SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE
South African Military Intelligence had a permanent deployment in the REPUBLIC FEDERALE ISLAMIQUE DES COMORES from 1981 to the early 90s.
Our men were attached to the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE, an elite Force "President's Guard" under the command of the famous Colonel Bob Denard. Along side MI, a SAMS medical doctor was also permanently stationed in the Grand Comores, who provided medical assistance to all military personnel and their families from the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE. More serious cases were sent to Pretoria's 1 Military Hospital. Frequent use was also made by MI of EW qualifed personnel from the Army (Signal Corps), SA Navy, and the South African Air Force as MI did not have enough personnel to man its deployments in several African countries 365 days a year.
In later years Foreign Affairs opened a mission (what embassies were called during the apartheid years, not to "embarass" the very friendly host countries), with its own doctor, who provided assistance to the local civilian population (in this case their doctor was an ex SAMS permanent force doctor). In the late 80's the South African Department of Agriculture also ran a project in the Comores, with two families living permanently in a farm up in the mountains, where they managed to plant crops and vegetables in the Comorian Black lava rock soil and also experimented with cattle.
There were also other SADF projects in the country especially for Military trainnig purposes. Some members of the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE also underwent military training in the RSA, as was the case with a big group who got their parabat training and wings in Bloemfontein.
To read more about the Comores: SADF Military Intelligence - (1987 - 1994)
SADF personnel (1 civilian MI official, and 2 NCOs) as 2nd Lieutenants in the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE
SADF personnel stationed in the Comores, note our GPPeaugeot bakkie.
The MIgroup OC, was made a 1st Lieutenant. My good friend and ex MI collegue WO "Robbie", a manwho served the intelligence services of three different countries. "Robbie" is also a WW II veteran.
The author during a break in the island of Grand Comore.
In the early days of our deployments in the Comores, each SADF member was issued with an GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE ID card. In order to prevent our South African and SADFidentities from being exposed, SADF members were given Belgian names. Even the place of birth was in "Belgique"!
The front cover of the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE ID card.
Our Station/Base in the Comores
ML room Charlie Station Comores. "Robbie" at his post with "Meisie" our pet for many years.
Comorian President Abderahmanne Ahmed Abdullah reviews GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE's troopsin the streets of Moroni. Years later France tried Colonel BobDenard in Paris(OC of the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE)for his assassination.
Tofind out more, read"THE KILLING OF A PRESIDENT", the Third Story down in SADF Military Intelligence - (1987 - 1994)
GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE troops marching through the streets of Moroni.
The pride of Colonel Denard, parade through the capital's streets.
Thousands of Comorians line the streets of Moroni to watch the GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE.
The end is in sight. French Paras invade the Grand Comore.
Bob Denard's reign is coming to an end, as well our Military presence. French paras take over the HAHAYA Airport north of Moroni. However the Greatest Pirate of all times was not to be out done. Several years later he invaded his beloved island freeing several of his former black GARDE PRESIDENTIELLE soldiers, who had been thrown into jail by the new order.
This page is dedicated to my former MI collegues. We spent years together and away from our loved ones serving our country, "fighting" for a cause we believed in. The history of our unit is a very honourable one and of which I'm very proud of!
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