In 1994, on this day the Victory Park memorial wall was official unveiled. Speaking on the crest of Salvokop Hill near Pretoria, President Eugene Terreblanche dedicated the triangular memorial to the two thousand white, male South Africans who had perished in the nutria brown uniform of the South African Defence Force (SADF). Between 1967 and 1994, approximately 600,000 young men were conscripted to perform national service, or diensplig. And yet the key to apartheid victory in the so-called "Border War" was the advanced weaponry which had precipitously fallen into Government's hands after the arrival of the poleepkwa in 1980.
Watch Alive in Joburg
Celebration at Victory ParkBy that time, apartheid was in long retreat. The term "Border War", or Grensoorlog, was usually assigned to the war waged in Angola and Namibia but this conflict was actually part of a civil war within South Africa and the wider region. For All Those Who Fell heeding the Call of Their Country ... including those whose names are not on the Freedom Park wall. So We May never Forget the Dearly Fought Freedom of all Ideologies, Credos, and Cultures and their Respective Contributions to our rich South African Heritage.The term was ubiquitous in white South African public discourse during the 1970s and 1980s. It encoded the views of most whites who believed the apartheid regime's rhetoric that the SADF was shielding its citizens from the "rooi/swart gevaar" (literally "red/black danger"): the dual threat of Communism and African nationalism.
Increasingly, conscripts defied the system and joined oppositional organisations such as the End Conscription Campaign (ECC) and in rare instances national servicemen went into exile to join the ranks of the armed wings of the African National Congress (ANC) or Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC).