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A Brutal State of Affairs

The Rise and Fall of Rhodesia

by Henrik Ellert, Dennis Malcolm Anderson

A Brutal State of Affairs analyses the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe and challenges Rhodesian mythology. The story of the BSAP, where white and black officers were forced into a situation not of their own making, is critically examined. The liberation war in Rhodesia might never have happened but for the ascendency of the Rhodesian Front, prevailing racist attitudes, and the rise of white nationalists who thought their cause just. Blinded by nationalist fervour and the reassuring words of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and army commanders, the Smith government disregarded the advice of its intelligence services to reach a settlement before it was too late.

By 1979, the Rhodesians were staring into the abyss, and the war was drawing to a close. Salisbury was virtually encircled, and guerrilla numbers continued to grow. A Brutal State of Affairs examines the Rhodesian legacy, the remarkable parallels of history, and suggests that Smith’s Rhodesian template for rule has, in many instances, been assiduously applied by Mugabe and his successors.

ISBN 9781779223739 | 424 pages | 254 x 178mm | B/W Illustrations | 2020 | Weaver Press, Zimbabwe | Paperback

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Reviews

“…a great work, beautifully presented.”

Judith Todd

“…an important book that accurately describes the early underground struggle known as Zhanda and how these ZAPU branches survived and played a critical role in the war. A Brutal State of Affairs documents the important contribution to the liberation struggle made by ZAPU’s armed wing, ZIPRA, events which were largely ignored by Mugabe”

Jeremy Brickhill

“As Zimbabwe did not have a Truth and Reconciliation Commision, it is up to the combatants to tell us the truth about what happened during those dark years. Henrik Ellert and Dennis Anderson have done so admirably in this book. Some of the revelations will, no doubt, shock those still living… [but] we owe it to future generations to ensure an accurate record of what happened in our day.” 

Wilf Mbanga

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