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October 1979

SVR Guidelines for Zimbabwe-Rhodesia in the Light of the London Conference - Final Draft

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation






6. Summary of Threat Analysis based on the Preceding Scenarios.


After a detailed analysis of the various scenarios the ZRGBS came to the conclusion that:


a. In all scenarios, however, the war will continue in varying intensity.


b. In the event of PF participation or take-over the possibility of civil war is strong.


i. Should conference fail terrorist struggle will continue.


ii. should GNU bear blame struggle will escalate.


iii. should PF bear blame struggle will still continue for considerable time, yet with suitable assistance could be de-escalated.


d. RSA’s involvement in any case plays a key role which varies from an extreme form of extensive involvement to prevent Marxist take-over, to suitable action and involvement to utilize a situation to advantage of South Africa.


e. Moderate black government would probably move away from South Africa to establish connection with international community and Africa. Would not, however, be possible in the medium term. Suitable contingency planning must therefore now be initiated in order to thwart such a tendency.


f. In light of possible Marxist take-over suitable contingency planning must therefore now be initiated in order to prepare the correct ethnic groupings for a resistance movement to exploit the situation to the benefit of South Africa.


7. The ability of South Africa to execute a total national strategy in support of ZR must be viewed against the background of ZR’s geographical position, economic dependency on the RSA and the ZR’s readiness to support the RSA in seeing a Southern African Strategy Implemented.


8. In determining the RSA’s ability to support ZR in ensuring its national security it is of paramount importance to evaluate ZR’s capacity as an ally in the execution of the Southern Africa Strategy. With the support of the RSA ZR at present succeeds in maintaining the National Security of ZR. Through joint actions of the RSA and ZR against the neighbouring states of ZR especially: namely, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, the situation could probably in the short/medium term be settled in favour of ZR and Southern Africa. The support which is desired from the RSA could escalate, should ZR be overthrown, to such a degree that the RSA would have to replace the ZR’s ability in order to ensure the RSA’s NS on own territory. It is in the interests of the RSA that such a situation should be avoided in consideration of the RSA’s own ability and domestic priorities.


SVR Guidelines


If the ZR’s negotiating party acts against the interests of Southern Africa, the ZR must be notified that the RSA does not see its way open to covertly support them militarily. If, however, it is prepared to act according to the policy spelled out by its government in TNSD 1/79 and is prepared to request military assistance from the RSA in public, the RSA would be prepared to provide it.


Republic of South Africa is determined to prevent a Marxist government from securing power in neighboring Zimbabwe-Rhodesia


Associated Places

Document Information


South African Archives, Department of Foreign Affairs, BTS 1/156/3 SADFA BTS 1/156/3. Included in "Southern Africa in the Cold War, Post-1974," edited by Sue Onslow and Anna-Mart Van Wyk.


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Policy Guidelines


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