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?
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.