Posts Tagged ‘Wayne Bisset’

On the Run

November 13, 2017

An American Save the Rhino activist published these questions, and questions 71 and 72 were never answered. So, at that time I was on the run not only from potential hit men, but Selomie had convinced the Hawks (SA’s elite police squad) that I was a poacher too, so I had to hide from them too. Not the first time people have tried to kill me or track me down and The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief – The Palala Mission was written in my hide out in downtown Johannesburg.


96 unanswered questions for Selomie Maritz of Palala Rhino Sanctuary and Ubumanzi Game Reserve and Lodge

Taken from the notes of “If you have been banned from Palala Rhino .…” , where you may follow discussions pertaining to this problem.


Questions pertaining to your sale of a rhino to alleged rhino poaching kingpin, Dawie Groenewald:


1.  In your public apology and explanation for selling your rhino to Dawie Groenewald, you initially gave no less than five reasons why you did it, first and foremost to get the entire process on film for the making of a documentary, as well as for the following reasons:

–        To bring “greater awareness and public outrage to the plight of rhinos”

–        To learn and “share the information, specifically to assist the investigators and prosecutors in his and other cases”

–        For “the opportunity to see him operate” and “to see how Karel Toet and Dawie operate together”

–        To “get behind these rhino poaching”

–        To “what a kind of person he is and if he keep his promises”

What was it that ultimately led you to selling your rhino to this man, who, prior to your arrangement, had been arrested for and continues to face criminal charges relating to his alleged masterminding of a major rhino poaching syndicate?


2.  If the Groenewald sale was done for any of the above-stated reasons, what useful and effective results did it yield?


3.  On what date did your commercial transaction with Groenewald take place and what was the date of the relocation of the rhino to his property?


4.  For how much money was your rhino sold to Groenewald?


5.  Please provide detailed accounting for how you’ve spent the money that was made from this sale.


6.  When you called attention to Walter Ward’s sale of several rhinos to Groenewald, why did you blatantly omit the fact that you yourself had recently sold a rhino to him?


7.  In your Facebook note, “Public Statement and Apology”, regarding the above-mentioned transaction, you stated that you planned to use the funds to buy a new rhino to replace the one you had sold to him, but it seems you never did. You have since asked the public for donations to purchase rhinos several times.  Why didn’t you use the money from the sale to do as you had said you would in July 2011?


8.  In fact, at the time you were requesting people to donate R2 million to purchase Walter Ward’s 9 rhinos to prevent them from being sold to Groenewald. Why did you not deduct the amount of money you had made from your recent sale to this man?


9.  Why were you more concerned about someone else’s rhinos being sold to him than you were about your own “beloved” bull that you had “gingerly offered” him only months prior?


10.  What is the current status of the rhino you sold to Groenewald?  Is it alive or dead?  If the status is unknown, why is that?


11.  In your public statement and apology, you made reference to the supposed documentary’s interviewing of John Hume.  What was his involvement in this commercial transaction you made to Groenewald?


12.  Why did you refer to your sale to him as “personal affairs” in you public statement and apology?


13.  Please explain Palala’s obvious use of (and connection to) a helicopter known to be owned by Dawie Groenewald, as is proven in Palala’s photos from the filming of Saving Rhino Phila on your property and posts on your Palala Facebook page.


14.  How many times has Palala used or arranged for others to use the helicopter owned by Dawie Groenewald? And for what purposes?


15.  When it was exposed that you had sold a rhino to Groenewald, you first claimed this act was done as part of filming for an upcoming documentary.  Then in your “Public Statement and Apology”, you initially explained that the footage would appear in a National Geographic documentary called Snare.  This story has changed several times since then, and you have publicly claimed that it was actually going to be part of a National Geographic documentary about Phila the rhino, as well as alternatively implying that the Groenewald sale footage would be part of a fictional film called Snare.  These were offered , in addition to your many other versions of the story.  Why has your story changed so many times?  What are the facts about the supposed footage obtained from your sale of a rhino to Groenewald?  Is there actual footage of this sale and when will see it?


16.  Who from National Geographic is overseeing this documentary?


17.  What is your ongoing relationship with this man?




Questions pertaining to filming for various movies, documentaries, and TV shows on Palala Rhino Sanctuary/Ubumanzi Game Reserve property:


18.  On what date(s) was the movie Snare filmed on the Palala Rhino Sanctuary/Ubumanzi Game Reserve’s property?


19.  Did you personally, Palala Rhino Sanctuary, and/or Ubumanzi Game Reserve and Lodge receive payment for your involvement in the filming of Snare?  If so, who received the compensation?  What was the amount paid?  And what was the money used for (in detail please), if it was given to Palala Rhino Sanctuary?


20.  Did you personally, Palala Rhino Sanctuary, and/or Ubumanzi Game Reserve and Lodge receive payment for your involvement in the filming of Saving Rhino Phila?  If so, who received the compensation?  What was the amount paid?  And what was the money used for (in detail please), if it was given to Palala Rhino Sanctuary?


21.  Did you personally, Palala Rhino Sanctuary, and/or Ubumanzi Game Reserve and Lodge receive payment for allowing the M-net soapie, The Wild, that was filmed on your property?  If so, who received the compensation?  What was the amount paid?  And what was the money used for (in detail please), if it was given to Palala Rhino Sanctuary?


22. Were Dr. Walter Ward’s rhino used in either the filming of Snare or Saving Rhino Phila?  If so, was Dr. Ward aware of this and give his permission?  If there was compensation, did Dr. Ward receive compensation for using his rhino in the film(s)?


Questions pertaining to seemingly unethical behavior exhibited by Selomie Maritz and Palala Rhino Sanctuary, as a whole:


23.  Does Ubumanzi Game Reserve (which is also home to Palala Rhino Sanctuary) offer hunting excursions to their lodge guests, or has it ever done so?


24.  How do you justify running a “charity organisation” (i.e. Palala Rhino Sanctuary) in conjunction with/in parallel to a for-profit business (i.e. Ubumanzi Game Reserve)?


25.  How do you justify the use of the word “sanctuary” in the name of your non-profit, when it is largely accepted and expected that “animal sanctuaries” do not ever buy, sell, or trade animals?  Also, how can it be a “sanctuary” if hunting takes place on the property?


26.  Have you ever traded opportunities to hunt game animals on your property in exchange for services rendered?  For example, a basic bathroom or French drain construction?


27.  In December 2011, did ANY of your Ubumanzi/Palala employees receive a paycheck for less than the salary due to them? If not, can you provide proof of this to be true?  If so, why did it happen and was/were the employee/s ever paid the amount owed to them?  If not in December, has this ever happened?


28.  Do you support the wearing of animal fur, as is indicated by a photo of you wearing what appears to be an authentic fur coat?


29.  On photos of alleged cycad poachers posted on the Palala Rhino Sanctuary Facebook page, why have you repeatedly allowed your supporters to assume that the subjects in the photos were actually rhino poachers, while failing to correct these assumptions at all in some cases and not until much later in others?  Why have you allowed hateful, violent, and even racist comments from your followers to remain on these photo posts?  Do you acknowledge the physically violent threats that have been laid against these people whose photos you’ve posted and claimed to be poachers, but who have most often not yet been proven guilty by the court of law for the allegations you make against them?


30.  How does Palala ensure that funds between Palala Rhino Sanctuary and Ubumanzi Game Reserve are not in any way co-mingled?  Please provide proof.


31.   Is Palala Rhino Sanctuary a registered NPO within South Africa? If so, what is their registration number?


32.  Why has Palala apparently criticised Dr. Cindy Harper on their Facebook page?  What is Palala’s official stance on Dr. Cindy Harper and her work with the DNA project?




Questions about your behavior and/or lack of response to valid and important questions posted on the Palala Rhino Sanctuary Facebook page:


33.  Why are people crucified for asking questions?


34.  Why are questions so often deleted and/or ignored?


35.  Why are no straight forward answers given to these questions?


36.  How do you justify your crude and spiteful responses (which are often deleted) to individuals who ask important and valid questions on the Palala Rhino Sanctuary page?


37.  Why do you repeatedly tell people to email if they have questions, instead of answering the questions in public where they are asked?


38.  Why are you so focused on the identity of the Facebook profiles that ask seemingly “hard” questions on the Palala Rhino Sanctuary page, as well as that of the admin of this page, when what is being posted (not who is asking) is what is truly important?


39.  How many people in total have been banned from the Palala Facebook page and what are the reasons for their banishments?  AS a page the names of banned people is easily available.



Questions about Palala Rhino Sanctuary’s “fundraisers” and solicitation of donations from the public:


40.  Why did you solicit for donations to buy Karen Trendler/Orphan Rhino Project’s rhino calves, without ever having discussed such an arrangement with Karen Trendler or the project?


41.  Palala Rhino Sanctuary’s “Save a Rhino, Hunt a Poacher” stickers are nearly identical to ones previously produced and distributed by Kruger2Canyon newspaper.  Has the newspaper agreed to your use and sale of these stickers, or in any way condoned or endorsed these activities?




Questions relating to your involvement with Dr. Walter Ward’s 9 rhinos:


42.  Was Walter Ward paying to you to keep his 9 rhinos on your property? And if so, how much (in total) did he pay you?  How was this money spent (in detail please) to help rhinos?


43.  On what date was Walter Ward’s initial 8 rhinos relocated to Palala Rhino Sanctuary?


44. On what date(s) was/were Walter Ward’s 9 rhinos relocated to John Hume’s property?


45.  You have publicly (via Facebook and media) solicited donations for the purchase of Walter Ward’s rhinos, claiming R2 million would be necessary to acquire them all.  Were any donations received for this purpose?  If so, how much money in total was donated?  Since none of the rhinos were ever purchased, what happened with the money that was donated for this purpose (a detailed account of the funds, please)?




Questions about Magoggo:


46.  On what date was Walter Ward’s other rhino, affectionately referred to by Palala as “Magoggo”, relocated to Palala Rhino Sanctuary?


47.  Please explain the discrepancies surrounding Magoggo and her death.  Where (i.e. on your property, John Hume’s, or at Walter Ward’s) did she die?


48.  On what date did she die?


49.  On what date was her body discovered?


50.  Was her death caused by or in any way related to the relocation(s)?


51.  If Magoggo died on property that was not your own (i.e. John Hume’s or Walter Ward’s), why did you remove her horns?


52.  If Magoggo died on property that was not your own (i.e. John Hume’s or Walter Ward’s), why were you ever in possession of Magoggo’s horn as was stated in a Palala Facebook post on 14 August, 2011?


53.  Why was Magoggo’s DNA delivered to Cindy Harper when Palala themselves had reported that Magoggo had died and that her horns were returned to her rightful owner with permits?



Questions pertaining to your behavior subsequent to the establishment of this page:


54.  Why did you delete your Facebook page?


55.  Why did you revive your Facebook page after deleting it?


56.  When the page was “unpublished” (i.e. un-viewable to all public), why did you delete photos and posts from your page & almost entirely remove everything that had been posted before the several weeks it was down, before reactivating it?


57.  Why did you posted “18mass grave at Letaba Ranch” on your wall on Tuesday, 14th February (a story that was first exposed in 2010), then ignore supporters’ comments that asked for more information, and then finally delete the entire post altogether?


58.  Why did you also disabled your Ubumanzi Game Lodge website, around the same time as the Facebook page and what did you remove from the site while it was down?


59.  Why did Palala recently formed a “secret” Facebook group, as was stated both on the Palala page and by Palala admin member, Andreas Scheimann?


60.  Why has Palala admin member, Andreas Scheimann, (on behalf of the Palala “secret group”) claimed that Palala Rhino Sanctuary’s “donate button” has been removed in response to “complaints” made about Palala?  And why has he also stated that Palala’s “givengain” pages will be deleted within 14 days?   This statement was made on February 16th and not only is the “givengain” site still operating but you received another donation of 5000 Zar?  What is the money which now stand at 33.425 Zar or over $4600 USD being used for?


61.  Please explain what your problem is with a Facebook page where concerned citizens (independent of any organisation, business, or company) raise valid questions about your organisation that you have refused to answer.




Questions about suspicious posts made on Facebook by Palala Rhino Sanctuary:


62.  Please explain the discrepancies pointed out about the rhino calf photo that was posted twice on the page, once claiming to be taken 5 years earlier (of Keletewe) and months later (a modified version) with a representative of your organisation claiming Selomie had told her it was a calf born on a neighbouring farm in 2011.


63.  Please explain the more than 25 posts made by Palala that have since been deleted, as is accounted for on your Facebook-linked Twitter account.  A list of all can and will be provided, upon request.


64.  Please explain why Palala seems to routinely use propaganda (e.g. accounts of other rhino poaching incidents that did not take place on Palala/Ubumanzi property, etc.) to draw support from their followers, thereby capitalising on their understandable emotional sensitivity to the rhino poaching crisis.


65.  Why do you post updates on the Sanctuary’s Facebook page that state the activity and position of your rhinos, when doing so is well-known to jeopardize the safety of the animals?


Questions about your involvement with Phila the black rhino:


66.  Why did you rally to raise money to buy Phila, when it had actually been confirmed that Phila was never for sale and most certainly not to Palala?


67.  Why have you repeatedly attacked Allen Salkinder and the JHB Zoo over your opinions of her handling and care, even after qualified veterinarians have taken steps to address the issues?




Questions about Palala Rhino Sanctuary’s “anti-poaching unit”:


68.  Photos posted by Palala of its “anti-poaching unit” show the unit members wearing Entabeni Game Reserve (a neighbouring game reserve to Palala/Ubumanzi) uniforms, suggesting that such “anti-poaching unit” members must be paid by Entabeni Game Reserve.  Who pays these people’s salary and provides their equipment, food, etc.?  Is it Palala, Ubumanzi, or Entabeni?


69.  If said “anti-poaching unit” members are paid by and supported by (i.e. with food, equipment, etc.) Entabeni Game Reserve, why does Palala solicit both monetary and non-monetary donations to support them?  How are such donations used (in detail, please)?




Questions about Wayne Bisset:


70.  Is it true that you have made several posts around Facebook calling for Wayne Bisset to be “taken out”?  If so, why did you do it?  Do you acknowledge that this is considered a death threat?


71.  What evidence do you have to support accusations that you’ve made that Wayne Bisset has in some way provided intelligence about your facility to rhino poaching syndicates?  And what information did he supposedly supply them?


72.  Please clarify if Wayne Bisset was an employee, a volunteer, a contractor, or a “squatter” during his time at Palala Rhino Sanctuary/Ubumanzi Game Reserve.




Questions pertaining to your “blackmail” accusations


73. The title of your post refers to slandering.  What on the page in question do you claim to be slanderous?


74. You claim that the page is harmful to “an endangered species”.  Since the title of your posts asks Facebook to “help us protect rhinos”, and in the next paragraph you again name rhinos, I assume you mean the endangered species is rhino.  Is that assumption correct and if so, how is asking a “Sanctuary” to answer some questions regarding their handling of such animals harmful to the rhino?


75. You state that you/Palala has ignored this page, however several representatives of Palala, including admin(s) of page and you yourself, have come and commented numerous times,.  Once in a thread where a member was quite distraught, and the admin badgered the woman relentlessly.  The comments have since been removed by your admin, is this what you consider ignoring the people of this page?


76. You state that you have repeatedly reported the page, post, ect.  What has the outcome of these reports been?


77. You claim that this page has connected Ubumanzi Game Lodge with the “Sanctuary”.  Is that not public information and easily found with simple internet search?  


78. Have you not posted many updates telling people of your location, post photos of the four rhino on your property and updated public on where and when you would be “patrolling”?


79. Are Palala Rhino Sanctuary and Ubumanzi Game Lodge not in fact just two names for the exact same piece of property?


80. You state that you were “in negotiations” with someone to remove this page.  Who exactly were you negotiating with, specific name or names please?


81. Why would you consider paying someone to remove a site that asks questions that have been removed from Palala page, and post screen shots of your own words, photos, public statements?


82. What “confidential” information has been “leaked” to people on this page?


83. Why did you choose the people you list by name, and by what merit do some receive an asterisk?


Questions about “Vodka”?


84. Who did you negotiate with to buy the rhino calf you refer to as “Vodka”?


85. You have said that vodka was sold to a second party before being sold to the Russian zoo?

What is that person’s name?  And did you negotiate with him to buy Vodka?


86.  What was the sale price of Vodka that was given to you in your negotiations?


87.  On what date did you find out Vodka was no longer for sale?


88.  What is the date that you informed people you were asking for donations, that Vodka was no longer for sale and where can we see that announcement?


89.  What was the late date you received a donation for Vodka?


90.  For what specific purpose did you use the money donated for Vodka?


Question about Bush Warrior article


91.  do you know why Bush Warrior article about Your sale to Groenewald is no longer on the site?


92.  Do you know of any other similar articles that are no longer posted?


93.  Were you ever asked by Bush Warriors for money to take the article down?  If so, how much money was asked of you?


94.  You claim that Bush Warriors got some facts wrong.  What fact(s) in the article were wrong?


95  Did you not confirm to Bush Warriors that you sold a rhino to Mr. Groenewald?


Unrelated to above section

96.  How many rhino have been poached on Palala Rhino Sanctuary?



Purchase a copy of The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief Series:

Email which copies you would like to purchase and we will send you an invoice and banking details. As soon as the bank reflects your payment we will sent the copies via your email. Price: R50. 00 each


Soldier of Fortune

November 13, 2017


It was in another lifetime many years ago……

We flew under the radar for a couple of years, then Soldier of Fortune published an article and the cat was out of the bag. Two years later the South African magazine, YOU, started publishing their articles.

You can read a first had view of these events in The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief I – The Angolan Mission.


Purchase a copy of The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief Series:

Email which copies you would like to purchase and we will send you an invoice and banking details. As soon as the bank reflects your payment we will sent the copies via your email. Price: R50. 00 each

RESIZED The Angolan Mission Cover

A short, rather amusing tale about the start of the world’s very first Private Military Company, Executive Outcomes. Told from an insider’s point of view. The country, Angola at the height of its three-decade long state of war.

The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief Series

November 8, 2017


Chronicles I

A short, rather amusing tale about the start of the world’s very first Private Military Company, Executive Outcomes. Told from an insider’s point of view. The country, Angola at the height of its three-decade long state of war.


Chronicles II

A story about falling into an abyss, and what it took to climb out that deep pit. It is story of hope, for the seemingly hopeless and more importantly, of how to break the chains that hold you. The chains come in many forms, the thickest being the one called addiction. Drugs and alcohol are the most obvious forms of addiction but addiction comes in many, many forms, and everyone has at least one.


Chronicles III

Falling back into the abyss, and finding a whole lot of new deeper black holes, not the least ugly and deceiving were the ones that had the label, “Christian” on them. Surviving those, only to be thrown in another snake pit that goes by the names of phycology. Becoming a Gypsy and beginning of the Gypsy lifestyle. Traveling from Johannesburg to the Cape, narrowly avoiding falling into yet another pit, the Cape Flats gangs after befriending one in the Government Rehabilitation center.


The Palala Mission

A true story about the frustrations, the lies and the corruption that surrounds the Rhino Anti-Poaching business. Written before the real crisis began, South Africa was losing only just over a 100 rhino a year at that stage. You will get some insights of why the poachers have been so successful over the years and why they can kill more than a thousand a year now. It is not a happy story, certain people in this tale are now infamous and had charges brought against them; for others, it is just business as usual.


Purchase a copy of The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief Series:

Email which copies you would like to purchase and we will send you an invoice and banking details. As soon as the bank reflects your payment we will sent the copies via your email. Price: R50. 00 each

Wayne Bisset’s Photo Gallery

August 21, 2017


Buy digital copies direct from the photographer… to purchase a copy.

Choose photograph  and send an order via email. You will receive the banking details and confirmation of order. Once the funds are transferred, you will receive your full size copy via email.

Price of digital copy of photographs is R150.00 ( All are in a large format but I have not the patience to write each one down here and now! Properties , size etc will be sent on inquiry.)


Nosce te ipsum


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Divine Alignment and Fulfillment

August 19, 2017



It was in another lifetime, many years ago, and I had two women in my life, one complicated and one complex. The complex one, she use to write long comments on my blog posts about my Strange Classrooms. She became one of my Strange Teachers. Here is an example:

Divine Alignment and Fulfillment

What would knowledge and intuition be without divine alignment? And divine fulfillment?

Divine alignment comes from God’s desire and purpose for a life and a union of beings.

This is one of those mysteries in life…which cannot be written all that much about, but fully experienced

It’s like nature. One can sketch nature, paint nature, photograph nature, study nature…write about it and all the beauty within it…but yet one cannot capture it in all its reality…its intricacies its subjectivity

We’re not meant to, I suppose.

The One who created… He is the reality of all His design…

And it seems He would go beyond sharing His design only…

He gives Himself

So, here we are, in the hands and genius of our Maker:

Regardless of my limited concept and understanding, I believe that a man is formed for God and from God and woman is formed for a man…from a man. A woman is an extension of a man, as man is an extension of God, divinely so but plainly stated.

One God, one man, one woman, one person.

It goes beyond reason! Beyond time. But works so perfectly, as was intended.

Your maker is your husband – Isaiah 54:5

If I were a designer, the most brilliant kind…with a most brilliant design and plan, the most exquisite functions and delicate buttons. I’d want my work to be enjoyed! Yes truly enjoyed! And used fully.

But I would be quite morbid if those I created everything for didn’t even recognize me, my true nature, and my reason for it all.

Nothing can be truly enjoyable without realizing God and allowing God, since it would be a distant enjoyment, it would be without His very Person.

If His Spirit is not acknowledged within and without, and between a man and a woman…however finely…there is no real alignment, no real substance.

Since we seem to be a combination of animal, human, and God at times…some things appear enjoyable from an animal angle.

But not for long…not for long…

Soon the animal is totally gone

The animal nature will be shed, like old skin…

We will be released into the full reality of that which we long for

That which we are:

God-men and God-women.

Happy Ending x x x

Nosce te ipsum

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The Cripple Doctor

August 6, 2017

Peace Dove neon

It was in another lifetime, many years ago. Quite by chance I had fallen into the company of doctors and nurses from Baragwanath hospital. Some were interesting and some bloody scary. The one woman, a paediatrician caught my attention. She was a tiny lady and confined to a wheel chair. That she became a doctor fascinated me, not only because of her handicap but because she was about my age, so became a doctor in the now infamous “Apartheid Era.”

After listening to here at a few of our usual breakfast meetings and the fact that she also had a love for wildlife I had a conversation with her. It turned out to be a very interesting one at that.

Her legs were useless because of a childhood episode of polio; she told me at the time, people like her were not given the best of treatment, if any at all. As a doctor she believes that if not under the apartheid system she would have not been reduced to a cripple in a wheel chair. It was known within this group that I had serve in the SADF, some did not like me much, but because my main friend in this group was the head of a big unit at Bara, they tolerated me.  A few of them had brothers, and I mean blood brothers, that had joined and fought for Umkhonto weSizwe including the lady doctor. So we got around to that subject and in my normal straight forward way I asked her if she worked for them too. What she replied is a lesson for us all.

It was not in her nature to be a violent person, or even support violence in any way, one of the reasons she became a fine doctor. The main driving force behind her conviction, diligence and hard work was her basic idea and belief. She believed that although as a child she did not get the help she needed, by becoming a doctor and a paediatrician in particular, she would be able to see that other children would not suffer the same fate as she.

With her intellect this woman would have being a huge asset to  Umkhonto weSizwe , she had been approached by them, her brothers  definite would have encouraged her.  Her choice, she told me, was not to kill or cripple others, but to do what she could to insure their health.

I have forgotten the ladies name, but when ever my thoughts turn to extreme violence ( which is pretty often with all the White Genocide and Farm Murders going on ) I think of this woman.

She is a far better person than I.

Nosce te ipsum

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An Ex-JW in the SADF IV

August 3, 2017

Puffy head r


Back in camp we had to go to this place called Lataba Ranch every now and then, the Bats have Die Brug, at 7 SAI we had Lataba. It is situated in or right next to the world famous Kruger National Park and is an absolutely beautiful part of the world, if you are a tourist. I had never been in the Kruger before, so loving the bush as much as I do this was great… not. Those PF’s tried to kill me in that place! The first time I went was with Oscar Company and we were all Motarmen or Storm Pioneers. Here we learned our trade, in between getting those ridiculous opfoks all the time.  I was under the impression that opfoks were a necessary evil of good army training, since then I have spoken to a lot of Rhodesian men, they tell me that they did not get the same type of shit in their army. A lot of PT yes, but not the kind that we did, those that joined the SADF later were unimpressed. As some of the guys were Rhodesian SAS, Selous Scouts and Rhodesian Light Infantry, it is impossible to say anything bad about their fighting skills and effectiveness as soldiers.

One night, in the pitch black I heard my name been called in a squeaky whisper, as we were all bedded down talking was forbidden, someone was going to get me in kak! The guy got louder and eventually a corporal came to see what was going on. All of a sudden torches were lit up and a lot of loud talking was going on. Now I heard the corporal yell, “Bisset, waar is jy!?” Ah shit, i knew no good could come of this, no matter what “this” was. I replied and the Corporal, in a rather panicky voice AND in English asked, not ordered me to go to him. The classic “ Come to I”, that some of the Afrikaners used to mistakenly say when they bothered to speak English.

The situation was:

One guy, Squeaky Voice, had woken up and found a strange elongated lump in his sleeping bag with him. Now this was presumed to be a snake, plenty of those at Lataba, along with all sorts of other dangerous critters. This lump was short and fat, must be a Puff Adder, sleeping right across his stomach. The reason I was been sort out was, I was known as the snake expert in the camp. When we got lectures on snakebite, they were so outdated that it ended up that Pink Vark made me give them rather than the Medic or the Doctor. If you kept venomous snakes, as I did, it is prudent to be up to date on such matters. To this day if I get bitten the last person I would consult is a common Medical Doctor. (Short Story on them here:  Snake Bite! )

In one of the books I had studied they had a solution for just this problem, so I was thinking, “No problem.” What is suggested is that you put blankets on the victim; the snake gets too warm and leaves on its own accord. Bloody books! That did not work and the victim was getting all excited and more and more afraid, to the extent that his whole body was shaking. I feared that the snake was going to bite him, so time for Plan B, made up on the spot. First we would, carefully unzip the sleeping bag, to reveal his shoulders; two guys would get their hands under his arms. Another two guys would grab the bottom of the bag. On three all would pull as fast as possible, I would dive the Puff Adder.

May not have been the best plan but the best I could think of at the time. They pulled I dived and came up with a rolled up T-shirt.


Nosce te ipsum

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An Ex-JW in the SADF III

August 2, 2017

Tracy and me 3

I met my girl at that bus stop and we walked back up to Hillbrow, my favourite place to sit in the day time was the Cafe Wien.  Now Hillbrow was a very different place to any other in South Africa at that time. The only foreigners like Italians and Frenchmen I had ever seen was here, the only mixed race couples sitting openly together, you would see here. With Wits University close with the HQ of the End Conscription Campaign and all sorts of other radicals that supported the terrorist ANC, the reaction to my uniform was mixed, my civvie clothes were all locked up at my friend’s place.  From Phalaborwa to Pretoria while hitching, everyone loved me, not here. But as the USA General Mattis pointed out, radical liberals are a bunch of pussies, so they would just give me dirty looks, but nothing more.  Quite right, as a soft well fed civilian, you DO NOT want to pick on a young guy that is well into his Infantry training and on leave.

We had a lot to discuss, her mother had decided to move to East London, and Tracy was telling her that she would not go. At this stage of her training at Woolworths she was transferred to Kempton Park. We decided on that day that she would get a flat in that town and we would live together. She would not tell her mom about that! In those days, 1983, in South Africa at least, living with a woman/man without the sanctity of marriage was a huge sin. In later years I found out I was pretty famous or infamous in 7 SAI, for being the only guy that “lived in sin” with his girlfriend.  Early that evening Tracy got on the last bus to Germiston, I would not see her again on this pass, so I just went drinking. I now had a rather pretty, if somewhat naught sponsor at that dingy pub I told you about.

Back to the base and waited for my next pass, lots of afkak and plenty of opfoks, especially with my big mouth. Generally I was accepted in this new brotherhood, as I could shoot just as straight as any Boer and seemed to have a knack when it came to weapons, any weapons;  ran the 2.4 neither too fast nor too slow and could be relied on to pull my weight.   Letters came and went, Tracy’s mom had moved and she had rented a flat right above her place of work, she sent me the address.

The time came and I hit the road again, hitching to Kempton Park and my new home. Back then on all of my passes I seldom waited more than 15/20 minutes before I was picked up. I arrive in Kempton Park before Woolworths closed and went there to see my girl and get the keys to the flat. That done I went and bought some necessities, beer, a bottle of Red Heart Rum, some bubble bath and a bottle of Baby Oil, oh yes, and two White Owl cigars.

The tiny flat consisted of one room, a bathroom and a kitchen; it had a single bed, a rug, some curtains, two pots and some cutlery in it.  Obviously her mom was pissed off and did not help her much. What with my father and her mother it was us against the world, but young, romantic and in love at the time, we were happy with that.

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An Ex- JW in the SADF Part II

August 1, 2017



So there I was, getting by rather well all things considered.  My girlfriend was sending me long letters , the type that only a lovesick 19 year old girl can, and the most amazing pakkies too. She was a trainee manager at Woolworths, and got a huge staff discount on all merchandise. My parcels from her were full of goodies to eat. Then for good measure my mom would sending me pakkies,  also with goodies to eat but also an added extra.  I had heard that I would not be getting any alcohol during basic training, and even at that age I was a heavy drinker, by anybodies standards. I put a lot of thought into this problem and came up with a solution.  I got my mom in on this plan, she would send me a BIG bottle of shampoo and another of Conditioner. Only my long suffering mother, I have always being, just a little bit… naughty, would replace the contents with whiskey.  I have always wondered why the men that checked the parcels never caught on to this, only reason I can think of is that they were too busy skimming a chocolate or some biltong to actually CHECK the parcels.

No need to go into what else happened in those long 6 weeks or so we waited to get pass. The day came and we were set free for 4 days! As I had only my army pay I could not afford a bus ticket so hitched “home”. I was welcomed at my girlfriend’s house by all, two sisters and her mom, her dad has passed away a few months before.  Did all the normal things on pass but on the second day, early hours of the morning, the mom woke up and found me in the wrong bed. Vat jou goed en trek Ferreira. Mother shouting, girlfriend and older sister crying I was put on the pavement with all my worldly goods. A friend from school picked me up and I could stay at his parent’s house for the rest of my pass. While there I organized to spend the next pass with another friend that lived in Hillbrow.

Back to 7 SAI, lots of letters and parcels, the ones from the girlfriend were not too cheerful; her mother banned her from ever seeing me again.  Did second phase and went on pass again.  Problem was the first night my friend was not at home, no idea when he would be back. I called my girl and organized that she take off work and meet me in Johannesburg the next morning. She worked with her mother at Woolworths at that stage so needed some real maneuvering , but she said she would. I then went and sat in the bar of a seedy hotel in the Brow. When all else fails, go drinking, I think sitting in uniform in a bar was illegal, but even the MP’s would not go into the hotel I was at. Long story why I knew this place, short version, had an uncle that was a mercenary and he hung out here.  He was not about but the people knew I was related to him and the uniform helped a lot.

So there I was, minding my own business, drinking whiskey, the cheaper kind, and thinking about life when an older woman came and sat by me. Older as in she must have been at least 26! Quite a pretty lady actually, she commented that she was waiting for her brother and would I mind if she sat with me. No problem. A while later a chap came in and she left with him, I was now drinking beer as my money was not a large amount and I had the whole pass to live through on it. The lady came back a little later and asked if she could join me again, she then bought me a drink, Chivas if I recall correctly. We spoke about what it was like in the army, where I was from and why I was in this bar. Another man came up and she excused herself and left with him. On her return she told me, “I am sure you know by now what I am.” I told her I had sort of worked it out. She then bought me more drinks and told me her long sad story, we spent the whole night drinking and talking, she left now and then to attend to business. In the early hours I caught a few sitting up naps, that we learn to do in the army, and the next morning I set out for Johannesburg bus station, I was going to see my girl! ……..

Nosce te ipsum

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Nosce te ipsum

View the Mexican Horse Thief’s Page

Short Story


An Ex-Jehovah’s Witness in the SADF

July 30, 2017

Wayne Bisset


I doubt if I am unique in this regard but most certainly I am unusual. In the day the government allowed for conscientious objectors, if you were a good little Jehovah’s Witness boy, the Elders of your congregation would supply a letter to the SADF, stating that you were a fine upstanding member of the Congregation to which you belonged. Armed with this that boy would get sent to Military Prison for 3 years, issued with a blue overall and some army boots. The “good” thing the Elders tried to convince you of is, you would receive no criminal record.

Already at school the JW boys were excused from doing Cadets and shooting. Most of them took a lot of flack because of this, were at best called cowards. Already from Std 6 I was a bit of a different little JW, I could and would fight if picked on, for one thing. As I grew up in this religion I was always just a JW, but by the age of 11 I hated religion already, I could not agree with what I was being taught to believe. At 16, that is when we got our call up papers I had already decided this DB thing was not for me. I did not discuss this with my father, he would have tried to beat the crap out of me.

The day came when we HAD to discuss this problem, by then I was refusing to attend the 3 meetings a week, would NOT go on Field Service any more, you know that knocking on doors selling the WatchTower and Awake? I hated it as a young child, as an older child it was terrifying. I always dreaded knocking on a door of one of my school friends parents one day, they would inform my father of my other life, partying, drinking and fighting!

My father gave an ultimatum:  If I went into the army he would kick me out of the house. It was not even his house! He had already got rid of my mother, she was excommunicated for the sin of smoking  cigarettes and married a rich JW lady. We had moved into her house less than a year ago. My mind was made up, no religion and no DB, so I packed my few things and took them to my girlfriend’s house. Her mother said that when I got leave I could stay with them. That done, the final thing my father did was condescend to take me to the place a train was waiting for me, to go on a little adventure, staring in the amazing holiday camp in Phalaborwa, called  7 SAI. He did not contact me except for one letter, months later, asking me to come back to “THE TRUTH”, JW’s always call it the truth in caps. I did not bother to reply.

Too young and naive to keep my JW past a secret, I had a little bit of trouble about it while doing Basic Training.  First problem I encountered was this marching thing, as I had never marched a step in my life before, no Cadets remember? How the hell was I to know you always take off on your left foot??? Yes, drill was a bloody nightmare at first, commands not in my home language did not help.

Then the thing about religion came up with the issue of Dog Tags. I told the man I had no religion. Boy, did this cause kak!  Everybody apparently HAD to have a religion. I stuck to my guns, no religion, end result; they would not issue me with Dog Tags, never ever received or wore those things.  The teasing and bulling about the JW background ended the same way as it did at school, I did mention I could fight?

Over the next two years I faced a few other problems because of this stupid religion but that is another story, for another time.

The funny thing is I took to this soldiering thing like a duck to water and went back to it a few time in my life.


Nosce te ipsum

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