Cassinga Raid  -- SWAPO Response

Cassinga Raid -- Swapo Response
22 Oct 2015

This document is a true copy of the original Classified response by SWAPO after the Cassinga Raid -- TYPED OVER FROM THE BLUE PRINT COPY


Swapo Report on Cassinga Raid





Place ;  Luanda

Date   : 19 th May 1978


The attack started at 07 : 15 hours on the 04th May 1978, while people were at the parade. The planes came from the Northwestern direction. The first bomb was thrown right in the parade group, killing some comrades right at the spot including prominent cadres like comrade Haiduwa Mbarangandja and Naikobolo, the camp commander. The second bomb struck and completely destroyed the hospital clinic and the third was on the old house of comrade Dismo. The other targets were the old magazine, the garage, the office and the food storage room.

Eight (8) fighter bombers and two reconnaissance planes were flying over Kassinga while the bombing took place in pairs of four, i. e. four planes were bombing while other four were scouting the area. ( All these planes are French Mirages)

Within 15 minute, while the bombing was going,  4 South Africa troop carriers (Hercules) arrived, dropping paratroopers in the South Eastern, South Western and western Directions. These paratroopers the sealed off Kasinga by planting landmines on all roads entering Kassinga.

Meanwhile our cadres started retaliating very bravely. Our ground force consisted of about 600 cadres, 300 of whom were fresh from the Hainyeko training Centre. by 09:00 hours a fighter bomber of the South Africans was shot down by our men. Shortly before 12;00 hours 5 South African helicopters (Pumas) came to pick up their dead and wounded. Our forces kept on fighting, making it hard for the enemy to pick up their people. by 13:00 hours a second plane of the Boers was shot down.

By 14:00 hours 2 more helicopters arrived to pick up more dead. At this stage some of our people were forced at gun point to assist in loading dead and injured boers. Quite many of our people were also forced into the helicopters. Among those missing and suspected to have been picked up by the Boers is comrade Nashilongo Taapopi, the secretary of Youth.

At about 14:00 hours our Cuban friends wanted to assist our camp but they met the enemy fire, destroying 3 Cuban troop carriers, i.e. 2 tanks and one armored car, with bombs. In this operation our camp secretary comrade Uhuru who took the message to the Cuban comrades, lost his life.

5 Cuban trucks detonated enemy landmines.. Our friends were thus forced to find different route to Kassinga.

In the meantime fighting was going on at Kassinga and between 14:00 and 15:00 hours a third enemy plane was brought down by our combatants.Shortly after 15:00 hours our anti-air units were bombed and silenced. In this operation our brave combatants, a boy and a girl, who were operating the anti-air was killed.

Our Cuban friends only arrived at Kassinga at 18:00 hours. Their arrival forced the enemy to retreat shortly thereafter. The death toll of the enemy who came with about one battalion, i.e. 1500 combat men and 180 officers, is estimated at about 100 (one hundred) taken from the more than 100 stretchers captured by our combatants. In addition to that a considerable amount of arms and ammunition was captured.

The official population of the Kassinga camp was reported 4098 on the night of May 3 rd , 1978. This number excludes the two groups which arrived that night by trucks.


On the morning of the 6 th May 1978 the death toll was recorded 196 women, 221 men, that is 417 dead. As the searching continued by the 7th May the bodies of 51 women, 96 men were discovered.

During the course of the day. 19 more bodies were found, bringing the death toll by midnight 7 th May at 582

All these bodies were buried in two graves, one with 122 bodies including the commanders and the other 460 corpses. The search is still on and more bodies are likely to be discovered.

All the files from comrade Dumo`s office were taken by the enemy. This means that virtually 75 % of the Party information is in the hands of the enemy.











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