The Cheetah

Magazine of the Rhodesian Light Infantry

Date Published :
February 2011
Publisher :
30 Degrees South Publishers
Editor :
Chris Cocks
Illustration :
150 color & b/w photos, sketches
No associated books available.


The Cheetah is the regimental association magazine for the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI). It was last published in hard-copy format in 1980 at the disbandment of the RLI following the cessation of the bush war in the embryonic republic of Zimbabwe. Prior to this, the magazine, renowned for its witty and informed content, was a much sought-after and eagerly-awaited publication for civilians and servicemen alike, being sold commercially through the southern African book trade. (Today, original copies change hands for ridiculously high prices, being regarded as collectables.) With the revival of the RLI Regimental Association (RLIRA) in 2007, the magazine has been published on a quarterly basis since then, in electronic format, also being viewable on the RLIRA website To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the RLI on 1 February 1961, and 30 years after the disbandment of the regiment, the RLIRA has decided to bring out this hard-copy commemorative glossy edition that takes a nostalgic journey back in time, as well as highlighting the association’s efforts of today in keeping the regimental esprit de corps alive.

Chris Cocks was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1957 and served three years and 28 days as a combat NCO with 3 Commando, the Rhodesian Light Infantry (the RLI, an airborne/airmobile unit), from 1976 to 1979. He was then offered a farming job in the country’s Lowveld; however, the army refused to countenance a waiver of call-ups, so he attested into the British South Africa Police and spent the remaining 14 months of the bush war as a PATU (Police Anti-Terrorist Unit) stick leader and avoiding the Military Police. He moved to Johannesburg in 1996 and stumbled into a publishing career, specializing in southern African military history. He has written four books: the bestselling Fireforce: One Man’s War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry, its sequel Out of Action, a steamy novel Cyclone Blues, and co-wrote The Saints, the RLI’s history. He is the historian for The Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association and edits its magazine, The Cheetah.

About The Author

Chris Cocks is the author of Fireforce (now in its fourth edition, with sales exceeding 30,000 copies); Out of Action, a novel, Cyclone Blues; The Cheetah: 50th Anniversary Magazine of the RLI, and is co-author of The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry and Africa’s Commandos.

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