Rhodesia - Last Days of Empire (Myth20c - Ep06)
Today we are joined by a very special guest Jayoh de la Rey to talk about Rhodesia and South Africa. After growing up in Detroit and working as a development economist in Africa, one day his convoy came under fire traversed a country road. Demonstrating his capability with a rifle, Jayoh soon found himself working with private mercenary groups defending diamond mines in South Africa. Now back in America, Jayoh reflects on his time spent seeing firsthand the realities of a still developing African nation, and implications it has for our nation back home.
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— Timeline —
-1922- Votes against becoming province of South Africa.
-1948- Afrikaner nationalist party elected in South Africa, cuts down immigration to preserve Afrikaner character of SA. Ian Smith elected to parliament for first time.
-1953- Granted essentially self-governing status, basically a Dominion akin to Canada or Australia.
-1956- Suez crisis. Essentially, US disallows European countries any more imperial ambitions.
-1960- Congo independence & civil war. Many refugees flee to Rhodesian federation.
-1962- Rhodesian Front, pro-independence / pro-white party, elected. Smith is deputy PM.
-1963- Federation w/ Northern Rhodesia & Nyasaland dissolved.
-1964- Harold Wilson elected Labour UK PM. Pushes for majority rule in Rhodesia. Ian Smith elected as Rhodesian PM on a quasi WN platform. Negotiations break down, naturally. Blacks largely boycott elections. The Anglicans say “please go to war if necessary” to Wilson.
-1965- Unilateral Declaration of Independence, ie, without majority rule first. Civil disobedience and minor attacks commence. UK protests, but no attempt to use force. Embargoes of various sorts at varying levels of effectiveness, but mostly unsuccessful in exerting pressure.
-1972- Bush war kicks off in earnest. ZAPU, ZIRPA, etc. begin significant attacks on isolated farms, stores, etc in countryside, bomb attacks on cities.
-1974-75- Mozambique becomes independent of Portugal. Rhodesia effectively cut off, leaving only South Africa as quasi-ally. Rebels strike from Mozambique regularly. SA gets squishy on helping Rhodesia, putatively on account of Rhodesian policy of pro forma colorblind (with heavy bias towards “civilized” people) majority rule is in contradiction of their policy of apartheid. In reality, seems to be attempt to sacrifice Rhodesia for detente with other African countries.
-1975- ZANU & other rebel groups solicit increased help from China, Cuba.
-1976- SA government cuts off Rhodesia, effectively, begins withdrawing aid & pressuring for majority rule. Ian Smith agrees in principle to majority rule within 2 years. Boer / Anglo tensions blamed in part.
-1977- Peak of Bush War.
-1978- Majority elections agreed to in practice & scheduled.
-1979- Lancaster House Agreement ending war; majority elections; whites still control most of the actual state agencies and apparatus, and one third of seats in Parliament.
-1980- New elections, Mugabe elected PM. Internationally recognized as independent. Essentially game over; immediately former rebel factions begin fighting. Ian Smith stays active in politics until ~1987, “I told you so.”
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