A fast-moving, action-packed account of Granger Korff’s two years’ service during 1980/81 with 1 Parachute Battalion at the height of the South African ‘bush war’ in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola.
A rough, tough ’Bat in the bush wars of Namibia and Angola
A fast-moving, action-packed account of Granger Korff’s two years’ service during 1980/81 with 1 Parachute Battalion at the height of the South African ‘bush war’ in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola. Apart from the ‘standard’ counter-insurgency activities of Fireforce operations, ambushing and patrols, to contact and destroy SWAPO guerrillas, he was involved in several massive South African Defence Force (SADF) conventional cross-border operations, such as Protea, Daisy and Carnation, into Angola to take on FAPLA (Angolan MPLA troops) and their Cuban and Soviet allies.
Having grown up as an East Rand rebel street-fighter, Korff’s military ‘career’ is marred with controversy. He is always in trouble—going AWOL on the eve of battle in order to get to the front; facing a court martial for beating up, and reducing to tears, a sergeant-major in front of the troops; fist-fighting with Drug Squad agents; arrested at gunpoint after the gruelling seven-week, 700km Recce selection endurance march—are but some of the colourful anecdotes that lace this account of service in the SADF.
Granger Korff. 1960—Cassius Clay won Olympic gold in Rome; the Beatles made their debut in Germany; apartheid was ‘booming’ in South Africa; and Granger Korff was born on the East Rand near Johannesburg to a realtor father and budding-actress mother. “The apartheid system was sewn tight as a Zulu drum and the country moved to a slow beat,” he says of the times. He grew up in the mining town of Benoni, a quiet child initially, before ‘enjoying’ a colourful school career as a musician and quickfisted rebel, attending a string of different schools for a string of different reasons.
He graduated in 1979—alone from the public library. In 1985, plagued by his demons from the bush war, he travelled to the USA on a four-month boxing/vacation walkabout where he haunted the mean streets of Los Angeles, scrapping and boxing to survive. Ike Turner and Mickey Rourke were his drinking buddies and he almost became Jake LaMotta’s (‘The Raging Bull’) son-in-law. Twenty-four years later, Granger still lives in LA, where he runs a small plumbing business.