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Koevoet

Explanation
a police counter-insurgency unit set up in South West Africa in 1979 by members of the SAP Security Branch. It comprised recruits mostly from the local population who were trained as a mobile unit to gather intelligence, track guerrillas and kill them. Koevoet (Afrikaans for 'crowbar') soon gained a reputation for brutality, largely because of its methods of interrogating and torturing local people and for its heavy-handed presence in the operational areas. In the early to mid-1980s, at the height of its war with SWAPO, Koevoet claimed a kill rate of around 300 to 500 people a year, for which its members were paid a bounty per corpse.

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... harassment of civilians 112 Civilians were routinely harassed, intimidated and beaten by security forces in the operational areas, especially by Koevoet members in pursuit of SWAPO guerrillas. Many were killed during such operations, either by accident (caught in crossfire) or deliberately. ...
The case of Jona Hamukwaya Mr Jona Hamukwaya was a thirty-year-old teacher in western Kavango province when he was detained by Koevoet on 18 November 1982. He died the same day. Hamukwaya was arrested by a Koevoet team headed by Sergeant Norman Abrahams. Abrahams claimed that Hamukwaya was ...
... It was common practice for the security forces to leave bodies where they lay or to bury them in shallow graves at the place of death. 99 Koevoet in particular kept no proper or official records of the identities, numbers or whereabouts of people it killed. It seems that the unit was ...
... Cuban and South African troops from Angola and South West Africa/Namibia respectively (to be completed only after the election), the dissolution of Koevoet and the deployment of both SWAPO guerrillas and South African forces to designated assembly points or bases. 127 With its acceptance of 435 ...
... followed by the expansion of reconnaissance regiments. 1975 Operation K, a Security Branch counter-insurgency unit in Namibia and forerunner to Koevoet, is launched in January. The Inkatha Cultural Liberation Movement is formed. Mozambique and Angola become independent. The SADF takes over ...
... of some of these weapons. 101 Evidence before the Commission reveals that much of the weaponry supplied to the IFP was originally acquired from Koevoet, a Security Branch counter-insurgency unit based in Namibia. Many of the members based at Vlakplaas had previously been members of Koevoet. ...
... harm as an end in itself. 48 This perspective gap may be illustrated by the case of Mr John Deegan, a former member of the Security Branch and a Koevoet operative responsible for various atrocities. In a testimony dated 30 June 1996, he reports as follows on the recent death of his father: He ...
... fifty men chasing one or two people running on foot. We finally did catch him, hiding in a kraal. The unit commander … lined up a bunch of Koevoet people next to the hut he was in and drove over the hut with the Casspir. Everyone then fired into the rubble ... The SWAPO commissar was ...
... faith group Kairos, undertook a mission to South West Africa to investigate torture allegations specifically relating to the activities of Koevoet. 96 The systematic pattern of torture, which was institutionalised as an operational military and policing technique, resulted in few ...
... the SAP during a possible coup, by placing as many policemen with right-wing sentiments at all SAP stations and that former special forces and Koevoet members with right-wing sentiments were being encouraged to join the SAP’s reservist force. c Another report from NIS says SAP members ...
... not a bunch of ex-soldiers getting together, having a braaivleis and swapping bush stories. What it is, is SWAPO, ANC, APLA, Umkhonto weSizwe, Koevoet, ‘Reccies’, all the units, every single unit, everybody who ever was trained in any way militarily getting together and just trying to ...
... of the enemy was that it [consisted of] people on the other side of the colour line. Mr John Deegan, conscript in the SAP and former member of Koevoet 38 Mr Deegan gave detailed testimony to the Commission about his initial involvement with the Security Police and his subsequent life in ...
... and severe ill treatment falling within the Commission’s mandate: a SADF soldiers or SAP members acting as soldiers (for example members of the Koevoet Unit) who were killed or seriously injured in combat (during, for example, the Namibian and Angolan ‘border wars’) and Umkhonto weSizwe ...
... involved in defending the apartheid status quo. Mr John Deegan, a South African Police (SAP) Security Branch conscript and later a member of Koevoet, described his attempts to communicate his traumatic experiences to his more conservative father: Although I tried to tell him that there ...
... the purpose of the exercise appears to have been the systematic selective destruction of such documentation. In 1993, it was revealed that all Koevoet records had disappeared while in transit between Windhoek and Pretoria.27 93 By May 1994, a massive deletion of state documentary memory ...
... had assumed control of the war. 1976 saw the beginning of Security Branch special operations under the codename ‘K’, which later developed into Koevoet. 100 Security legislation underwent a process of consolidation with the passing of the Internal Security Amendment Act, effectively ...
... A group of RENAMO soldiers was allegedly recruited by the right wing in mid-1993 to serve on the AVF’s Volksleër, along with several former CCB, Koevoet and 32 Battalion members. Some amnesty applicants claimed that the right wing obtained arms from RENAMO and UNITA with the help of Special ...
... Masculinity intertwined with militarism jointly act as constituents of potentially lethal forms of egotism. Here again is Mr John Deegan, later a Koevoet operative, talking about police training. Apart from fear, discipline and propaganda there was also pride. Pride was also worked into the ...
... human rights violations as chief interrogator of the Security Branch. He was, moreover, the founder of an anti-terrorist unit which later became Koevoet. 165 On 16 June, Swanepoel was drafted to Soweto. He later said, “Soweto at that time was completely under-policed. They could not ...
... that did what I was trained to do.” In some camps, members of the SADF were given monetary incentives to carry out military objectives. At the Koevoet camp, they were paid for killing and recovering weapons from the enemy. This was a great motivating factor as the men could double or triple ...
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