The above memoir deals with a specific time in my life when I stepped on a landmine in Angola in 1975, losing my right leg lower down below the knee. This happened when I was part of Operation Savannah, at the time a secret operation of the South African Defence Force.
The landmine incident itself is not the story. It merely serves to tie together some of my experiences before the incident in a country (Angola) at war with itself and some of my experiences afterwards as we, the casualties of this war together with those who took care of us, coped at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. In doing so, my aim was to recount a part of the Operation Savannah history that not many know about – the battle of the casualties of this war. At the same time I wanted to give recognition to those silent and unsung heroes of Operation Savannah, the medics.
Click here to download the 5000 word memoir.
Johan du Preez
Picture: Cela Hospital, Angola, with South African Air Force helicopter in the foreground, 1975. Picture credit: Kevin Bowden