The South African way of trauma surgery

Keywords: South African trauma


South Africa is a dynamic and boisterous country with a rich history. However, in the daily noise and bustle of our existence, we often fail to appreciate our history and overlook its significance and relevance. The military historians Evert Kleynhans and David Katz recently published a book describing twenty battles fought by South African forces over the last century.1 In this book, they identify a unique South African way of warfare which has evolved in response to our unique historical and geographic situation. The merging of the Boer way of mobile “commando” warfare and the more formal British army approach to warfare by Jan Smuts and Louis Botha, created a unique military doctrine which emphasised mobility and encirclement rather than frontal attacks. It has taken historians such as Kleynhans and Katz to identify and elucidate this approach. The same applies to our rugby heritage, with Rassie Erasmus being perhaps the foremost proponent of a very effective and successful quintessentially South African approach to the game.2

Author Biography

D L Clarke, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

How to Cite
Clarke, D. (2023). The South African way of trauma surgery. South African Journal of Surgery, 61(4), 2-3. Retrieved from
Guest Editorial