During his first meeting with Lt.-Gen. van den Bergh, as well as later, Savimbi repeatedly expressed his concern about the MPLA force’s use of armour. In Pretoria it was felt that everything should be thrown into the conflict to save Nova Lisboa, destroy enemy armour elements and support Savimbi so that he could act against the MPLA as soon as possible.
It was not possible to establish exactly with how many armoured cars the MPLA was advancing towards Nova Lisboa. During the above-mentioned meeting of Lt-Gen. van den Bergh with Dr. Savimbi on 17 September 1975, the first-mentioned held the opinion that it was essential to neutralise he MPLA’s armoured cars, necessarily with South African armour.
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