Chairman's Welcome

On behalf of the South African Special Forces league and all its members, I would like to welcome all South African and international visitors to our site.

The South African Special Forces League is a formal and professional Military Veterans Organisation, formally recognised by the Honourable Minister of Defence of the Republic of South Africa and the South African Ministry of Defence, as well as the governing body for all Military Veterans Organisations in South Africa – the Advisory Board on Military Veterans Affairs.

The South African Special Forces League also maintains close and friendly ties with the standing South African Special Forces Brigade of the South African National Defence Force.

Membership of the South African Special Forces League is open to all retired and serving members of the South African Special Forces, as well to other categories of members as described in the Constitution of the South African Special Forces League – which also appears on our website.

The purpose and function of the South African Special Forces League is to serve as a reference point for all members of the South African Special Forces – primarily retired members – insofar as the maintenance of contact and communication between members is concerned. This is done primarily on a social basis, with the members of the various branches of the South African Special Forces League, (referred to as “Forts” according to a Special Forces tradition), attending monthly meetings at which they can see one another, and find out how their former colleagues in other locations are progressing with their civilian lives.

Increasingly, the South African Special Forces League also acts in a support and welfare role, seeing to the increasing requirements amongst former members of Special Forces and their families for support – be this emotional, medical, financial or otherwise. More details on these aspects are contained in the section of our website which describes the nature and activities of the South African Special Forces League and Foundation.

An important function of the South African Special Forces League is also to preserve and maintain the History and Traditions of the South African Special Forces – including its legacy and reputation. It is primarily due to this function, and an evident, real requirement in this regard, that the South African Special Forces League has constructed this website to provide a window on the South African Special Forces for the South African community, and the international community at large.

Special Forces in South Africa has – since its inception – been a non-racial, progressive and dynamic organisation, where entry and status has always been determined only by an individual’s personal abilities, regardless of race or creed. It had, and has, one of – if not the – most arduous Selections, and possibly the longest and most detailed Training Cycles, of all Special Forces internationally.

The quality of the South African Special Forces Operators has enabled them to conduct operations that have been deemed to be impossible by others.

South African Special Forces Operators are able to operate, and have operated, in virtually all terrains and all climatic conditions, infiltrating and returning, making use of methods by land, sea or air. They rank amongst the highest trained Special Forces Operators in the world, and are able to operate in conditions and with equipment that ranges from the most sophisticated possible to the most basic.

More importantly, South African Special Forces Operators have always conducted themselves according to their code of the highest morals, principles and ethics – both during their military careers and upon retirement. Of course, there are exceptions to this general rule – as in all sectors of society – but as a whole these exceptions almost always occurred after retirement, and constitute merely a fraction of the overall body of Special Forces Operators, who as a whole constitute a well-balanced and stabilising sector of society. It should also be noted that the same censure, (if not more), is shown by retired and serving Operators to those former colleagues who in isolated cases behave in an unacceptable manner, as is shown towards any other member of society who behaves unacceptably.

This being said, we now come to the primary reason for the establishment of this website.

Due to the high levels of confidentiality and secrecy, which are part and parcel of any professional Special Forces anywhere in the world, not much is known about any real Special Forces units. Other than this, real Special Forces Operators – whether retired or serving – never discuss their activities or the activities of Special Forces, even with their own families. This is required and very necessary, as the very high risks that Operators are exposed to during Special Forces operations can become more complex, dangerous and fatal as a result of any breaches in which reveal tactics, methods or any other aspects of these operations. The safety of fellow Operators or future generations of Operators can also be put at high risk during missions where security has been compromised. In a Special Forces context, being compromised on or during a mission would almost certainly result in death for the Operator or Operators concerned. It has happened before, and it cannot be allowed to happen again.

This necessary confidentiality and security results in a situation where Special Forces generally will not confirm, deny, or comment on statements made on or about Special Forces in general. It also – and this is where a noticeable problem occurs – permits a the situation where bogus, false Special Forces Operators are able to posture and pose, and provide bogus stories to the public at large, the media and research organisations with impunity – as they stand very little chance of having their “stories” challenged unless they tell them in front of real Operators.

The bogus Operator phenomenon is not only relevant to South Africa. The Special Forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries that also have Top Echelon Special Forces experience the same bogus Operator problem. Interestingly, even the bogus stories told by these individuals in various countries are remarkably similar.

This then, is the primary reason for the establishment of our website. Through this open medium, we intend to provide the South African public at large, and an international audience, with a glimpse into the South African Special Forces, in order to illustrate the factual realities of Special Forces in South Africa, to remove the opportunity for the further spread of bogus stories and incorrect perceptions through the actions of bogus Operators, and to provide the South African public with a knowledge and understanding of our Special Forces – of which all South Africans can justifiably be very proud.

Not only have the South African Special Forces always been one of the best and most highly respected Special Forces internationally, they have always been a non-racial entity, with their entry and other requirements based solely on the principles of ability. In other words, true equality. This has always been the case – even in a country and at a time when this was not easy! Special Forces in South Africa has always had the situation where there were always just as many Operators from all sections of our country’s Rainbow Community. Inside Special Forces there was, and is, no concept of colour or creed, so we just referred, and refer, to each other as Operators – the best and finest soldiers in our country, and of the best in the world!

Our site is currently in its infancy, and as time progresses we will develop it and add to it substantially. Visitors are therefore encouraged to re-visit our site periodically, as there will always be more interesting content to see as we develop and place it.

It should be noted that some of the information on our site – especially that relating to operations and training – will always be merely basic and general in nature, as we will never compromise the safety and security of our fellow Operators by providing sensitive or detailed information. We will, however, provide as good a general description of these aspects as is acceptable.

The South African Special Forces League also welcomes any enquiries on the League or on Special Forces aspects – especially from researchers or the media. Again, it should be noted that although we will endeavour to co-operate as much as possible with any such organisations or their representatives, any such co-operation would be limited to aspects that would not enter into the realm of sensitive information, which could be detrimental to serving Operators or Special Forces. All our co-operation will also only be provided after consultation with, and with applicable permission and guidance from, the standing South African Special Forces Brigade of the South African National Defence Force.

In closing, I would again like to welcome our visitors, and express our hope that you will find our site – and the information on the South African Special Forces – to be educational, of interest and a justifiable source of great pride for all South Africans.


Chairman - South African Special Forces League