In 1996 the South African army was still busy integrating the SADF and the MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe) into the new South African army called the SANDF. Bitter enemies now had to work side by side. The MK was not too clued up on the South African’s weapons, yet Mandela wanted to show the world that our country still had a viable defense force. A huge exercise called Southern Cross was organized and armies from around the world were invited; as well as the world press, I saw French Parabats for the first time here, and dodged the press successfully. To solve the problem of lack of expertise, military advisors were hired, via the old Commando units and I was traced by the Transvaal Scottish and asked to help.
One day sitting outside the Mess, having a cold beer while watching a terrible bunch of “soldiers” really fuck up some basic drills, a large black sergeant joined me. He too just shook his head. We discussed the bunch of idiots in front of us, agreeing that they were beggars in uniform. Over the next few beers we carefully inquired of each others background. Yip, he was old MK and I old SADF. Then more amazingly we found out we had both been operational at the same time and the same place… a few years ago. We had a good laugh at that and had a few more beers, cursing politicians and this new army all the while.