Today Namibia commemorates Cassinga Day, a sad chapter in the country’s fight for liberation from the ills of the apartheid system. On this day in 1978, more than 600 people were massacred by apartheid South African soldiers in southern Angola at Cassinga camp.
During the infamous raid, airborne troops bombed the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) refugee camp and SWAPO’s military base.
The brutal attack left hundreds either dead or injured, mostly women and children.
As we pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the massacre, and remember the sacrifices made during the struggle for independence, we also look at other similar massacres in which freedom fighters and refugees were brutally murdered during the liberation struggle.
Other controversial cross-border raids:
Chimoio massacre (Zimbabwe/Mozambique)
Between 23-25 November 1977, Rhodesian Security Forces attacked the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) military and refugee camps (Chimoio, Tembue and other smaller camps) in Mozambique killing thousands of ZANLA military personnel, women and children.
Nyadzonya raid (Zimbabwe/Mozambique)
On 9 August 1976, Rhodesian Selous Scouts attacked a ZANLA camp at Nyadzonya in Mozambique, which had over 5,000 guerrillas and several hundred refugees. Hundreds of ZANLA fighters and refugees were murdered during this raid. However, other sources estimate the casualties to be over a thousand deaths.
Source: SA history