What happened at Cassinga?

By: Kenneth JohnsonUpdated: April 14, 2021


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4 May 1978
In the morning of May 4, 1978, the South African Defence Force ran an air strike on camp Cassinga near the village of Cassinga, followed by a deployment of paratroopers. The camp was inhabited by exiled SWAPO sympathisers and their families. 165 men, 294 women and 300 children died in this attack.

Subsequently, one may also ask, how many people died in Cassinga?

624 dead

Also, what happened to Johan van der Mescht?

Van der Mescht had been captured on the night of February 18-19 in a PLAN raid on the SADF base outside Elundu in northeastern Ovamboland. He was transported to Cassinga sometime thereafter and was detained in the camp.

Which political party in Angola supported Swapo and how?

The leftist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union, came to power. In March 1976, the MPLA offered SWAPO bases in Angola for launching attacks against the South African military.

Why did South African army attack the Cassinga camp?

South Africa also feared the disruption of elections it planned to hold in South West Africa excluding SWAPO. The attack on Cassinga grew out of the plan for Operation Bruilof, wherein the SADF envisaged attacking six SWAPO targets around the town of Chetequera.


How many Cuban soldiers died in Angola?

Cuban casualties in Angola totaled 10,000 dead, wounded or missing.

What is the meaning of Swapo?

South West Africa People's Organisation

Who ruled Namibia before independence?

The history of Namibia has passed through several distinct stages from being colonised in the late nineteenth century to Namibia's independence on 21 March 1990. From 1884, Namibia was a German colony: German South West Africa.

How safe is Angola?

There is a high level of violent crime in Angola, especially in the capital Luanda. Armed robbery, assault, carjackings and muggings are common. Incidents can occur at any time of the day but are more prevalent at night. The provinces of Cabinda, North Lunda and South Lunda have particular security concerns.

Why did South Africa invade Namibia?

The term "South African Border War" has typically denoted the military campaign launched by the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), which took the form of sabotage and rural insurgency, as well as the external raids launched by South African troops on suspected PLAN bases inside Angola or Zambia, sometimes

Is Angola communist?

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), in place since independence in 1975, to a multiparty democracy based on a new constitution adopted in 1992.

Why is Namibia not part of South Africa?

Namibia was never fully part of South Africa. South West Africa (as it was then known) was ruled by Germany since 1884, as part of the colonisation of Africa by Europe. This was a brutal rule at times. During World War I, South Africa invaded the country as part of its military alliance with Britain.

Who won the South African Border War?

Going by the political end result, I would then say the war was won 57–43 in favour of SWAPO. The South African forces had the last laugh, though. The elections in Namibia were overseen by the United Nations Transition Action Group (UNTAG) under the leadership of UN Special Representative Martti Ahtisaari.

Why did South Africa invade Angola?

Ruacana-Calueque occupation
Several hostile incidences with UNITA and SWAPO frightening foreign workers had provided a rationale for the occupation. The defence of the facility in southern Angola also was South Africa's justification for the first permanent deployment of regular SADF units inside Angola.

Who colonized Namibia?

From 1884, Namibia was a German colony: German South West Africa. After the First World War, the League of Nations mandated South Africa to administer the territory.

Who is the founder of Swapo?

Sam Nujoma
Andimba Toivo ya Toivo
Jacob Kuhangua

How Namibia got its independence?

Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek. German rule ended in 1915 with a defeat by South African forces.

How many South African soldiers died in Angola?

South Africa said today that it had begun a new drive against guerrilla bases in southern Angola, killing at least 314 guerrillas so far this week and losing 15 soldiers. Military headquarters in Pretoria said the 15 South Africans had died when a helicopter flying paratroopers into battle in Angola was shot down.

Is Angola part of South Africa?

The term southern Africa or Southern Africa, generally includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini (also known as Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, though Angola may be included in Central Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in East Africa.