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Authors: Tony Park

African Dawn

BOOK: African Dawn

Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and England, a government press secretary, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer. He is also a major in the Australian Army Reserve and served six months in Afghanistan in 2002 as a public affairs officer. He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time between their home in Sydney and southern Africa, where they own a tent and a Land Rover. He is the author of seven other novels set in Africa:
Far Horizon, Zambezi, African Sky, Safari, Silent Predator, Ivory
The Delta
, and co-author of three biographies,
Part of the Pride
, with Kevin Richardson,
War Dogs
, with Shane Bryant, and
The Grey Man
, with John Curtis.


Also by Tony Park

Far Horizon
African Sky
Silent Predator
The Delta

Part of the Pride,
with Kevin Richardson
War Dogs,
with Shane Bryant
The Grey Man,
with John Curtis


First published 2011 in Macmillan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited
1 Market Street, Sydney

Copyright © Tony Park 2011

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organisations), in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

National Library of Australia
Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

Park, Tony, 1964–

African dawn / Tony Park.

9781742610139 (pbk.)

Zimbabwe—20th century—Fiction.


Typeset in 11/15 pt Birka by Post Pre-press Group, Brisbane
Printed by McPherson's Printing Group
Cover design by Deborah Parry Graphics
Illustrations by Deborah Parry Graphics
Cartographic art by Laurie Whiddon, Map Illustrations

Papers used by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

These electronic editions published in 2011 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd
1 Market Street, Sydney 2000

Copyright © Tony Park 2011

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. This publication (or any part of it) may not be reproduced or transmitted, copied, stored, distributed or otherwise made available by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organisations), in any form (electronic, digital, optical, mechanical) or by any means (photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise) without prior written permission from the publisher.

This ebook may not include illustrations and/or photographs that may have been in the print edition.

African Dawn

Tony Park

Adobe eReader format   978-1-74262-778-6
                EPub format    978-1-74262-780-9
               Online format   978-1-74262-777-9

Macmillan Digital Australia

to read more about all our books and to buy both print and ebooks online. You will also find features, author interviews and news of any author events.

For Nicola


– Afrikaans for ‘boss’. Common form of address for a white man, by a black man, in Rhodesia.

– Tribe indigenous to the Zambezi valley, displaced to higher ground when the Zambezi River was dammed and the newly formed Lake Kariba started filling in 1958.

British South Africa Police (BSAP)
– Originally the police force of Cecil John Rhodes's British South Africa Company, the BSAP retained its name as the police force of Southern Rhodesia (later Rhodesia) until the formation of Zimbabwe in 1980.

– Slang for brother or mate (from Afrikaans).

– Second largest city in Zimbabwe, located in Matabeleland. The name Bulawayo comes from an Ndebele word meaning ‘place of slaughter’ or ‘place where he kills’.

Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
– The secret police and intelligence service of Rhodesia and, subsequently, Zimbabwe.

– Shona word for ‘struggle’. Zimbabwean history identifies at least two
– the First
of 1896–97 when the Shona and Ndebele took up arms against white settlers, and the Second
of 1964–1980 (also known as the Bush War). Some veterans of the liberation struggle described the seizure of white-owned farms from 2000 onwards as the Third

– A nom de guerre adopted by pro-nationalist guerillas during the Second
(Bush War).

– Mate, from the Cockney rhyming slang ‘China plate’.

– Shona word for a guerilla or freedom fighter, also used by white forces (plural:

– Derogatory term used by US soldiers for Vietnamese civilians or Vietcong fighters during the Vietnam War; subsequently applied to black Rhodesian guerillas by whites. It was probably brought to Africa by American Vietnam veterans who joined the Rhodesian security forces.

Government of National Unity (GNU)
– Following disputed presidential elections in March 2008 and protracted negotiations, a GNU was formed on 13 February 2009. The GNU confirmed Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe, and MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister, with ministerial posts shared between ZANU–PF and the MDC factions.

– Shona word meaning ‘the rain that washes away the chaff’; the term given to the brutal suppression of the Ndebele people following ZANU's majority showing in the elections which created Zimbabwe. While ostensibly aimed at ZIPRA rebels, military operations by the Zimbabwe army's North Korean-trained 5th Brigade reportedly resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

– Capital of Zimbabwe (formerly Salisbury, Rhodesia).

Joint Operations Command (JOC)
– Co-ordinating body overseeing military and security operations in Rhodesia during the war, and subsequently in post-independence Zimbabwe.

– Killer car, a Rhodesian Air Force Alouette helicopter gunship, usually fitted with a 20 mm cannon.

– A grouping of the Shona tribe, from the Masvingo (formerly Fort Victoria) area. The Karanga made up the majority of recruits to the Rhodesian African Rifles, the predominantly black regular army battalions of the Rhodesian Army.

– White colonial pronunciation and spelling of the Ndebele tribe and language.

– The area covering west and south-west Zimbabwe, and the provinces of Matabeleland North and South; home of the Ndebele people.


Movement for Democratic Change
– Main party in opposition to Robert Mugabe's ZANU–PF. The MDC was formed in 1999 by former secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Morgan Tsvangirai. The party subsequently split into two factions, the MDC-T (headed by Tsvangirai), and MDC-M, lead by Arthur Mutambara.

– Shona word for ‘sell-out’ – someone who sided with the white government during the Bush War or, later, with the MDC or other opposition to ZANU–PF.

Mugabe, Robert Gabriel
(1924–) – Prime Minister, then President of Zimbabwe since 1980.

Muzorewa, Bishop Abel
(1925–2010) – Leader of the United African National Council (UANC), and Prime Minister of the short-lived Zimbabwe–Rhodesia, a multiracial government formed in 1979 as part of a doomed internal settlement proposed by Ian Smith.

) – Second largest tribe in Zimbabwe, descended from the Zulus of South Africa.

Nkomo, Joshua
(1917–1999) – Founder and leader of the National Democratic Party, which subsequently became the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU). Nkomo was Vice President of Zimbabwe from 1987–1999 after ZAPU merged with ZANU to form ZANU–PF.

– Slang for man (from Afrikaans).

Operation Noah
– Rescue of wildlife stranded by the damming of the Zambezi River in 1958–1964 to form Lake Kariba. More than six thousand animals were saved by game department officers and volunteers.

Pioneer column
– Force raised by Cecil John Rhodes and his British South Africa Company in 1890 to annex parts of modern Zimbabwe before the Germans or Portuguese could lay claim to the territory.

– Derogatory rhyming slang term for Portuguese, from ‘pork and cheese’.

– British colony founded by and named after Cecil John Rhodes. The name was officially adopted in 1895 and subsequently changed to Southern Rhodesia. The country renamed itself the Republic of Rhodesia after unilaterally declaring independence from Britain in 1965, following Britain's refusal to grant independence without majority rule. The name was changed, briefly, in 1979 to Zimbabwe–Rhodesia under a multiracial government, then to Zimbabwe in 1980.

Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR)
– Regular army unit of the Rhodesian Security Forces consisting of black African soldiers and noncommissioned officers, and white officers.

Rhodesian Front (RF)
– Formed in 1962, and headed by Ian Smith from 1964–1979, the RF was the governing political party in white-ruled Rhodesia until the forming of the ill-fated transitional government of Zimbabwe–Rhodesia.

Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI)
– All-white regular army unit of the Rhodesian Security Forces.

– Capital of Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe).

Selous Scouts (
– An elite multiracial unit of the Rhodesian Security Forces, named after the big-game hunter Frederick Courteney Selous. Black African Selous Scouts dressed in enemy uniforms and operated in tribal areas, tracking and ambushing guerillas. The scouts boasted the highest kill ratio of any Rhodesian unit.

– The majority tribe of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

Sithole, Reverend Ndabaningi
(1920–2000) – Founder of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1963, later overthrown by Robert Mugabe.

Smith, Ian
(1919–2007) – Prime Minister of Rhodesia and leader of the Rhodesian Front Party from 1964 to 1979. Smith orchestrated Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1965.

Southern Rhodesia African National Congress
– A pro-independence and black majority rule political organisation which lasted from 1957 until it was banned by the white Rhodesian government in late 1958.

– Terrorist; term used by whites for black guerillas/freedom fighters.


Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army
– The military wing of ZANU. Predominantly Shona, ZANLA's members were trained and advised by communist China and operated during the Bush War from bases in Mozambique.

– Zimbabwe African National Union
– Predominantly Shona nationalist political party, founded in 1963.


Zimbabwe African National Union–Popular Front
– Formed in 1987 with the merger of ZANU and ZAPU, ZANU–PF, headed by Robert Mugabe, was the dominant political party in Zimbabwe until the emergence of Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change.


Zimbabwe African People's Union
– Predominantly Ndebele nationalist political party.


Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
– Also commonly used slang term for electricity in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe, Republic of
– Formerly Southern Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe–Rhodesia, the Republic of Zimbabwe, formed in 1980, takes its name from the Shona-speaking Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which flourished from 1250 to 1450 from its stone-built capital of Great Zimbabwe, near Masvingo (Fort Victoria).


Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army
– The military wing of ZAPU. Predominantly Ndebele, ZIPRA's members were trained by Russia and operated from bases in Zambia.


Zimbabwe United Passenger Company
– Bus operator in Zimbabwe.

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