four kilometers, is seen on the slope of the hill.

Whisper say, along with howitzers, immediately behind them, are new computers and guidance and control system shelling (on the tripod), and that they allow for up to 20 km motionless hitting a target with a probability of 90%.

Probably, it is possible in theory, but the calculation of long-range artillery howitzers G-5, consisting of eight blacks (one of them, in accordance with the mandatory non-discrimination on the basis of sex – a woman – gunner), and aims “long piece”: the target hit not the first and not even with the second shot.

Following the shooting begins battery of three self-propelled howitzer G-6, the most successful weapon pride of South Africa (155 mm calibre and dalnoboynost as the G-5 howitzers, and 39 km). Their commanders, as announced – officers-drills. The target away – in the five kilometers. From the first – the second shot struck a target. Spectators elated.

And the latest issue of the program. The battery (three units) mobile systems, fire bombings Bateleur (Bataler) (caliber – 127 mm, the number of guide tubes – 40, dalnoboynost – up to 22500 to 36000 m and m – improved rockets. Skopirovana with the Soviet BM-21). A wild roar, shooting at plazas at a distance 15 km. Roar of the crowd.

Funny roar, if we take into account that such systems like Hurricane (dalnoboynost to 36 km, Caliber – 220 mm, the number of guide tubes – 40) were removed from production in the USSR in 1987 and replaced with a system of the type Smerch (300 mm calibre, the number of sending pipes – 12, dalnoboynostyu to 70 and then 90 km).

Was surprising presence at the event described by some military attache not only neighboring African countries (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe), but also Egypt and Algeria. It seems that the poorly-rehearsed manoeuvres had a dual purpose – to convince neighbors that South Africa is better not to quarrel because of the disputed land, and at the same time to show potential buyers what used powerful weapons systems can be purchased.

Personal same impression is simple – real readiness Land Forces South Africa to scratch.


Replacing experienced soldiers, sergeants and enlisted in the very inexperienced, and most of them malokompetentny personnel led to the result of the obvious – the emergence neboegotovoy, operetta army.

Guide SANDF can as long as you want trubit on successes in building a new, non-racial and achievements of the army, part of peacekeeping operations, but did not hide the truth: civilian soldiers Africans – very bad horrible.

But among black officers and generals are already a lot of well-trained military, but what they can do with poorly trained privates. The only thing that could comfort South Africans – is that the Army’s neighbours, and the more countries where South African peacekeeping forces are perhaps even lower readiness.

Judging by the numerous press reports, the same thing happens in the air force, navy and the country’s military medical service of South Africa who, despite the withdrawal of many professionals in the private sector for more than ten years proderzhalis through the issue of new officers literate.

But if earlier in the engineering troops, in the Air Force, Navy and the military medical service, it was only a few percentage points “historically” oppressed black majority, now forsirovanno bring his percentage to 75%, that is, “” promote the career of black nedouchek poorly trained.

A huge number of qualified naval officers, pilots, military doctors and engineers of all races annually ranks of the army withdrew the sake of higher salaries in the private sector.

Data on the quality of black officers in the military academies No, but, in 2003, was published the following statistics on the level of training of civil engineers that I can make appropriate conclusions: 90% received at the work of engineers is not suitable.

The same, and to a much greater extent, South Africa belongs to the army, because if civil institutions ended three years later with a BS received less than 25% (3), the drop-out rate is historically oppressed “peoples” representatives of black military schools in the country was much smaller, than in the universities (exact figures carefully concealed South African military).

And this means that at least 90% black graduates of military schools on the complex technical skills (military engineers, bortinzhenery, planes, pilots, gunners, sailors, communications, missile) is not enough.


These figures are the death sentence for South African army. Air Force and Navy crumbling country after the land is almost dissolved army country. Soon readiness is the Navy, Air Force and the military medical service will the country, as in the SANDF (army), “below zero”.

How many military equipment will break, how many aircraft and ships will “stand on” immobilized because of the low level of training of military engineers and mechanics? And how many planes break, and how many ships sink, and how many patients soldiers because of bad treatment go to the light as a result of racial quotas?

Poorly trained black officers on the level of difficulty dotyagivayuschie old ensign to the armed forces and South Africa, however, is rapidly growing in the Chin (despite the obvious incompetence), would do everything to prevent the quarry better trained officers, regardless of their race affiliation.

If South Africa will fall on tribal grounds, the first run in the armed forces independent Kosalenda, Zululand, Sotolenda, Tsvanalenda these officers, which would be at the service is not for the knowledge and dedication of the new Member States, but rather, their rulers. Malokompetentnyh officers will be waiting there a general epaulettes.

Internally the situation in South Africa are getting worse, despite the good economic growth – 5% in 2006 (mainly by the high prices of raw materials). But unemployment, which is over 41%, almost not decreasing, and there are many people at the expense of casual earnings.

There are a lot of redundant and uneducated workforce, and skilled workers were in short supply. Of the 47 million more than 4 million people are illiterate or finished only primary school (4).

At the same time, up to 80% of young people under 30 have never had a permanent employment. Crime is increasing, income redistribution occurs mostly in favor of the rich black (5), and not the millions of destitute. A rise in the prices of maize, a staple foods, was more than 300% in two years (6).

The people zvereet of hopelessness, and the country is increasingly split on mezhplemennomu grounds or on the basis of support of any political figures. Gained millions of the population (7) firearm, sooner or later, can be used not only as a means of self-defence.

There is a very cynical view that influential foreign countries that depend on the supply of South African commodities (including platinum) (8), is already well aware that a social explosion is inevitable in South Africa and the whole political game now, in particular an open confrontation former Vice President ( Vice President) Jacob Zuma and President Thabo Mbeki, is based on “managed” the disintegration of the country and subsequent control over bought certain local tribal leaders the most important areas.


The main weapons to be used in a possible civil war in South Africa (except smoothbore hunting rifles of various calibres and home-made weapons) are mainly:

Different types of 9 mm calibre pistols “Para”, for example:

ADP, ADP Mk II, ADP-9, CP-1, CP-2, SP1 Compact, Super Star, RAP 401, TZ-99, Z-85 and Z-88.

To be used, and 7.62 mm calibre pistols, in particular:
— outdated TT pistol-33 (7.62 mm (245)õ25) Soviet, Chinese and Eastern European production,
— 9 mm calibre pistol type Makarov (PM) (9 (245)õ18 mm) Soviet, Chinese and Eastern European production and the South African-calibre pistols, machine guns 9 mm Parabellum “” (9 h19 mm) type S-1 and BXP,
— and the gun-9 mm calibre machine gun type Stechkin APS (9 mm) ((245)õ18 Soviet, Chinese and Eastern European production).

It is also the use of outdated assault rifles 7.62 mm calibre (7.62 mm (245)õ51) types:
— FN FAL production Belgium and other countries and manual machine gun FAL of the same calibre, as distinct from a larger long assault rifle barrel;
— G-3 production of West Germany and its licensing samples of South African production;
— R1, R2, R3 – assault rifles South African production based on the Belgian FN FAL assault rifles.

As well as automatic and manual 7.62 mm caliber machine guns (7.62 (245)õ39 mm):
— AKM assault rifles (an improved version of an AK-47) and its derivatives – ACU (with a folding butt), released in various countries around the world;
— Hand Kalashnikov machine guns (PKK) of the same calibre (different from AKM longer barrel), and SCS (self shotgun Simonova) Soviet and Chinese production.

Deliveries of these weapons will go from neighboring countries, particularly from Mozambique and Angola (through Namibia), and from Zimbabwe will many weapons Zimbabwean and Chinese production of the same type.


In addition, and will be used by the South African copy ACU (option AKM) Raptor of the same type of caliber (7.62 mm (245)õ39).

But the most prevalent during the civil war in the future South Africa will obviously caliber rifles 5.56 mm (5.56 (245)õ51) type R4, R5 and R6, are all these different types R4 assault rifle South African production, which is a special modification of the Israeli Galil rifles ( A copy ACU), and is only reduced caliber.

In addition will be used, and a copy of the South African ACU – type assault rifle Raptor reduced (up to 5.56 mm) and different types of fire American M16 assault rifle-type assault rifle and outdated production-type West NK-33.

Since much of the country as a license, and illegal hunting rifled obsolete weapons, it will be used and rifled hunting rifles and carbines, for example:
— Lee-Enfield different subtypes caliber 7.71 mm (.303 inch, or 7.70 (245)õ56).
— Mauser two sizes – a standard 7.92 mm (7.92 57) and reduced hunting 7 mm (7 57).
— Mosina caliber rifle 7.62 mm (7.62 h54).

Among the most common pump shotguns South African:
— Neostead 12 – calibre (12 mm) (12 x 70);
— MAG-7 12 – calibre (12 (245)õ60);
— MAG-7M1 12 – calibre (12 (245)õ60).

Of foreign sniper rifles most prevalent receive SVD (Dragunov sniper rifle), various modifications caliber 7.62 mm (7.62 h54 R) Soviet, Chinese and Eastern European production.


As for the guns, then basically it will be:
— SS-77 – South African production machine gun. It is based on the Soviet heavy machine gun Goriounova (SU-43), Caliber – 7.62 mm (7.62 (245)õ39) or 5.56 mm (5.56 (245)õ51). Gun barrel is replaced by another calibre in the field for a few minutes;
— Mini-SS-77 – South African machine gun, 5.56 mm calibre (5.56 (245)õ51);
— coaxial type of heavy machine-gun production MG4 South Africa, the calibre – 7.62 mm (7.62 (245)õ51);
— heavy machine guns K and P-type PTP caliber 7.62 mm (7.62 h54) Zimbabwean, Chinese, Eastern European and Soviet-made;
— heavy caliber Browning machine gun-type 12.7 mm (12.7 h99) English and American-made;
— heavy machine-gun fire DSHKM 12.7 mm (12.7 (245)õ108) Chinese and Soviet-made;
— NSV heavy machine-gun fire “Utes” 12.7 mm (12.7 (245)õ108) Soviet-made;
— CMP and heavy calibre machine gun and its derivatives – ZSU-1 and LSD-4-calibre 14.5 mm (14 h114) Chinese, Soviet and East European production;
— Various rapid shells and machine guns aviation predominantly South African production, such as Type 20 M 20 calibre 693 mm (20 h139) and Gai-CO1 and G12 and F2 and GA-1 – a versatile skorostrelnoe 20 mm cannon fire (20 h82);
— skorostrelnoe air defense gun fire 23 mm type Zu-23-2 “Zumlac” (based on Soviet-type velocity gun ZU-23-2) and themselves Zu-23-2 “Zeushka” raised from various countries;
— rapid fire 30 mm guns (30 h173) MK 44 Bushmaster type;
— rapid fire 35 mm guns (35 h228) type EMAK and GDF-002 and AAA gun type SPAAG (ZA-35) and GA-35;
— from the South African production multicharged grenade fire 40 mm (40 (245)õ53) in the course will go Y3 – belt launcher and AGL and XRGL40 – automatic grenade launchers production revolver shestizaryadnye South Africa;
— as for the foreign multicharged tape grenades, primarily will be used by the Soviet AGS-17 “Flame” calibre of 30 mm.

Virtually all of the above types of machine guns and rapid shells will be installed on SUV:
— Toyota, Land Rover, Range Rover, Defender, Izuzu, Nissan Patrol, Mitsubishi, Ford Ranger, Jeep CJ – 5 / 6.
— trucks and light trucks in the body:
— Samil-20, Samil-50, Samil-100, Samil-100 Kwevoel, Zumlac, Llama, Withings, Sakom 120, SAMAG 120, and MAN Bedford;

and on the chassis of different, mostly obsolete, armoured vehicles:
iKlwa, Patria, Ratel-20, Ratel-60, Ratel-81, Ratel-90, Buffel, Casspir, Bullgod, Rhino, Okapi; and armoured SUV:
Mamba, RG-31 NYALA, RG-32 Scout, RG-33, Scout 2.


At some of the trucks and SUV can be fitted and stored in warehouses outdated American recoilless rifles type M-40A1-calibre 106 mm and delivered from neighbouring countries obsolete recoilless rifles type B-10 (BO-10), 82-mm and 11-B (BO -11) calibre 107 mm Soviet, Chinese and Eastern European production.

Also at the armoured vehicles and trucks will be set fire mortars South African production of 81 and 120 mm and 82-mm mortars, 120 mm and 160 mm Soviet, Chinese and Eastern European production. A more light-calibre 51 mm mortars, including the South African 60-mm will be used foot soldiers.

In addition, written airway containers Type 361 unguided missiles to the “air-to-ground” type SNEB 68 mm calibre will be set at various armored vehicles and used against ground, including light goals.

The most frequently at their intended purpose and will be used heavy gun Rooikat armoured vehicle type-76 with 76.2 mm cannon fire and Ratel armoured vehicle type-90 (licensed version of the French armoured VXB) with a 90 mm cannon fire and armoured vehicles Eland-90 (AML-90 ) (licensed version of the French armoured cars Panhar with 90 mm cannon fire).

A number of heavy trucks, buses and tractors can be converted into makeshift armoured vehicles. Perhaps, and the use of improvised bronepoezdov.

Against armoured vehicles, including armoured personnel carriers, all warring parties will be mainly used anti-tank missiles ZT-3 km radius of up to 4 or ZT-35 (Swift), or Ingwe radius of 5 km laid in particular Ratel armoured chassis, and FT5 — South African anti-tank grenade launcher fire 99 mm grenades and RPG-7 type of calibre 40 mm RPG-18 and 64 mm calibre Zimbabwean, Chinese and Soviet-made. Perhaps later, and the use of more modern Soviet and Russian launchers RPG-26 type 73 mm calibre, RPG-27 calibre 105 mm RPG-29 and 105.2 mm calibre.

Because of the high cost of the application is not often be used tanks South African production type Olifant with 105 mm cannon fire, fire bombings system 127 mm calibre type Bateleur 127 (Valkiri MkII) (dalnoboynost up to 36 km) and the antiquated system of fire bombings type Valkiri MkI (dalnoboynost to 22.5 km), as well as long-range artillery howitzers type G-5 howitzers and self-type G-6 (both with dalnoboynostyu to 39 km (47) and improved versions of T-6-52 and T-5-2000 with a larger (up to 75 km) dalnoboynostyu.

It is possible that in the course will go and G-1 – the English field cannon fire 88 mm (25 pounds) of the Second World War (dalnoboynost – up to 12000 m) and G-2 – the English heavy-calibre field howitzers 140 mm (5.5 inches ) from the Second World War. Dalnoboynost – 16460 m (up to 21000 m – improved version).

More often the system will be used trailer fire bombings of South African production of type RO 107 calibre 107 mm (8.5 km dalnoboynost before, a copy of the Chinese Type 63).

Of the various countries can be mobile systems and fire bombings BM-21 (dalnoboynost to 20 km, and the last samples were dalnoboynost missiles up to 40 km) in Chinese, Eastern European and Soviet-made.

With the possible demise of South Africa will take advantage of these neighbours South Africa – Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and, possibly, Swaziland and Lesotho (and indirectly Angola) to:
1. If not legally, the actual capture (with the help of sister tribes living on the territory of the Republic of South Africa), the most important mineral deposits and their ways out of the country.
2. Reset the rebels are outdated or no longer desired weapons from their arsenals, including machine guns and rapid decommissioned guns with armor, aircraft and ships, including through direct marine supplies to the South African ports.

But these topics, as well as the likely use of all kinds of types of firearms, armoured personnel carriers, tanks, cruise missiles, bronepoezdov, aviation, and Navy (10) during the hostilities between the warring parties and the supply of obsolete weapons not only from the neighbouring, but also from developed (11) countries, as well as sending UN peacekeeping forces (to control the most important mineral deposits), go far beyond the scope of this article, and require a separate study.

In conclusion is to say that, unfortunately, have very little chance of South Africa to avoid the terrible civil war.


01. Thank Olifant.

02. Rehabilitation and evacuation vehicle on the chassis of the tank Olifant.

03. Howitzer G-5.

04. G-5 position in the military.

05. G-5 artillery during the day in Potchefstroom.

06. The fire control system G-5 howitzers (G-5 compliment).

07. Two armoured Ruykat-76.

08. Armoured Eland-90 SUV and Toyota.


1. Business Day. 26.09.2003.

2. BBC. 02.06.2004.

3. Business Day. 13.05.2005.

4. Mail & Guardian. 23.04.2005.

5. C 1994 and early 2007, it was transferred into the hands of black ownership and shares amounting to 30 billion euros (Mail & Guardian. 10.04.2007). But taken advantage of this largely black millionaires, which are linked to the ruling party – the ANC.

6. Sowetan. 12.04.2007.

7. Officially, there were 4.5 million guns, and at least 2.5 million people were licensed to him, including the police and military personnel (Business Day. 20.09.2005.) A number of illegal firearms in South Africa amounted to different estimates from 500 thousand up to one million units (Mail & Guardian. 01.07.2006).

8. South Africa supplies to the world market 70% platinum, 50% of chromite, 50% of the diamonds, 40% of vanadium, 18% gold and 18% cobalt.

9. Theoretically possible, and the supply from various countries of Chinese T-59 (a copy of the Soviet T-54A) (100 mm calibre gun), the German Leopard 1 tanks (105 mm calibre gun), and Leopard-2 (gun fire 120 mm), British tanks Challenger-1 and Challenger-2 (both with 120 mm cannon fire), the Soviet T-55 tanks (100 mm calibre gun), T-62 (gun fire 115 mm), T-72 (125 mm calibre gun), T – 64 (gun fire 125 mm) and T-80 (gun fire 125 mm) of the various modifications. Soviet-made tanks because of the relatively small weight and dimensions (compared with a heavy English, German or South African tanks) is very good for use in improvised bronepoezdah. Tanks installed on mobile open railway platforms, in fact, may replace bronevagony with artillery and machine-gun armament.

10. The civilian ships and boats, planes and helicopters, trucks and passenger trains, trucks and buses will be adapted for military purposes.

11 For example, no one can predict how many thousands of tons of small arms can be put into Africa since the reunification of South and North Korea.

Source: https://archive.africancrisis.info/?p=24745

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