by Hannes Wessels

I’ve said it before, but I think I can confidently state that I belong to one of the most hated minorities on the planet. Born in Rhodesia, of Afrikaans and German parentage, I’m a 63-year-old white, male, Christian, heterosexual and I was a soldier in an army, internationally vilified as being motivated by a strong desire to maintain white privilege through entrenched, racist supremacy. Like most of my lot, just to be further alienated from the ‘virtue-signalling’ mainstream, we also liked to hunt, fish, drink beer in our male orientated sports clubs and chase women.

The good news for the millions who hate the likes of me and my compatriots is there are very few of us left and soon we’ll be all gone. There were never that many of us in the first place; the European population of what was then Rhodesia was roughly 250,000 at its peak and then many of my generation lost their lives in the ‘Bush-war’ that ended in 1980 when the country was finally ‘liberated’ by Robert Mugabe. This brought unbridled joy to the entire world but obviously not us and many whites left the country with very little to show for their decades of commitment to the country they loved.  While the international community cheered, Rhodesians were jeered because they were not convinced a terrorist could transform into a saint overnight; but nobody was listening and nobody cared what they thought anyway. The majority view was their plight was well deserved.

Some of us decided to stay and try and make the most of an unfortunate situation. It was never easy, but we muddled and struggled through with mixed success until 2000 when our ‘liberators’ decided to seize all white-owned farms and in so doing, collapsed the economy and introduced millions to abject poverty. The ‘land invasions’ came at a time when my generation was approaching middle-age and most, as a result of the ethnic cleansing, were left bereft of homes and livelihoods in a hostile world with few employment options and no social security safety net to catch them. Being white, they were not enthusiastically welcomed as immigrants around the world.  The anguish and hardship that followed triggered suicides, alcoholism and early deaths from stress-related diseases like cancer. Our ranks were further thinned to the point there are now only a few thousand of us left.

Against this backdrop, ‘home’ continues to be a sub-continent where despots dominate and misrule, the looting of national exchequers by tiny, politically connected elites, continues on a gargantuan scale, extreme poverty is endemic and exploding, infrastructures are collapsing and natural resources are being plundered in an unholy alliance which brings corrupt officials and, in many cases, their Chinese paymasters, into joint ventures that threaten to turn these countries into an environmental catastrophe.

True to form, the UN, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Western diplomats and myriad NGO’s are present, cognisant but mostly ineffective. They don’t want to upset anyone by being too critical of the people who wield power because they will probably be accused of ‘racism’ or being ‘neo-colonialist’, so much more sensible to shut up, do nothing, keep your well-paid job and enjoy the good life that being an expat in Africa brings. God alone knows how many billions the charlatans who run and manage these aid and environmental organisations have squandered over the last 60-plus years and achieved very little apart from boosting the sales of fancy four-wheel drives and pushing up the prices of housing in the safer suburbs of the capitals where they live in fine style with the help of inexpensive servants.

In general terms, the situation that exists today in the countries I know is almost hopeless and certainly heart-breaking; but out there in the gloom a few candles flicker and they are carried by the very few and they are mostly surviving members of that afore-mentioned, hated white minority that fought the forces of ‘liberation’ and enraged the world.

They are all getting old now but Trevor, in western Zimbabwe, shot through both legs in the war, is quietly running a successful anti-poaching operation while supervising the provision of water to wildlife in the parched wilderness where no rivers flow. Thanks, in no small part to him, tourists are back, elephant, buffalo and lion numbers are rising, and illegal hunting is under control.

Derek, in northern Mozambique has been in the thick of the fight to save the elephant in the ‘badlands’ south of the Rovuma where Somali gunmen shoot to kill, corrupt officials conspire, and Islamic-inspired terrorists are seeking to establish a caliphate. He works with little and seeks no glory, but his life has been, and remains, on the line.

Willy, in central Mozambique, north of the Save River, is on a lonely, self-funded, mission, trying to restore this massive tract of magnificent bushveld to its former wild glory. Poachers, with the quiet consent of the authorities, have devastated the wildlife to the point only a few scattered pockets survive but he is determined to nurture and protect what is left and do the continent and indeed the world a small service.

Trevor, across the river, is trying to do the same. Both men are trying, but fighting a losing battle, to stem the flow of illegally harvested hardwoods to China. The corruption that exists at all levels of the bureaucracy and law-enforcement agencies, appears too organised and established, to stop the timber traffic. The international community looks on with interest.

Andy and Rich, working with limited resources, have led the fight to stop illegal hunting and snaring in south-eastern Zimbabwe, restore road infrastructure and saved a treasured wilderness from being rendered lifeless.

Darrell and Ian are making similar endeavours in central and southern Zambia where the wildlife authority reduced itself to penury and paralysis through corruption and mismanagement. They, along with their scouts and support from the private sector, have filled a void and turned the tide on the killing fields. In the Zambezi Valley, the national park has been returned to being a true refuge and the game populations are soaring.

Dale, in South Africa, paralyzed below the waste by enemy gunfire in the prime of life, works from a wheelchair to grow fruit and vegetables that alleviate some of the poverty in the nearby shantytown. Despite his handicap he insists he can continue to help the poor people he feels are worse off than he.

What these men all have in common is a shared history, in that all were soldiers once, all have been and remain victims of debilitating racial discrimination and not one of them is performing these arduous and dangerous tasks because they expect to get rich. They are all jointly committed by a deep love of Africa, its wildlife and its people and they are driven by a powerful, selfless desire to protect those forms of life that cannot protect themselves against the ravages of insatiable human greed. And they share something else; none of them are liberals, none are products of a nanny-state and they are men who act decisively and say little.  And tragically, when they are gone, the Africa they fought to protect and nurture will probably be destroyed.






31 thoughts on “The Villains Who Care.”
  1. A very good story and how sad that the WWF doesn’t help these heroes! But after years supporting the WWF, I discovered in Rhodesia in 1978 that they don’t do much.
    I personally think that the world is gone mad, totally. Europe, US, Asia and Africa.

    In December 2018, a Dutch NGO tried to destroy one of the last businesses left in Zimbabwe, owned by very good friends. I warned them and just in time could stop this. Otherwise over 300 people would lost their jobs and more then a thousand people would have been affected.
    The only thing I am doing now, before I get too old, is to visit Zimbabwe National Parks before they are gone.

  2. God Bless ’em all. I will remember them until I take my last breath. Nick Whiteley.

  3. Thank you Hannes , another riveting article. I think the rot has spread world wide , and maybe eventually there will be a massive back lash , we can only live in hope. I feel for the plight of the people and animals in Africa especially.

    1. Yes me too Don; it takes a special breed to protect wildlife and all these guys are veterans who will be tough to replace.

  4. Hi Hannes as always well written. Very insightful and inspirational. Our country has bred many good leaders on all fronts. The commitment is unbelievable given their resources and lack of support

    1. Yes Wes, imagine of we had been left alone to get on do what we all wanted to do which was build the country and make it prosperous for all?!

  5. Today was bitter-sweet for most Rhodesian’s…..Mugabe left this earth to face judgement and an almost certain eternity savoring the delights of fire and brimstone.

    The BBC say that until 2000, Mr Mugabe had a good report card…..really? Ask the Matabele if they agree.

    In my view his passing is a non event. It will make no difference to the mess that exists in Zimbabwe. Like Humpty Dumpty all the kings horses and men will never put Zimabwe together again.

    Mugabe had such a great opportunity to have left a wonderful legacy behind. Had he embraced true reconciliation and had he used the expertise of the white’s who remained after so called liberation day we all would be standing with our hats off today. Instead another African Dictator has moved on and has already been replaced by one just as evil.

    In 20 years time when we are all gone no one will be there to remember or even care about Rhodesia and the men that made Rhodesia stand proudly against the world.

    I always remember a Rhodesian girl telling me about working in London in the early 1980’s. She was walking in the street surrounded by poms in business attire. Then the sun started shining as she spotted a pair of vellies, hairy legs and boxer shorts walking down the road. She ran up and hugged the guy, a total stranger.

    Such a pity the men in vellies were not harnesed to help build Zimbabwe into an African powerhouse.

  6. As always, so well written and sad, but true. Unfortunately too many years have past and that has become history. Your story today is current and very real, but sadly I fear only being read by those of us from the past. Hopefully, one day, some new blood with influence can take on the plight of Africa, but I fear human greed and the need to control the masses for personal gain seems more likely. Keep putting us into the history books Hannes, leave the threads in the hope that those who want to make a life of preserving what is left have much material to work with.

    1. Yes Dennis I fear that is all I can do. I battle even with my own children – they have all been fed such a distorted history, few it seems, will ever know the truth. All we have is the peace of mind that goes with knowing that we tried!

  7. Hannes, I am an Englishman writing to you from fluffy Home Counties England.

    Thank you for yet another piercing commentary of contemporary south Africa.

    I fear one day a similar commentary will be written by somebody about my country England. I pray that person has yet to be born.

    1. Well Jeff, I share your concern but hope the penny has dropped and corrective action will yet be taken to save England from self-destruction but the media and most sources of information are so skewed and so effective at spreading these falsehoods while not reporting on anything that does not suit their point of view.

  8. Thank you for the updates, it’s a very sad situation there. My prayers are with you and your compatriots.

  9. Excellent as usual Hannes, thanks. A friend recently sent me the following YouTube link – entitled “Africa and the New World Order” done by an American, John F. McManus.
    I found it incredibly interesting and it offers a very credible explanation of the process and agenda that has wrecked Africa from top to bottom, and even more frightening, it is ongoing and is now playing out in the rest of the world. As Don said in the comments section “The unfortunate thing is…no-one really cares… I’ve heard New Zealanders say the largest river in Africa is the “river of tears” shed by whites who lost everything to the rightful owners of Africa.” What a brainless comment. My recent observations have been that muslims have been very successful in snivelling their way into Australia and New Zealand and the authorities of those countries come down hard on anyone who dares criticize them. We will then see “rivers of tears”
    flowing in New Zealand and Australia when they suddenly find themselves under Sahria law and we African whites will have the last laugh as their new masters will not even be “the rightful owners” as they will be foreign savages from another hemisphere thousands of kilometers away. If anyone doubts the reality of this, check out this video, and many others –

    You reap as you sow.

    What goes around comes around.

  10. I send Hannes’s brilliant and true missives around the world to some well connected sources – even if it just plants a very tiny seed, it may, just, ignite something positive. In the mean time, perhaps, we should encourage prople by telling them how easy it is to navigate the channel in their mukoro’s?

    1. Thanks Brian. Not too many people want to know the truth unfortunately because it doesn’t fit with what they want to believe.

  11. Well said and written Hannes…I am one of those last remaining, even altho I don’t live in Africa all the time…….keep it up. The unfortunate thing is…no-one really cares…Ive heard New Zealanders say the largest river in Africa is the “river of tears” shed by whites who lost everything to the rightful owners of Africa…..It takes all I have not to react violently but that’s the way of the world…ignorant liberals fighting to make sure the hand that feeds these people is eventually bitten off.
    Can say no more really…….

    1. Yes Don, sadly few know or will ever know the truth. But at least we know we tried and can that brings some solace.

  12. Brilliantly written as usual Hannes. It is even more so as I know many of those names you refer to. There is also Bert K. and Pete C. working in the Zambezi valley near A camp on re-introducing rhino to the valley.

    1. Yes Pete, there are more out there and some exceptional ladies cut from the same cloth. I wish the world knew more about them!

  13. We need to breed some more of you legendary men and women….a great article, very moving. Thank you

  14. Hannes this looks very interesting;
    I am completely absorbed in the Pickets outside Parliament at the moment so will return soonest
    One Poster for Cyril reads ‘Protect my poes,her poes and our childrens poes’

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