A Brutal State of Affairs

The Rise and Fall of Rhodesia

Dennis Malcolm Anderson & Henrik Ellert



A Brutal State of Affairs analyses the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe and challenges Rhodesian mythology. The story of the BSAP, where white and black officers were forced into a situation not of their own making, is critically examined. The liberation war in Rhodesia might never have happened but for the ascendency of the Rhodesian Front, prevailing racist attitudes, and the rise of white nationalists who thought their cause just. Blinded by nationalist fervour and the reassuring words of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and army commanders, the Smith government disregarded the advice of its intelligence services to reach a settlement before it was too late.


As Zimbabwe did not have a Truth and Reconciliation Commision, it is up to the combatants to tell us the truth about what happened during those dark years. Henrik Ellert and Dennis Anderson have done so admirably in this book. Some of the revelations will, no doubt, shock those still living… [but] we owe it to future generations to ensure an accurate record of what happened in our day. - Wilf Mbanga


Dennis Malcolm Anderson was born in London in 1930.

Henrik Ellert was born in Denmark but grew up in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, firmly instilling what has become a lifelong fascination in the many diverse landscapes, cultures, traditions and peoples of Africa.