EXTRA-TERRITORIAL AFRICAN POLICE AND SOLDIERS IN SOUTHERN RHODESIA (ZIMBABWE) 1897–1965

  • Tim Stapleton

Abstract

During the early and mid-twentieth century, the security forces of colonialSouthern Rhodesia were dominated by African men from neighbouring territoriessuch as Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia and Portuguese East Africa who had enteredthe regional migrant labour system. This included many with previous militaryexperience. As the British South Africa Police (BSAP) evolved from a paramilitaryoccupation force into a professional law enforcement organisation, extra-territorialrecruits were phased out in favour of local men fluent in local languages withwestern-style education. Despite this, African police from other territoriescontinued to have a disproportionate impact on the force as many became longservingand accomplished members, who dominated the paramilitary African PolicePlatoon and served as drill instructors for all recruits. During the First World War,most African soldiers in the Rhodesia Native Regiment (RNR) were migrantworkers recruited directly from Southern Rhodesia’s mines. During the SecondWorld War, just under half of the Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR) originated fromother territories. The recruiting of extra-territorial African soldiers declined furtherin the 1950s and early 1960s as military conditions of service in their respectivehomes improved, the Masvingo-Gutu area became a dependable source of localrecruits and eventually newly independent black-ruled states came into conflict withwhite-ruled Rhodesia.
Published
2011-08-10
How to Cite
Stapleton, T. (2011). EXTRA-TERRITORIAL AFRICAN POLICE AND SOLDIERS IN SOUTHERN RHODESIA (ZIMBABWE) 1897–1965. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 38(1). https://doi.org/10.5787/38-1-81
Section
Articles