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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 5. 3rd April 1974

Smith—a white egg

Smith—a white egg

Other talking points concern prospects for the Smith regime in Salisbury. There are many who think that this will be 'the first white egg in the box of minority regimes to break'. Internal dissensions appear to be a very real problem for Smith. His defence forces stretched to their full capacity have had to seek help from the army of the Republic of South Africa. His blacks in the army are rebelling against the savagery of the detention camps into which their 'brothers' are being herded. The White Rhodesian officers are finding that it's not like world war two, and the good old days' of the Alamein campaign. Many whites are territorials and insufficiently trained or motivated to cope with the dedication of ZANU's and ZAPU's forces. There is also dissension between the South African troops and the Rhodesians. Rhodesians are less professional as soldiers, but it is the South Africans who are suffering most of the casualties along the borders. The arrogance of the Afrikaaner does not go down well with the arrogance of the white Rhodesian settlers, the Rhodesians considering themselves a cut above the Boers socially.

Sanctions too are hurting the Smith regime, say the Lusakans. Rhodesia is in need of new agricultural machinery, and its mining equipment is worn and outmoded. The oil embargo is having a drastic effect on the economy. Smith must compromise. He is being pressured by all sides for compromise with Bishop Muzorewa. The British have a catastrophic economic problem on their hands and do not wish to bolster Smith any more: the South Africans have not forgiven him for the border closure without prior consultation with them, the Portuguese have many reservations about the operations of guerrilla parties of freedom fighters from inside Smith's borders. All the white regimes resent the spotlight that the border closure focused on Southern Africa, and on Kenneth Kaunda's methods to to alleviate the situation. A calm face was a major effort of the South African Publicity and Propaganda Department.