By J. K. Cilliers
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Additional info for Counter-Insurgency in Rhodesia
Van der Byl as Minister of Defence during August 1974. He was subsequently relieved of his defence portfolio in September 1976 after the execution of the Nyadzonia raid into Mozambique. This operation had caused both Prime Minister Smith and Prime Minister Vorster from South Africa some acute embarrassment at the height of the Kissinger initiative. To a number of politicians and senior government officials there seemed a lack of suitable candidates for such an appointment, while the Prime Minister was wary of the political ambitions of the most likely candidate, Lieutenant-General Walls.
The abduction of 420 black children from the Methodist School at Tegwani once again provided substantiating evidence to this effect. By June, Prime Minister Smith was publicly expressing his disappointment over the results achieved by the Internal Settlement, and appealed to Britain for recognition. Despite the repeated demands of the internal black leaders, very little was done for five crucial months towards the removal of discriminatory measures, owing to Rhodesian Front resistance. Much of the international momentum gained towards recognition of events in Harare was thus lost.
By favouring his own Manyika tribe in the composition of the Cabinet, Bishop Muzorewa further hastened the loss of united political and local support. The security situation in the post election period had deteriorated. During July 1979 the deployment figures for Security Forces were roughly as follows: 33 Infantry companies deployed (8 companies each in Hurricane, Repulse and Tangent, 7 in Thrasher and 2 in Grapple) 3 Rhodesian Light Infantry commando's as reaction force 2 squadrons Grey Scouts Special Air Service Selous Scouts 54 3 300 240 80 250 420 Security Force Auxiliaries Guard Force Internal Affairs Defence Units British South Africa Police British South Africa Police Reservists 8 7 5 6 9 000 000 000 900 000 30 000 Note: The figures indicate actual deployment and not total strength of unit(s).