n Journal for Contemporary History - The strategic contours of the South African military involvement in Namibia and Angola during the 1970 / 1980s

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



Politically, South African military involvement in SWA / Namibia and Angola was shaped by the geo-strategic context of the Cold War, the direct and indirect influence of the superpowers in southern Africa and apartheid South Africa's will to survive. The resultant growing sense of isolation in South Africa was informed by economic and other sanctions against the country's apartheid regime and the ''us vs. them'' approach of both the white South African government and the black Frontline States of southern Africa. The sense of isolation was rooted in the very real threat of socialist and communist influence in southern Africa linked to white South Africans fearing that their western Christian-Judean value system and way of life would be overwhelmed by a black majority government in South Africa with Africanist tendencies. These threats and fears were coloured by the historical ties between white South Africans and SWA / Namibia. South African military involvement in SWA / Namibia and Angola kept both the and the away from the South African borders.

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