Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chapter 35: Contact, Contact. Wait. Out.

I decided to take the old road that wound up the coastline as it was more scenic, so we were right near Virginia Airport when my cell phone started playing Mike Batt’s “The Ride to Agadir”, so I knew it was the Sgt Major calling.*

“Hi Sgt Major,” I answered the call by pressing the button on my Bluetooth headset.

“Major …” I heard, then my skin started crawling as I heard the unmistakable sounds of an AK47 firing on full automatic in the background.

“Contact, Contact. Wait. Out”

I pulled over to the side of the road and shouted for everyone to “Shut the fuck up” and then focused my entire attention on the phone. I could hear the sounds of heavy breathing, and more firing then “Oh Shit” and then nothing for a while. I pounded my fist on the steering wheel in frustration. I had no idea what was going on, other than it sounded like a major fire-fight. I needed to know what was happening. I reached out to Daise and gestured for her to hand me her cell phone. Just as she passed it over, I heard Cpl Maseka’s voice on the other end.

“Major, is that you?”

“Yes Cpl. Contact Report!” I demanded impatiently. This should be second nature to them after the many times we had been through the drill. I was scared now; it didn’t seem good that Cpl Maseka had taken over the Sgt Major’s phone.

“The Sgt Major’s down. He’s been shot in the upper chest, but we think we’ve got the bleeding under control. Rifleman Zondi is dead.”

“The enemy and situation Corporal, tell me what’s happening.”

“About twelve of them. They arrived at the gate in a Toyota Hi-Ace. We thought it was just a taxi, but when Zondi asked them what they wanted; one of them just shot him in the chest with a hand-gun.”

“What’s happening now,” I asked, thinking that no matter what, we were going to practice Contact and Situation reports again when this was over. I shouldn’t have to drag this stuff out of him. “Are you still engaged?”

We got into a fire-fight with them. I think they under-estimated both our numbers and the fact that we were ready to shoot back. We’ve had to drop back to the house though, they’re in the front garden and they take pot-shots at anything that moves. We’re trying to stop them from surrounding us completely.”

“Ok. Abandon the house. Leave Zondi’s body, it’ll be picked up faster if you leave it behind. I have all the woman with me, so it’s just you guys there. You know the route down into the Kloof, go there and lose yourselves in the bush. I’m heading back now; I’ll call you as soon as I can.”

“What about the Sgt Major?”

“Make a stretcher for him and take him with. You know this; we’ve practiced it enough times. Now MOVE.”

“Yes sir. Out.”

I dialled the emergency services number, and as soon as it was answered, reported “Someone’s shooting like crazy. Please send the police to help.” And gave them the name of my road before hanging up.

Next call was to Chris. “I need a medic. Gunshot wound to the upper chest. Can you meet me?” As usual he was completely on the ball. He wasted no time with extraneous nonsense.


“7.62 AK 47”


“The Sgt Major. Cpl Maseka tells me they’ve stopped the bleeding, but they’re loading him on a stretcher and are bugging out under fire from my house into the bush.”

“Ok. He’s a tough bastard. Been shot before, so I think he’ll handle the shock OK. Meet you at the river in the Kloof?”

“Yes. Come armed Chris. These fuckers have attacked my home. Zondi’s dead. This has escalated beyond a game now.”

“Damn right. You gonna put out the call to some of the others?”

“Next call. Thanks Chris, see you in a few.”

I hung up and gave the girls a quick summary of what was going on. I told them that we were going to go back and collect the guys and then we would find a safe place for them to stay while I took the battle back to the bad guys. Daise got a stubborn look on her face, and I knew that there was going to be an argument from her, but decided that it could be postponed. There were more important things to take care of for now. I dialled another number on my phone.

“Johnny, you packed?” I asked when the phone was answered.

“You mean like in the old days?”


“What’s the situation?”

“Twelve guys plus. Russian Mafia types. Attacked my house with AK 47’s and handguns. One rifleman is dead. Sgt Maj Dhlamini is wounded. I’ve got Chris on the way to RV at the river in the Kloof below my house. You know the spot?”

“Yes. I took my kids there on a picnic a few weeks back. You want me to call around, get some of the others?”

“Absolutely. I’ll brief you properly later. For now I have a bunch of civilians with me and I need to make pickup. I need some protection for that and some transport. After we’ve got them, we can go to that place on the Bluff.”

Johnny laughed. “Yes, JUST like the old days. Ok. RV at the river. My ETA is twenty-five mikes. I’ll call the others on the way.”

“Ok. My ETA is more like thirty mikes. Thanks Johnny.”

* Boney M’s Version and for Mike Batt’s original with the London Philly.

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