Exit the last warrior for white rule (22 November 2007) PDF Print E-mail


The Editor 
The Cape Argus 
P. O. Box 56 
Cape Town 

22 November 2007

Dear Sir

Please allow me to respond to your article “Exit the last warrior for white rule” (21/11/07). I don’t think that it is fair to describe Ian Smith as a warrior for white rule, as he was criticized by South African Prime Ministers, Hendrik Verwoed and B.J. Vorster, for not instituting racial segregation and apartheid in Rhodesia.

Ian Smith, from the early 60’s, was an advocate of the Qualified Franchise where black people would be entitled to vote if they adhered to the same educational or property ownership qualifications that applied to white voters. He was working for a goal where 50% of the Rhodesian Parliament would be made up of black members. It is most unfair to describe this elected leader as “a cruel dictator” and“an ardent advocate of white rule.”

There was no apartheid or racial segregation in Rhodesia. I grew up in a country where blacks and whites went to the same cinemas, swam in the same municipal swimming pools, and often fought together against the same communist terrorists who were murdering farmers, tribesmen and missionaries. We should remember that most of those 40,000 who died in the turbulent fifteen years Bush War were victims of the Marxist terrorists, mostly Mugabe’s ZANU.

We should also remember that no one starved in Rhodesia. And even in war time, life in Rhodesia was infinitely better than peace in Zimbabwe under Mugabe has proved to be.

Under Ian Smith’s rule it took US$3 to buy one Rhodesian dollar. Today it takes two million Zimbabwean dollars to buy one US dollar. (And that’s after they already knocked three zero’s off their currency!). Today in Zimbabwe one brick costs more than an entire mansion did in 1980!

Over four million Zimbabweans have voted with their feet by fleeing Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. It would appear that recent developments in Zimbabwe have only vindicated Ian Smith. As he said at the time, Rhodesia was in the frontline, resisting Soviet expansionism. In standing firm against communist aggression for fifteen years, Rhodesia indeed won valuable breathing space for the Free World. The sacrifices of Rhodesians in resisting communist terrorism, contributed to the ultimate collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.

Had Rhodesia, under Ian Smith, not resisted communist terrorism, the consequences for South Africa and the West would have been absolutely disastrous. Had South Africa fallen to communism during the Cold War, the strategic Cape Sea Route and vital minerals essential for Western industry and defence, would have fallen into the hands of the Soviet Union with catastrophic consequences. In no small measure Ronald Reagan’s stand against communist expansionism in the 1980’s was made possible by Rhodesia’s stand against communist terrorism in the 60’s and 70’s.

It would be more accurate to call Ian Smith a warrior against communist terrorism.

Yours sincerely

Dr Peter Hammond

Frontline Fellowship

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