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South African Cadet Corps

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Although the constant bombardment of SADF propaganda from the media is important, the school is one of the most important institutions through which white South Africans are socialised to accept the values and attitudes the SADF demands of them. In 1976 , P W Botha told parliament that "Our education system must train people for war". Since then the SADF has moved into white education on a large scale.

– Youth Preparedness" (YP) programmes which incorporates cadets have become part of the compulsory curriculum at most schools. Before 1976 the YP programmes had not always incorporated cadets, and covered a wider range of topics than today. Government pressure has seen the "total onslaught" become a major theme in YP curricula, arid expanded cadet training as the education system implements what amounts to an SADF orientation prograrnme. Talks by SADF members on the "total onslaught" and by former pupils on their SADF experiences, and government arid SAUF propaganda films have become a feature of the proqramme.

According to the Cape YP syllabus its aim is to create individuals who are "able to withstand the onslaught against (their) spiritual arid physical integrity". After. 1976 the SADF became involved in school cadet training in order to prepare white youth for national service. By April 1980 125 000 children around the country were involved in cadet training, arid by 1983 this figure had almost doubled. It was announced in 1980 that cadet training for girls was also envisaged. The aims of the programme include rudimentary military and civil defence training, as well as ideological orientation for service in the SADF. The programme is also used to cultivate "leadership", with pupils becoming cadet "officers". A select group go on an SADF training camp at the end of each year. As one master at SACS in Cape Town put it, "It is very important that the boys learn to take commands even if it is your best buddy shouting those commands".

The ideological dimension is stressed by those involved in the programme. A teacher at Groote Schuur High in Cape Town put it this way:
"Because of the serious nature of the onslaught it is necessary that boys at school come to understand the total national strategy and the Importance of fighting in the army. The cadet programme is designed to instill this in the boys so that they are ready for the army when they get there"

The Cadet Programme is therefore also able to serve (not necessarily explicitly) as an anti-liberal force in English-speaking schools.

Besides endless drilling, cadet programmes usually include shooting practice in their curriculum. Some schools have chosen to provide more advanced training, including camouflage, map reading, weapon stripping and even mock combat situations. School ceremonies have become characterised by displays of cadet marching: a microcosm of society outside. The wearing of brown cadet uniforms has also become compulsory, with teacher-officers turning out in full SADF uniforms on cadet day once a week. The extent of milltarlsation of white schools is vividly reflected In the... text incomplete....

Source: Unknown, probably published by the End Conscription Campaign.
 
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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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