I have always held IDS close – and consider him a hero. I am saddened by his death, and I know that he is now with his beloved Janet.

“The cause of his death is unknown but he had been ill for some time at a residential home in South Africa.

He illegally declared independence from Britain in 1965 and his white minority government led the country for 14 years amid international scorn and sanctions.

Following a bitter bush war with black nationalists, his government was overthrown by Robert Mugabe in 1979, leading to the creation of Zimbabwe.

Speaking to the BBC in 1998 about his assumption of power, Mr Smith was adamant it was justified.

“There was good reason for what we did. We set up a committee of top civil servants and ministers on three different occasions to look at this and every time they came back and said we had no option.

“Had we not resorted to this the country would have degenerated into chaos and confusion,” he said.

Years of civil war followed the declaration of independence. Mr Smith denied this was caused by the actions of his regime.

“The civil war was caused by people who left our country and were brainwashed in Russia, in China.

“They were power hungry people who wanted to take their country over immediately and were not prepared to wait for the evolutionary process.”


Rest well, good sir…

The following I lifted from “Wikipedia” and refers to the post-Zimbabwean independence life and experiences of the Rhodesian leader, Ian Douglas Smith:

“After his retirement from active politics, Smith became an outspoken critic of the Mugabe regime. Mugabe himself often uses Smith’s quiet retirement as validation of current policies. Smith has written an autobiography, “The Great Betrayal”, which is as much a criticism of the Mugabe administration as it is Smith’s memoirs. Smith is also the author of “Bitter Harvest”. Both books received mixed reviews. Long-term admirers of Smith had their view of him as a man of integrity confirmed. His critics saw in the books a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the need for any form of change. However, Smith’s bitterness at his UDI government’s isolation is a central theme.

Unlike most of his contemporaries from the UDI era (for example, P.K. van der Byl), Smith remained resident in Zimbabwe and settled into a comfortable retirement. His son Alec returned from Europe and became his business partner, taking over the running of the family farm. Attempts by activists to occupy the Smith farm have always been met by a swift police response. The activists were promptly evicted. (Alec collapsed and died at Heathrow Airport in January last year, having suffered a heart attack – Mandebvhu.)  

Smith made a number of black friends and contributed regularly to both local and foreign media reports on current affairs. Those contributions became increasingly critical of his successor Robert Mugabe. While out of the country in 2000, Smith described Mugabe as “mentally deranged.” Mugabe responded by threatening to have Smith arrested and prosecuted for genocide should Smith ever return to Zimbabwe. Upon Smith’s return, he was met by a mass of reporters waiting to witness him being arrested. Smith was greeted warmly by immigration officials at Harare airport and went home. He was neither arrested nor prosecuted.

As of 2006 Smith is living with his widowed step-daughter Jean in Cape Town, South Africa, where there is a significant Rhodesian expatriate community.”

IDS remains one of my heroes.

Take care.


I truly wish that I could learn how to dump code in here properly so that you can see and/or hear what I offer without having to go to another site. Sorry!

But this one is on You Tube. Bud Cockroft singing a haunting song “Dreaming” from his new CD release “Bits & Pieces” which I promise to buy when money before a little bit easier…

Track here – or, for the foreseeable future, it is also on the right hand sidebar of “The Bearded Man” blog…


Take care.