SOUTH AFRICAN TROOPS
. Further rioting would not speed up repatriation, said Brigadier J. N. Bierman, South African base commander, when he addressed South African troops in Helwan Camp, says a Cairo message to the "Cape Times." Complaining: of the slowness of their repatriation South African troops at the camp had rioted over several days, causing damage to the camp and injuries among military police called on to quell them.
"In the past day or two there have been persistent rumours and idle tallc, in this camp of another fire," he said. "Apparently the reason is the misguided idea that by having another riot in this camp it will speed up repatriation. Not only will it not speed up repatriation, but it will make us lose what we are getting now. "There is also an idea abroad that no one is very interested in repatriation and that our repatriation is veryslow. It is not slow in comparison, with what other troops are getting. Wa have an air lift, and we are getting ships.
"Ask your New Zealand friends. They are not getting an air lift, antf they are not getting ships. They hay» not had ships for a long time."
Brigadier Bierman quoted as an example of the interest taken by tha*authorities the fact that the frigates Good Hope and Transvaal had been sent from the Union to fetch troops home. "Each takes only 100 men, and. if you think of the expense involved in taking only 200 men you must agree it is not a question of a lack of interest," he said.
"After.what I have said, if there is still someone, or some minority—because I believe it is only a small minority—who think that by rioting they can do anything, I want to say to the majority that if this happens: Keep right away from such an are% "I am responsible for maintaining, discipline in this camp and I would be failing in my duty if I did not maintain it. I do not want anybody to say;" 'I was just a spectator.' "As I said the other day, we are trying to get you away from here in your proper groups. The serial numbers for the first Sunderland will be going out today and it will leave on Saturday.Yesterday the air lift was 172, and Helwan got 126 out of that. "Remember what I have said. Do not think that any rioting or disturbance will help. I can assure you it will not help you, or hasten your repatriation/*
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HELWAN RIOTS, Evening Post, Volume CXL, Issue 151, 24 December 1945
HELWAN RIOTS Evening Post, Volume CXL, Issue 151, 24 December 1945
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