AND THE LION AND THE LAMB LIE DOWN TOGETHER
Wolves and sheep will live together in peace,
And leopards will lie down with young goats.
Calves and lion cubs will feed together,
And little children will take care of them.
This is a story of war. If you expect the usual, “Gung-Ho – we defeated the enemy and covered ourselves with glory,” you will be sadly disappointed. This story is about suffering, but it is also about hope. Hope that these atrocities will never again be perpetrated against the helpless. Hope that one day our sexual orientation will be as irrelevant as last week’s Sunday newspaper.
The story is set against the background of the Angolan war. South Africa invaded Angola in 1975. The last South African troops withdrew from Angolan soil in 1989, when UN Resolution 435 was adopted by South Africa. This also paved the way to Nanibia’s independence from South Africa on 21 March, 1990 and the first South African democratic elections on 27 April, 1994.
The South African army was essentialy a citizen force. The Apartheid state conscripted white eighteen-year old boys for an initial period of two years. Few exceptions were made to this rule. Under Apartheid, homosexuality was a criminal offence. Homosexuals in the army were seen as traitors and/or saboteurs. They were actively persecuted and punished to the full extent of the law. No leniency was shown to these people, who undermined the very foundations of the State and Church.
Since 1989, the situation has changed dramatically. Homophylic people have complete civil rights and recourse under the law, like everybody else. The historic Civil Union Bill, which allows same-sex marriages, was approved by the National Assembly on Tuesday, 14 November 2006. South Africa was only the fifth country that passed a bill on same-sex marriage.
Our story is one of pain and guilt. Yet we endured. We persevered. We succeeded. Many of our brothers died in the process. Others were scarred for life, both physically and mentally. This story is a memorial to all the gay troopies that served an evil, corrupt system, which despised them, but still took their life-blood and persecuted them in return.
This is our soul. Please tread lightly on it.
Firstly, I owe a massive debt of gratitude to my editor, Boxerdude. Without his enthusiasm and the occasional kick in the backside, this story would never have happened. English is not my first language and without Boxerdude's hard work, the grammar and spelling would have been very peculiar indeed ☺
David Lee, my fellow scribbler and mentor, also played a huge role in this story. Without his motivation and belief in me, I would have abandoned the project long ago.
COPYRIGHT © 2010 CHRISTIAAN BOOYSE.
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