Many of us still wonder why no military coup was carried out by the, erstwhile, formidable South African Defense Force in the early 1990s – an army rated as one of the top four at the time, and one which contributed hugely to the final defeat of Communism.
It goes without saying that the SADF had some of the best soldiers in the world. True winners! So it is a very pertinent question to ask why these top people failed to take matters into their own hands, especially given the fact that what FW de Klerk and ilk did was illegal in terms of internationally-recognized norms and conventions governing the democratic process.
I have received personal permission to publish the opinion of one of those former SADF members. A man who has some knowledge and insight regarding what transpired during those tumultuous years… in which political treachery bested even one of the top armies on the planet at the time:
During the time period leading up to 1994, there were plans made within the SADF military hierarchy to oppose, and possibly prevent, the impending hand-over of South Africa to the main South African terrorist organisation and our enemies. These plans were never executed, for various reasons. However, even if they had been attempted, they would probably have failed, at the latest in the long run, because they were simply not good enough. They did not sufficiently take into account the political aspect and what is nowadays called ‘sustainability’.
Let us start with what we could see was coming, and what our SADF ‘coup’ planners were up against: A hand-over of our internationally recognised state, the Orange-White-and-Blue RSA, to our enemies BY MEANS OF AN ELECTION. An Azanian election, dressed up and touted as an all-inclusive South African one, i.e. one in which WE, the voters of the Orange-White-and-Blue republic, were seen to take part in and thus recognise. Now, if you go against this with military force only, – even though you have the power to do so, – you will lose the legality and acceptance which our own state had had ever since 1910. You needed a righteous and un-smearable issue to make a stand. A stand on which you would and could JUSTIFY your resistance and action, – at the very least in the eyes of your own people, and then also in the eyes of your friends and people of goodwill overseas (who did exist, make no mistake, they weren’t all loony left).
Such an issue had, in fact, been presented to us by FW de Klerk and his scheming Broeders. In fact, they had no choice, because, in essence, what they were planning was illegal. You cannot simply eliminate an internationally recognised state and replace it with another one, which was basically what they were doing. ‘Freedom once conferred cannot be taken away’, – old English international law. De Klerk’s elimination-and-hand-over plan had more than one such weak point, in fact. I will mention just two, the most vulnerable ones in my opinion. First, he stopped our traditional, democratic by-elections. And ‘sommer’ all of our own democratic elections. And thereby our whole democratic election process, undermining his own legitimacy. This was after he saw during the Florida by-election in 1992 that his government would lose the next national election. Then, in 1993, he handed over, officially, the authority of our state to an UNELECTED body, the Transitional Executive Council, on 7 December to be exact. A total no-no if you think about it, what with unelected terrorists with the blood of innocent civilians like those of the Church Street massacre on their hands sitting there and ruling over us.
Any military action by the SADF to try stop FW de Klerk would have had to utilize, and home in on, these weak points of our enemies’ and traitors’ plans. Thereby giving the resistance to it the necessary legality, righteousness and appeal to decent people in our own ranks and overseas. For example, making an armed, militarily overwhelming stand somewhere, – not necessarily at the Union Buildings and not necessarily using force or shedding blood, – at the time of, or just after, the above illegal (in terms of our own constitution) acts by de Klerk. Demanding the restoration of our democracy and legality of government. Making it clear to our own people and the world that it is about restoring our democracy, our right to elect our own leaders, and have an elected, loyal government of our own as we had had since 1910, as set up by Great Britain and with the full approval of the international community. SUCH a military action would have had a chance of success.