by Dale Collett

Forty-three years ago, as a young Selous Scout lieutenant, I was in action against an enemy position, clearing a building deep inside southern Mozambique when hit by a burst of automatic fire. One armour-piercing bullet entered my back below my left shoulder-blade before severing my spinal cord, leaving me paralyzed below the waist for life.

In a sense I owe my life as a paraplegic to Barbara, an African lady from Lupane in western Zimbabwe, who is my nurse, helper and my dear friend. Every day she reminds me why I reject racism and why I love Africa.

As a kid growing up peacefully in the Karoo I never ever thought I would go to war and then see my beloved Rhodesia destroyed because the majority of people in that country were good and kind like Barbara but evil politicians with too much power prevailed.

In Botswana I owned a small-holding. There I drilled for water, bought a second-hand generator and started farming it. I erected a tank stand, then a steel shed which would one day be my house. I then bought a small wooden room to live in.  Because I had a property outside of town, I bought a quad-bike and modified it so I have a motorised bed to move around on which is a daily joy.

My ultimate dream was a motorbike which I bought cheap from China and again fitted a frame for me to lie on. On this wonderful contraption I did a fund-raising ride from Gaborone to Cape Town and raised nearly R150,000 for kids with cancer.

Struggling with work-permits in Botswana I moved to South Africa in 2015 and bought an abandoned two-hectare plot with a derelict house and some out-buildings. I renovated the buildings, rehabilitated the boreholes and put in solar electricity. Then started growing vegetables in a second-hand tunnel which I covered myself. Our produce has helped the poor people in the near-by squatter-camp who have become our friends.

We have been living almost entirely off the land with ducks, chickens and geese. A tunnel full of chillies, young tomatoes and mustard-spinach. We should be harvesting garlic in October. I want to study the viability to increase production and lower our prices to make it affordable to the locals.

Just over two weeks ago, six men, four with pistols, two with knives, arrived middle of the night, attacked Barbara, her fiancé and children. Her fiancé was tied up while she was beaten. They then forced her to open the house and with her in front they entered my bedroom, beat me about the head and took my pistol. I tried to fight but with no legs against four armed men I was overwhelmed. They took all they could carry away. Barbara took about a week to recover.

Friends and family say it is too dangerous now; farmers throughout the land are under siege and with my disability I’m too vulnerable – they say we must go before we are attacked again. My son wants me to leave for the UK where I will be safe.

I do share their despair; I look at South Africa and all the lost potential; people betrayed by their corrupt leaders, feeling hopeless and angry. I see good Afrikaners extending a technical college funded by their own to educate people of any race but the government wants to close it because instruction is in Afrikaans. I look at Africa and see corruption, wanton destruction, hunger, poverty and fear. But I look at England and Europe; once so great and proud, from where we learned so much, led by weak opportunists, forever apologising for their past and fear they are on the same path. I reject their grovelling. I am not apologising for fighting for Rhodesia nor am I apologising for my father and grandfather who worked hard to farm in tough country and treated all their compatriots with decency and fairness. I believed then, we were right to fight and I have seen nothing to make me change my mind.

I look at my situation and remind myself I’ve been through worse. One thing I know which is deeply embedded in me is that I won’t give up. I owe too much to those who paid the ultimate price. On the beaches of Normandy and Okinawa, in Mozambique, in Rhodesia, in the Nazi Death-Camps, wherever they fought for our freedom. My staff and I are determined to improve our lot and defend ourselves. We are determined to fight back against criminals, rising costs, negative sentiments, droughts and whatever else may come our way. I can’t help but believe that if good people in South Africa, and there are millions, stand up against what is wrong, we will ultimately prevail. I’m now 69, I thank God for life and I reach out to my countrymen to be brave and stand fast.



By Managing Editor

Highly respected, Writer, Blogger, Wildlife Conservationist, Hunter and Father.......

29 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Leaving”
  1. Totally agree Dale, it will come down to civil war in the end, which is what the elite want !! Think Rhodesia, think what we HAD to do, no choice, now AGAIN you dont either, UNLESS you are happy to join a civil war which is inevitable. Fight or flight, its up to each individual to weigh it up ! Its your life and your decision, eveyone will have a unique perspective.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your incredibly difficult, yet positive, story with us, Dale.

    I am so sorry, that you, and your wonderful friend, and carer, Barbara and her family had to endure such an attack.

    Are you (or Hannes) familiar with a new FB group, #I’m Staying? If not, please make comms with them/us. It has taken on a life of its own, with uplifting, positive, encouraging, supportive messages – flying in the face of such hatred and negativity. It crosses all boundaries, ethnicities and religions, and will put a smile on your face!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Wishing you all the very best for the future – you are made of amazing stuff!!!

    Cheers, Janey

  3. Hi Dale inspirational against all the odds,keep going cheers,Mike Corken

  4. Readers might care to go To Google and put in Democracy Defined by Kenn D’Oudney. What politicians call democracy is a fake and very dangerous as you have read, in Africa.
    You might also like to read my article on party politics in When a party politician is said to represent a particular party that is PRECISELY what it means. They do NOT represent you, they represent the party and its programme, just as it says on thetin!!!! The trick is to get you to ply their game. Read my article. That is the ultimate deteerent for dicttors but even trialby jury is being diminished in UK .. read Kenn’s book.Power is exercised bythelaw of Magna Carta and A jury of 12.not the politcians. see also
    Martin Cruttwell

  5. Dale: Nazi death camps. You should reconsider that.
    Owen shaw: …same spirit as the British during WWII.?

    You two do not know your history. The British attacked South Africa twice to rob the gold and diamonds. Boer wars.
    Second Boer war. Concentration camp. Sickness. 25,000 women and children died.
    Then you support the British in WWI & WWII. What!
    Post WWII the British turn on Rhodesia and later South Africa.
    You should not have sided with the British in WWII against Germany.
    Rhodesia and South Africa were sold out.

    1. Too easy to generalise, the British government and british politicians should be vilified not the british people, you are now doing what mugabe has done, never blame a collective, we are all different. It is up to each individual to educate themselves so at least they have a considered vote. Too many run with the pack of thieving criminals in the media, business and government.

  6. When I read these articles I have an anger bar none for the inhabitants of the African continent. We in the West have a spineless press which hardly ever reports on this kind of article. All we ever see is boatloads of incompetents arriving in Europe with the intention of squatting at the expense of europeans which they murder, plunder and hate on the African continent.

    We have sent billions to this irresponsible continent over many years plus much charitable work for no thanks whatever.

    Angela Merkel has been a disaster.

    Dale – I have no words that could describe my admiration. God certainly does NOT look after the deserving.

  7. Inspirational Dale.An example to all of us in Africa.Keep up the good work Hannes.

    1. I so agree with these sentiments, and I’m utterly in awe of Dale’s courage and determination. and his great dreams for Zimbabwe, and I love this land .
      What a history we have, and wealth of gifted and talented good people.
      Admiration is a ‘small ‘ word, when I read what you have endured through the years Dale.
      Lynne Taylor

  8. I admire your courage and I hope I’m wrong but I am convinced it will be many lifetimes before Africans learn from their mistakes and catch up with the rest of the World. EB

    1. “Africans learn from their mistakes”? You obviously do not understand.
      What happened in Africa was deliberate.
      Communism was used as a weapon to back the Blacks in an uprising.
      The agenda was to take down Whitey and destroy Africa.
      The Blacks were duped.
      All organised by Malthusians and Eugenics.
      The evidence is before you.
      The communists were London based.

      Douglas Reed “The plan is plain to see though very few perceive its meaning”.

  9. Dale, you are an inspiration to all of us. As one who has, through accidents and ill-health, fallen on hard times, I needed to see this column today.

    Once again, thank you, and God Bless you.


  10. You are a inspiration to al of us. I left Rhodesia for a successful career in Australia. My mind always goes back and the wonderful people of all races that we were.

    1. You are so very right David Currie—–we had no option but to leave our awesome Rhodesia as we had 2 teenage male children and 2 younger ones–1 male 1 female. Sadly we did not see a ‘bright future’ for our children. We live in Australia where life is a lot calmer but it will never be like our real home. Australia is very different to Africa.

  11. I have the utmost admiration for Dale. Rhodesians have the same spirit as the British did during WWII. Men like Dale were our Few….

    While we all did our bit the weight of the war against terrorism was on the shoulders of young men like Dale. Their sacrifice was immense.

    Despite his challenges Dale continues with a positive outlook.

  12. Well done Dale. Your bravery and determination is an inspiration to all of us .

  13. Once again well done Hannes – to highlight the struggle and determination of a very brave man, in Dale

  14. Dale you’re an inspiration to not only Rhodesians worldwide who have had to leave and seek fortune away from a country they loved, but to many others who have fallen on hard times. Thank you for bringing this reminder to all, to never give up

  15. Well said Dale, you are a brave and special man particularly with all that life has thrown at you. I admire your strength and determination to stay. Good for you. I have put a link to this article in FaceBook to give you some more coverage. Cheers from Pete and Les in Gaborone.

  16. Inspiring. Like the author I have a love affair with the people of Africa and am appalled at how our leaders have failed us all. If we all try hard and stand together and use the best talents of all regardless of race we can make SA a great place for all its people.

  17. Inspiring. I love the people of Africa and am appalled at how our leaders have failed us all

Comments are closed.