For many years, Executive Outcomes was – and still is - the target of a web of lies, deception and blatant disinformation by those who were deeply concerned that we might prevent countries in Africa from imploding and whose sole interest was the destruction of the continent for economical and other gain.
A quick Google search will reveal just how many lies are out there on the company. Granted, the media did finally publish an apology for being the mouthpiece of a massive disinformation campaign but it was a little too late as far as I was concerned. Some of these despicable, lying, self-serving members of society who jumped on the bandwagon under the banner of “journalist” had, however, effectively played their role in ensuring the longevity of terrorist groups and insurgents – at the cost of many hundreds of thousands of lives. They also very successfully contributed to the bad name many true journalists have to endure.
When I finally wrote my account of Executive Outcomes (EO), it was primarily to give my version of events – a version which unlike the media’s and the intelligence services’, was based on company documents, interviews as well as video and audio recordings of many of the men who were part of EO or senior government officials who EO had worked for.
After my book was published, I continued to hope and wish that someone who was at the forefront of EO’s operations in the field would follow suit and document their version of events – the good and the bad. After all, as I was trying to run the company whilst fending off the liars, intelligence agents and BS artists who overnight had become “specialists” on EO, I could seldom even visit our AOs, let alone spend much time on the ground.
Rudolph van Heerden, known to many within EO as “Ruff” or “Roelf” finally put pen to paper and along with Andrew Hudson wrote a perspective on EO as seen through the eyes of one of the commanders who was on the ground. I was excited at the news as I believed that it would fill in many of the gaps my book may have left. And I believe the book will do just that.
I was keen to lay my hands on Ruff’s book and when I finally managed to get a copy, - its title is “Four Ball One Tracer” - I was enthralled. Roelf tells the story of EO from the day he signed up to join the company, the nightmare that was Soyo and until the end of the Sierra Leone campaign.
Roelf discusses a lot of things – the training, the tactics, the hardships and the laughs. He tells his story as he lived it – straight and to the point. He also pays tribute to the many good men who served in EO and used their skills and knowledge to bring about positive change in war torn countries.
I do not want to spoil anyone’s anticipation but I would recommend Roelf’s book to anyone who is interested in a lot more detail about EO’s operations.
It is a very good read.
Well done Roelf and thank you again for your service in EO.