CIVILIAN-MILITARY INTERACTION ON THE MATIE CAMPUS: THE ‘BATTLE OF WILGENHOF’, 1957

  • Deon Visser

Abstract

The South African Military Academy was established in 1950 as a branch of theSA Military College, under the academic auspices of the University of Pretoria. Amere three years later, in 1953, the Union Defence Force decided to relocate theAcademy to Saldanha and to establish it as an independent military unit under thewings of Stellenbosch University. The relocation process took place during1955/1956, shortly after construction of the Academy buildings at Saldanha hadstarted. As a result, Stellenbosch University agreed to accommodate the Academystaff and students on the mother campus until the facilities at Saldanha werecompleted. However, not all civilian students welcomed the military students on theMatie campus, which culminated in the so-called ‘Battle of Wilgenhof’ in 1957.This article investigates the origins, extent, outcome and consequences of theconflict between military and civilian students on the campus of StellenboschUniversity in the mid-1950s. It contends that the conflict was rooted in culturalrather than political differences, that the antagonism towards the military studentswas in essence restricted to the residents of Wilgenhof and that the ‘Battle ofWilgenhof’ had no lasting impact on the interaction between military and civilianstudents at Stellenbosch University.
Published
2011-08-10
How to Cite
Visser, D. (2011). CIVILIAN-MILITARY INTERACTION ON THE MATIE CAMPUS: THE ‘BATTLE OF WILGENHOF’, 1957. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 37(2). https://doi.org/10.5787/37-2-70
Section
Articles