Mercenary ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare dies aged 100 in South Africa

Nicknamed ‘Mad Mike,’ Hoare, left, died on Sunday in South Africa where he had retired. (Getty Images)
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Updated 03 February 2020

Mercenary ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare dies aged 100 in South Africa

  • Hoare shot to fame in the 1960s when he led some 300 soldiers in the DRC to crush a communist-inspired rebel uprising
  • In 1981, Hoare led a group of mercenaries that planned a coup to return to power the pro-Western founding president James Mancham in the Seychelles

JOHANNESBURG: One of Africa’s best-known mercenaries who fought in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led a failed coup in the Seychelles, Mike Hoare, has died aged 100, the family said on Monday.
Nicknamed “Mad Mike,” Hoare died on Sunday in South Africa where he had retired.
Born 1919 in India to Irish parents, he was educated in England where he qualified as a chartered accountant.
He attended a small-arms and an officer training course in the British army during WWII and went on to serve in India and in Burma.
The fervent anti-communist then emigrated to South Africa in 1948.
“The well known adventurer and soldier of fortune, Lt Col ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare, died in his sleep and with dignity aged 100 years at a care facility in Durban on 2 February 2020,” the family said in a statement.
His son Chris, said Hoare “lived by the philosophy that you get more out of life by living dangerously, so it is all the more remarkable that he lived more than 100 years.”
Hoare shot to fame in the 1960s when he led some 300 soldiers in the DRC to crush a communist-inspired rebel uprising.
His soldiers’ nickname “Wild Geese,” inspired the title of a 1978 film about mercenaries in Africa which starred Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Kruger.
In 1981, Hoare led a group of mercenaries that planned a coup to return to power the pro-Western founding president James Mancham in the Seychelles archipelago.
The group entered the country disguised as a beer-drinking tourist party called “The Ancient Order of Froth-Blowers.”
However, their plan came undone when an airport inspector found a weapon in their luggage and a gunfight broke out.
The men then hijacked an Air India flight and forced the pilot to take them to Durban in South Africa to escape.
Hoare was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 20 years.
But he only served nearly three years in jail before he relocated to France where he lived for 20 years.
Hoare returned to South Africa in 2009.
Hoare is survived by five children.
His peers from the heyday of mercenaries in Africa include the likes of Frenchman Bob Denard and his “affreux” (“the frightful ones“) and Belgian “Black Jack” Schramme.


Minneapolis braces for more riots, arson following police killing of Afro-American George Floyd

Updated 30 May 2020

Minneapolis braces for more riots, arson following police killing of Afro-American George Floyd

CHICAGO: Minneapolis exploded into riots and arson this week after an African-American suspected of handling counterfeit money was killed on Monday during his arrest by two city police officers.

Videos on social media showed an officer placing his knee on George Floyd’s neck as he was handcuffed and being restrained on the street by the kerb. The 46-year-old said that he could not breathe, but police insisted that Floyd was “resisting arrest” and had to be forcibly restrained.

The officer who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck was arrested on Friday and charged with murder.

Floyd was pronounced dead at the scene and his family immediately called for an independent probe.

His family turned to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who said the family’s first concern was to seek an autopsy independent of the police because of a lack of trust in law enforcement and to give their deceased family member a proper funeral.

“Is it two justice systems in America?” Crump said as he addressed the media. “One for black America and one for white America? We can’t have that. We have to have equal justice for the United States of America and that’s what I think the protesters are crying out for.”

Protests spread across the country and turned violent as arson destroyed property, including the police station where the police officers were assigned.

President Donald Trump denounced the rioters as “thugs” and warned that he might send in the military “to take control.” 

Minneapolis Police handed the investigation into Floyd’s death to the FBI and US Justice Department on Thursday night. Officials from the FBI and US Justice Department promised that the probe would be “robust and meticulous.”

The media’s role in the protests came sharply into focus when, early on Friday, CNN’s Omar Jimenez was arrested along with his TV crew.

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, who looked on as her colleague was being arrested, told viewers: “If you are just tuning in you are watching our correspondent Omar Jimenez being arrested by state police in Minnesota. We are not sure why our correspondent is being arrested.”