Shadows in the Sand: A Koevoet Tracker's Story of an Insurgency War

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9780620474795: Shadows in the Sand: A Koevoet Tracker's Story of an Insurgency War

This is the story of a Kavango tracker who served for six years with Koevoet (‘Crowbar’), the elite South African Police anti-terrorist unit, during the South West African–Angolan bush war of the ’80s. Most white team leaders lasted only two years; the black trackers walked the tracks for years. Sisingi Kamongo tells the story of the 50 or so firefights he was involved in; he survived five anti-personnel mine and POMZ explosions and an RPG rocket on his Casspir APC vehicle; he was wounded three times; he tells of the trackers looking for the shadows on the ground, facing ambush and AP mines at every turn; he tells of the art of tracking ... where dust can tell time. Kamongo’s story is supported by two accounts from renowned Koevoet team leaders, Herman Grobler and Francois du Toit―a powerful collection of experiences from South Africa’s most successful counter-insurgency unit.

· The first-ever account of the bush war by a non-white member of the South
African security forces
· A unique, previously untold perspective of the bush war, by an on-the-ground
tracker
· A powerful, harrowing read; the tension is palpable

Sisingi Kamongo was born in 1965 in the rural area of Ndonga Muramba in Kavangoland in northern Namibia (formerly South West Africa). As child he spent his time between the bush where he looked after his grandfather’s cattle―learning his tracking skills―and school. After school he joined the police and was based with Koevoet at Rundu for six years. He became an elite tracker and car commander. In 1990 he came to South Africa where he worked in the security industry as a tracker until he lost the use of his legs due to a piece of shrapnel still lodged in his back, the result of his last POMZ incident.

Leon Bezuidenhout was born in 1966. He grew up in Pretoria and attended Pretoria West High School and the University of Pretoria. He did his national service in the South African Police, after which he lectured at the University of South Africa. He later entered the private sector and is a businessman and company director.

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About the Author:

SISINGI KAMONGO was born in 1965 in the rural area of Ndonga Muramba in Kavangoland in northern Namibia (formerly South West Africa). As child he spent his time between the bush where he looked after his grandfather’s cattle—learning his tracking skills—and school. After school he joined the police and was based with Koevoet at Rundu for six years. He became an elite tracker and car commander. In 1990 he came to South Africa where he worked in the security industry as a tracker until he lost the use of his legs due to a piece of shrapnel still lodged in his back, the result of his last POMZ incident. Now wheelchair-bound, he survives off a meager disability grant. He is a community leader and a soccer coach at Radium in Limpopo Province.

LEON BEZUIDENHOUT was born in 1966. He grew up in Pretoria and attended Pretoria West High School and the University of Pretoria. He did his national service in the South African Police, after which he lectured at the University of South Africa. He later entered the private sector and is a businessman and company director. He is a keen runner and military historian. “My biggest disappointment in life was when, aged seven, I found out that we Boers lost the Boer War.”

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