On Saturday, 30 August 1997, a symposium for former members of the SADF was held at the Army Sports Club's facilities at Voortrekkerhoogte, Pretoria, with the programme detailed below. The symposium took place under the leadership of Brig. Philip Schalkwyk and the SA Armour Association. The theme of the meeting was to counteract the one-sided, negative image of the former SADF that has arisen as a result of the TRC proceedings in South Africa. The symposium was non-political and political representatives or groups as such were not invited to participate.

Patrons of the symposium are four former heads of the SADF: Generals Malan, Viljoen, Geldenhuys and Liebenberg, all of whom presented papers during the morning (see links to texts below. This section is under construction, and further texts will be added as they are completed).

Programme and Papers for the Symposium

  1. Scripture reading and prayer. (5 min)
  2. Period of silence in remembrance of fallen comrades. (1 min)
  3. Opening by Gen. J.J. Geldenhuys, SSA, SD, SOE, SM. (20 min)
  4. Paper (in Afrikaans) by the well-known political analyst Prof.Dr. Laurence Schlemmer, on the TRC's influence on the writing of the history of the SA Defence Force. (20 min) English translation in preparation.
  5. Paper by Gen. C.L. Viljoen, SSA, SD, SOE, SM. on the Honourable Actions of our soldiers. (15 min) Original text (mainly Afrikaans) - with an English translation .
  6. Testimony by a former National Serviceman on the Positive Memories and Experiences during National Service. ((3 min)
  7. Legal review and projection on where we stand with the TRC, by Advocate Johan Engelbrecht, SC. (15 min)
  8. Paper by Col. N.C. Parkins (Rtd): "Faster, Higher and Better", on the Image of the S.A. Air Force as viewed by a veteran. (15 min)
  9. Testimony by a former National Serviceman. (3 min)
  10. Tea/Coffee break (attendees may hold discussions with speakers). (30 min)
  11. Paper by Gen. A.J. Liebenberg, SSA, SD, SOE, SM, MMM, on the excellence of the S.A. Defence Force (and also the disregard thereof) with specific reference to his terms of office as Chief of the Defence Force, Chief of the S.A. Army and General Officer Commanding Special Forces. (Afrikaans) (15 min), with an English Translation.
  12. Testimony by two former National Servicemen. (5 min)
  13. Paper by V.Adm. G. Syndercombe, SAA, SD, SOE, SM, on the excellence (and disregard thereof) of the S.A. Defence Force, with specific reference to his term as Chief of the S.A. Navy. (15 min)
  14. Testimony by a former National Serviceman. (3 min)
  15. Paper by Lt.Gen. D.P. Knobel, SSAS, SD, SOE, SM, MMM, K St J, on the positive contribution by the SAMS in the past decades. (10 min)
  16. Paper by Gen. M.A. de M. Malan, SSA, OMSG, SD, SM, in confirmation of his positive input to the TRC. (15 min)
  17. Closure by Gen. J.J. Geldenhuys, SSA, SD, SOE, SM. (10 min)
  18. Intervals (fitted in at the discretion of the Chairman). (15 min)
  19. Opportunities for discussion (fitted in between items). (45 min)

The following papers were not part of the symposium, but are closely related to the subject matter:

1. Assessment of the probable results of activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as perceived by former Chiefs of the SADF iro the SADF (by D.R. Marais, retd.)

2. Complaints in respect of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) handling of the former SADF and its members.

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