It's like this: Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith

answers a reporter's question.

Picture: William Higham



Acceptance: Seated beneath a picture of Cecil Rhodes,

at Government House, Bulawayo, Ian Smith reads his

controversial speech acknowledging

"universal suffrage".

Picture: William Higham

Not a 'two-fingered' salute by Ian Smith to

his critics but the Rhodesian leader making the

second of a three-point argument

at a political meeting.

Picture: William Higham


Ian Smith, a portrait

Picture: William Higham


BITTER-SWEET NOVEMBER 11, 1978: After ringing Rhodesia's Independence Bell (above) 13 times (one for each year since UDI) Prime Minister Ian Smith joins wife Janet (below) for a final toast to the 'faithful' at Salisbury East Lions Club. Five months on Zimbabwe-Rhodesia will be led by interim prime minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa.


P.K. van der Byl, or more correctly 'Bijl', above, was a popular Minister of

Defence who, despite his British upper crust accent - undoubtedly honed

during his swashbuckling career as an officer in the hussars - hailed from a

noble Cape family.

A keen hunter in the '60s, respected by wildlife officers (including this

writer's father) for his sportsmanship and ability to walk vast distances

through the tangled Zambesi Valley bush, he was held in equal esteem a

decade later by battle-hardened soldiers of both the Rhodesian Light

Infantry and the Selous Scouts.

But he was not without his critics. Pieter van der Byl held various

portfolios in the Smith Government, including Minister of Information,

Immigration and Tourism and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The last brought criticism from South Africa, where it was reported Prime

Minister John Vorster 'hated' van der Byl and Foreign Minister Hilgard

Muller, a professor of law during van der Byl's student days at

Witwatersrand University, considered the sartorially elegant Rhodesian a

'dilettante'. Picture and words:William Higham

TOUGHING IT OUT: P.K. van der Byl allows

a grin during the 1978 internal

settlement talks in Salisbury.

Rhodesian President John Wrathall and his wife Doreen chat after a ceremony

to award Douglas and Margaret Plumsteel meritorious medals for valour.

The young South African couple saved the life of Vondo Hope

Davies during a terrorist attack on their convoy

near Nuanetsi in April 1976.

Picture: William Higham

This photograph was taken at an RF Rally for the faithful in October 1970. Picture: Mike Rushworth


Road to power: Bishop Abel Muzorewa leans

from his car at a political rally.

Picture: William Higham

Bishop Abel Muzorewa: Zimbabwe-Rhodesia's first

black prime minister. He lacked the 'firepower'

and support to win the 1980 election.


Former ZANU leader the Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole (centre) meets

British 'mediator' Field-Marshal Lord Carver, left, and Indian

Major-General Prem Chand during ill-fated internal settlement

talks in Salisbury, November, 1977.

Carver's arrival at Salisbury airport in full dress uniform prompted Ian

Smith to dub the British/UN duo a 'travelling circus' and he questioned

Sithole's role with a cutting: "He's been out of the country so long he's

almost a foreigner". Former schoolteacher Sithole failed to win

a single seat in the March 1980 election that swept to power

his estranged nationalist ally Robert Mugabe's


1977: Rhodesia Herald defence correspondent Chris Reynolds (right) and journalist James McManus at Milton Buildings, Salisbury, during Lord Carver's meeting with Rhodesian politicians.


Studious: Chief Jeremiah Chirau.

Picture: William Higham.

(Sunday drive only drunks would take)


Blast From The Past



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