(A forty man police camp - pre-alteration)


B = bunker

? = wall

?? = internal blast wall

T = tent

L = latrine

S = shower

M = magazine

K = mess

X = mortar

O = water tower

The camp and bunkers were very small, walls were made of logs and sand and sandbags. Once we expanded, we took everything down and used the bulldozer to push up quite high earth walls - about 3 metres or so and build in shooting positions and install our .50 Brownings into the new bunkers which were a lot larger. We also put in more mortar pits (all we had with us were 60's) and added claymores to the bunkers and got some Starlite type night vision stuff as well. Basic layout stayed the same, only much larger and more spread out. In this diagram, work on 2 metres between each of those tents! 5 men per tent except for Officer and his handlanger. Officer was Captain Piet Faure - a jerk and known as Zing, other was one of the best SA had - Staff Jock Botes of the Free-Fall instructors wings and one of the best OO people in SA. Took 1SAI to klap the snot out of the Bats (his old unit) a couple of years running at the Vierpoot and battle trials. Which is why we got to go by train and plane from Oudtshoorn to Mpacha and the others got to go by truck :) Teachers pets (and of course we klapped the snot out of the other platoons within 1SAI) Pardon some old pride, lot of tears getting there. Zing had Botes removed from Sifumna when he figured Botes knew he was a jerk and threat to his authority. Then we got two brand new Officer school types a loot and corporal who managed to blow themselves up with a phosphorous grenade. Silly chaps.

More information:

On reflection, if you made the camp a bit more square and closed all the gaps a bit - that would be reasonably accurate. Don't have any of my photos with me so I can't confirm the minutiae. Hope this works.

Errors in the picture are x = mortar and it was an o instead. The mortar was actually on top of the magazine structure! Anyhow, it soon got dragged down and we got some brand new ones. Additional alterations to the new Sifumna included a Panard bunker facing the Cutline and some concrete floors that we put down for new structures. The area was totally unspoiled at that time, teeming with game from lion to rhino, croc, large herds of Wildebees and giraffe - a boys own adventure.

Published: 1 July 2000.

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