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General Jannie Geldenhuys is widely regarded as one of the leading military commanders South Africa has ever produced. As Chief of the South African Defence Force from 1985 to 1990 he brought his experience to bear on the South African Border War, and was part of the negotiating team which brought an end to the conflict in 1989. In this completely revised and updated edition, Geldenhuys reflects on a life defined as much by a military career spanning more than four decades as it was by politics and indeed the need for peace on the African sub-continent.

At the Front covers the years before and during the protracted Border War. But rather than a blow-by-blow official history, it consists of Geldenhuys’ personal experiences and insights. These include facts unknown to civilians and even to some high-ranking military officials. In particular, Geldenhuys sheds light on the final years of the conflict and the negotiated settlement. Geldenhuys also writes of his early years, as he evolved from a rugby-mad young subaltern officer to a deep-thinking, reflective man with ever-sharpening insights into, war, peace, politics and, most of all, himself.

Softcover, 394 pages. Published 2008

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

General Johannes ('Jannie') Geldenhuys SSAS SD SOE SM GCIH ORB, is a former South African military commander who served as Chief of the South African Defence Force between 1985 and 1990. Born in Kroonstad on 5 February 1935, he obtained a BMil from the University of Pretoria before joining 1 Special Service Battalion. Later he went on to higher command in 1977, serving as commander of South West Africa Command, a post he held until 1980, when he served in the position of General Officer Commanding the South West African Territorial Force. After this he became Chief of the Army, before being promoted to the position of Chief of the South African Defence Force on the 31st of October 1985. In this role, he took part in negotiations that brought the Border War to an end in 1989, after 23 years of fighting.

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