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March 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of the contentious battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola. Considered the largest battle in Africa since the Second World War, it has been interpreted variously as a defeat of the South African Defence Force (SADF), an SADF tactical withdrawal and as a stalemate. Nelson Mandela described the battle as "a turning point for the liberation of our continent and my people". Cuito Cuanavale is seen as being responsible for ending the border war and instigating the peace talks that resulted in the withdrawal of the SADF, uMkhonto we Sizwe and Cuban forces from Angola and Namibia, and the subsequent independence of Namibia. New academic research suggests that the predominant view that the outcome was a failure on the part of the SADF could be debunked Graphic designer, poet and PhD candidate Stephen Symons was one of the thousands who were conscripted into the SADF in the 1980s. When he returned home on weekend passes from national service, he was sometim...

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