About the Book
This book tells the story of the African National Congress (ANC’s) first armed military operation and its Luthuli Detachment. The latter joined forces with the Zimbabwean African People’s Union (ZAPU) and crossed the Zambezi River on 31 July 1967 into Rhodesia. Included in the book are short biographies of James April and Basil February, the first armed ‘Coloured’ MK soldiers.
Their mission was twofold: the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) would embark on a long march home to South Africa, whilst some MK members would assist ZAPU’s military wing, ZPRA to establish a guerilla base at Lupane in north-east Rhodesia. The planners of the March intended to avoid contact with the Rhodesian security forces. This was not to be. A number of skirmishes between the two opposing forces lasted from 13 August to 4 September 1967.
About the Author
Nicole (Nicky) Van Driel was born in District Six in 1963 where she grew up surrounded by both her ‘Coloured’ and ‘Indian’ families. The Van Driel family lived in Bloemhof Flats and the Chinnian’s lived in Van Der Leur Street. Forced removals to the Cape Flats saw the Van Driel’s move to Mitchell’s Plain and the Chinnian’s move to Gatesville. Nicole attended Bridgetown High in Athlone and Nicole was a student leader and a member of the Committee of 81 (student body organising the student boycott of classes in the Western Cape in 1980). She was subsequently detained in 1980 and 1981, spent several months in solitary confinement and was held incommunicado for several weeks.
Nicole obtained a BA, BA Hons and MA from the University of the Western Cape. She also holds a PGCE from the University of South Africa. Nicole was married to James April, a member of the Luthuli Detachment. They have two daughters: Taheera and Susan April.