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Page history last edited by Drew Chaney 4 years, 1 month ago



Currently the South African National Defence Force has both CIMIC + PSYOPS included in SANDF Doctrine.

The SANDF does employ the services of Public Affairs personnel in the Corporate Communication Division.   

The former SADF had various Psychological Operations units and strategic communication departments.

The SANDF has clear separation of roles and responsibilities in terms of Corporate Communications being a legitimate Public Affairs department and offensive Information Warfare being administered by the Directorate Information Warfare.


The Directorate Information Warfare was founded on 1 April 2003, aimed at establishing and maintaining the SANDF Info War capability.

Within the SANDF Doctrine IW has been defined as being the offensive and defensive application of electronic warfare - EW, network warfare NW, PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE - PW, Information Infrastructure Warfare - NW, Information based warfare - IBW and Command and Control Warfare - C2W.




SOUTH AFRICA 1950 - 1993   



The South African Defence Force - SADF


Chief of SADF II  (Intelligence, Counter Int + COMOPS)







The SADF followed the traditional NATO Staff Functional component structure i.e. I = Personnel, II = Intelligence, III = Operations etc. The Highest Formation within the SADF was the Chief of SADF Functional Components. CSADF II - Intelligence wore the above green enamelled insignia on both shoulders.


The Chief of SADF II, the Highest Intelligence Formation in the SADF orchestrated Strategic Intelligence, Counter Intelligence and COMOPS actions and administered the Military Intelligence Division (MID).   Through further tasking of the SA Army, the CSADF ensured that the Army was responsible for STRACOM in respect of Own Forces Morale and Propaganda, the local population and revolutionary forces fighting against the Republic.  CSADF had direct control and tasking over the ARMY and conducted more strategic Intelligence and COMOPS via the MID.



SADF Military Intelligence  - Strategic Communications = STRATCOM


Strategic Communications had as its main aim the neutralisation of any negative press against the Apartheid Govt, and the promotion of positive attitudes, behaviour and ideologies supportive of that government.   The SADF had a major role to play in this strategy both overtly and covertly:


  • Overt strategies included the functions of informing, enhancing the image of, and marketing the Sate and SADF efforts (hearts and minds work).

  • Covert strategies included measures undertaken to exercise a positive influence in such a way that the involvement of the SADF is not apparent.Individuals and small units which had no obvious ties to the governemnt or SADF where created and financed and controlled by the SADF.

    The SADF was allocated control over Youth Clubs, Community Organisations, Women's organisations, Traditional Authorities, the Arts and Rural Development.


    Within the military, the Military Intelligence Division (MID) and the SA Army were responsible for covert STRATCOM Projects by units such as Military Civil Cooperation Unit. The Arms of Service of the SADfFwhere responsible for the motivation of own troops and SADF Civic Action.






    The Military Civil Cooperation Unit / Militere Burgerlike Samerwerkingseenheid: Often mistaken as the badged unit of the more infamous 'Civil Cooperation Unit'. (A clandestine unit run by the State Security Council during latter stages of Apartheid) is nothing more than a CIMIC unit run by MI - 'Hearts and Minds'


    SA ARMY Intelligence Corps comprised Intelligence, Counter Intelligence and Communication Operations (COMOPS) Functionaries.

    The COMOPS lads had a distinctive felt backing of green placed behind their Bat eared Fox unit emblem.




    South African Bush War PSYOPS


    South African military terminology is pretty interesting. It had unique influences in that the military was predominately an Afrikaans language medium of instruction and command. Added to that was the influence of British Military traditions and the that of numerous Rhodesian military Officers and personnel that joined en masse following Zimbabwean Independence.


    COMOPS = Communication Operations = PSYOPS


    Within the Psyops arsenal, the SADF conducted what they referred to as SKYSHOUT and GROUNDSHOUT Operations. Both terms translate easily between English and Afriakaans and it'll be interesting to learn which language was used first. I suspect that these terms may have been employed in the Rhodesian Bush War and transferred across the border so to say !






    Groundshout refers to to those operations utilising ground shout vehicles i.e. Casspirs mounted with powerful loudspeakers which ventured out at night to within 3 km's of the enemy positions and poured out torrents of propaganda designed as much to keep the enemy soldiers awake at night as to persuade them of the error of their ways........SADF Psychologists believing that the enemy would suffer fatigue and take on casualties at a much higher rate owing to exhaustion. Brigland (1990) pp.115 


    SADF employed propaganda leaflet disseminating artillery shells and scattered pamphlets all over the Angolan Bush. The South African Air Force used light aircraft to conduct aerial Propaganda broadcasts - SKYSHOUT.








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