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Book

Author:Muller, Dave
Year:2019
Title:Not Child's Play
Place:Johannesburg
Publisher:MF Books

Transcript of back cover:

"l was fascinated by the revealing insights into the emotional trauma this remarkable family went through during their seven weeks of captivity." — Rear Admiral Arne Söderlund, co-author of Iron Fist from the Sea

In 1990, Dave Muller set sail to Mozambique with his wife and two young children, to fulfil a boyhood dream of voyaging to the tropics on the yacht he'd spent ten years building. The fantasy holiday came to a shocking end when the yacht ran aground on a stretch of beach near the Bazaruto Islands. While waiting for high tide, a patrol of five Renamo child soldiers, armed with AK47s, arrive, along with their two adult captives. The young boys ransack the yacht, taking the temfied Muller family hostage. Later that night the child soldiers bayonet their two prisoners to death.

Not Child's Play brilliantly traverses the Mullers' nightmare of seven weeks in captivity. Plagued by intense mental and emotional strain, with the fear of violence and death a constant, as the days drag slowly by, uncannily the hostages and captors begin to bond. "Our time with Renamo was defined by constant paradox. The young boys who in cold-blood killed people also played games with our children. We couldn't speak their language and struggled desperately with a lack of information about our status. However, the kindness shown to us, in sharing what few resources they had, transcended the brutality of the war in which we were all trapped, and required no translation. Every day held terrors, yet I was mesmerised by the innate innocence of our captors. Therein lay the paradox."

Their eventual rescue 49 days later, in a covert operation by the SA Navy and Navy Seals, was dramatic, the stuff that Hollywood action movies are made of.