The South Africans had no idea of the shit storm that was about to come over their heads, but when their corvette was sunk just to the south of Mozambique, they lit up surface radars and launched every jet fighter they had with orders to attack. Big mistake. Besides their E-2Ds, the carriers had also brought along the F-14s with their Phoenix missiles and the venerable EA-6B Prowlers, who just like their nickname implied, were prowling for radar sites they could turn off with their HARM missiles. Man, the Hawkeyes detected immediately aircraft launches from Ysterplaat AFB outside Cape Town and Nelspruit, then directed the F-14s to intercept and destroy. The Americans’ radar warning receivers lit up and announced everything from Gripen fighters to Crotale missile batteries and military radars coming online, so the EA-6B Prowlers went NOE (nap of the earth), penetrated the airspace and began to fire HARM missiles, of whom over 90% scored devastating and permanent hits. The F-14s didn’t play around. Their long-range radars picked up the Gripens at over 100 miles and they launched barrages of Phoenixes from 70 miles out.

The South African pilots had no chance because the American pilots had programmed their missiles to run radar-silent until just short of their targets and the ground radars weren’t quite up to the task. Some vague warnings came through when the missiles were about 15 miles from their targets and came into ground radar detection range, but the pilots had no threat vectors and kept coming towards the Americans. Around 5 kilometers out and 3 up, the missile seekers went active, acquired their targets and in a few more seconds of downward supersonic flight, the entire South African air force (all of 15 fighter-bombers) became a falling, flaming farce after less than 20 minutes in the air. For the two American CBGs there was more fun on the way. A few minutes after South African SAMs, most ground-based radars and the air force got taken out, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers on both coasts programmed coordinates and fired Tomahawk missiles at every air force base they could reach. Within an hour, Ysterplaat, Nelspruit, Waterkloof and Wonderboom AFBs were nothing but burning wrecks which also had to contend with some Tomahawks that sprinkled time-delayed cluster bombs on the runways and bases themselves. “Show’s over, motherfuckers, we own the sky”, thought the Americans with glee, and right though they were, the show was just beginning.

President Mattis phoned Desmond Mkhize again. “Mister President, you know the story by now. Your people have slaughtered innocent European citizens who took refuge in churches. They were killed simply because of the color of their skin and not only did you and your security forces do nothing about it, but you initiated this genocide and your cops and soldiers joined in pursuant to your orders. The time has come to pay the piper for the tune that’s been hummed, and this is what you’re going to do- first, stop the genocide against the whites. Second, you will protect the remainder of foreign embassy employees and foreign nationals until the NATO fleets arrive in a few days like your life depends on it, because it probably will. Third, you will restore law and order. If you fail, then you must consent to international peacekeepers on your territory. If this doesn’t happen, the NATO fleets and everything else that follows them will attack. As you’ve seen so far, your country couldn’t stand up to two carrier battle groups- what are you going to do against dozens of ships and the armaments they carry?”

Desmond Mkhize was frightened, but he reached down to whatever he thought passed for balls and replied: “Mister President, I do not take kindly to threats. Yes, your ships and aircraft hurt us badly today, but do not for one moment think you can win against 50 million people. You couldn’t win in Afghanistan and Iraq, so you’d better believe me when I tell you that you won’t win here either. After all, what are you going to do, wipe out 50 million black people? That’s nothing but an apartheid-style extermination and your citizens won’t stand for it. The whites have been lording it over this country’s black majority for over three centuries. It was about time they knew what it was like to be dispossessed after they tried to overthrow my government a few weeks ago. As for foreign embassy staff, they are safe. None have been attacked besides that fracas with your people and I don’t think they will be in the near future. However, the more you attack us, the harder it’s going to be to keep control over the situation on the ground. I’ll do my best to order whatever security forces I can gather to increase the safety measures already in place, but it won’t be easy and will take time because of the damage we’ve suffered. As for the whites, let me tell you something- over 50 million people in this country don’t want them here anymore. If we are forced to take them back, I cannot be held responsible for what so many of my citizens will do. As things stand, it will be better if they leave South Africa and it’s not our concern where they go. As of right now, there are over two million of them stuck in the Free State, fighting against SANDF and SAPS units. This is unacceptable and we will do whatever is necessary to restore peace and quiet as well as advance our national goals, so do not interfere in my country’s internal affairs!” and then he hung up…

End of Part 16. To be continued…

Mircea Negres

Port Elizabeth

South Africa