The first time someone mentioned the Selous Scouts to me, I had to say that I had not heard of them. This completely amazed the person I was talking to. I had not been in Africa for very long, at the time.
The Selous Scouts were Rhodesian Army special forces, and were very hard and tough men indeed. Reading Bush War Operator, by A.J. Balaam I learnt that 80% of the Selous Scouts were black African. I’d somehow always assumed that most of them were white Rhodesians.
Balaam was a member of the Selous Scouts for several years, and was involved in a number of operations, mostly in Mocambique, some of which he details in this book.
After independence, he left Zimbabwe and settled in the Transkei. Old habits die hard, and soon he was involved in training the Lesotho Liberation Army and afterwards some people he calls the Ciskei Liberation Army. The politics of the LLA were complex, but essentially the people paying Balaam at that time aimed to destabilize the then unfriendly Lesotho government on behalf of sections of the South African government. I knew nothing about all of this before I read the book.