Contested historical interpretations and the narrative of the Angolan-South Africa War 1987-1988 - a military outcome?

Beck, Stephen James (2018-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The end of the 1980s brought about great changes throughout the world, the end of the Cold War – globally, as well as the end of apartheid in South Africa. For South Africans these two events can be seen in the narratives which surround the Angolan Border/Civil War, as it contained all the elements of a Cold War struggle and is heralded by some as a turning point towards the end of apartheid. The outcomes of this conflict are hotly contested, each side claiming a victory for themselves. The Cuban, ANC, and MPLA narrative would have us believe that the SADF was defeated through military might. And the SADF narrative argues that they were not defeated in Angola. This thesis will look at those claims, and judge them on their merit, but will ultimately find that all the major players in this conflict emerged heads held high, and the only losers were the Angolan people.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die einde van die 1980’s het wêreldwyd groot veranderinge meegebring: op globale skaal die einde van die Koue Oorlog, asook die einde van apartheid in Suid-Afrika. Suid-Afrikaners kan hierdie twee gebeurtenisse terugvind in die narratiewe oor die Angolese Grens- en Burgeroorlog. Hierdie oorlog bevat al die elemente van ’n Koue Oorlog-stryd en word deur sommige kommentators erken as ’n draaipunt wat gelei het tot die einde van apartheid. Die uitkomste van hierdie konflik word hewig betwis, want albei kante eis vir hulself oorwinning op. Die Kubaanse, ANC- en MPLA-narratief wil ons laat glo dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag (SAW) deur militêre mag verslaan is. En die SAW-narratief voer aan dat hulle nie in Angola verslaan is nie. Hierdie tesis sal hierdie aansprake bekyk en in terme van hul eie waarde beoordeel, maar sal uiteindelik tot die slotsom kom dat al die belangrikste deelnemers aan hierdie konflik daaruit getree het met hul koppe omhoog, en dat die enigste verloorders die Angolese bevolking was.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105058
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