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Dr Venter’s passion for military heritage led to him publishing his first book

Dr Dewald Venter with the Chair of the SA Armour Museum Lt Col R Erasmus. In the background is a South African Olifant Mk1B Main Battle Tank.
Dr Dewald Venter with the Chair of the SA Armour Museum Lt Col R Erasmus. In the background is a South African Olifant Mk1B Main Battle Tank.

Dr Dewald Venter is a Senior Lecturer in the Hospitality, Tourism and Public Relations Management Department, Faculty of Human Sciences at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT).

He got his inspiration from his grandfather, Wilhelmus Johannes de Beer (1929-1999), who fostered in him a love and appreciation for military heritage when he was four years old. “Writing a military book has always been a dream, which became a passion. This passion is also reflected in my academic research into military heritage tourism. Much of what is captured in this book is information I could not find in other publications on South African armoured vehicles; hence I set out to gather what was missing,” he said.

Dr Venter conducting a tour of an Olifant Mk1A Main Battle Tank with members of the South African Army Armour Formation.
Dr Venter conducting a tour of an Olifant Mk1A Main Battle Tank with members of the South African Army Armour Formation.

The book is about the development, design and characteristics of armoured vehicles produced in South Africa and used by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). To date, this will be the most accurate and detailed publication on South African armoured vehicles, which makes it an invaluable reference source.

He intends to foster a sense of pride in South Africans on what can be achieved if we put our minds to a task, even under difficult circumstances. Also, to create an accurate source of reference for readers who are interested in military vehicles and their history and use.

The book is internationally available from Helion & Company or locally Bushwar Militaria & Books. Locally it is available in hardcopy for R375.

His target audience is every person who has an interest or passion for military vehicles and wants to learn more about South African armoured vehicles. “I specifically wrote the book to satisfy novice and more well-versed readers,” he said. The book contains 145 b/w photos, eight colour photos and 23 colour profiles of vehicles.

Nontobeko Zondi

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Communications Officer Nontobeko Zondi (+27) 016 950 6722/7688 [email protected]