Lionel Dyck SCZ,[1] also referred to as Colonel Dyck,[2] is a Zimbabwean mercenary and former soldier. He was born in 1944 in Southern Rhodesia and served with the Rhodesian Army and Zimbabwe Defence Forces before founding Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) to offer protective military services in Africa.[3]


Lionel Dyck

Nickname(s)Colonel Dyck
Born1944 (age 77–78)
Southern Rhodesia
Dyck Advisory Group
UnitRhodesian Light Infantry
Commands heldRhodesian African Rifles
1 Parachute Battalion
Battles/warsRhodesian Bush War
Entumbane uprising
Battle of Palma

Military careerEdit

Dyck was born in 1944 in Southern Rhodesia.[3] When he was 17, he joined the Rhodesian Army and was placed in the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI). However, he was court-martialed and expelled from the army after driving a Unimog whilst drunk, resulting in him killing an RLI soldier.[4] He underwent education in South Africa and gave up drinking. He re-enlisted in the Rhodesian Army during the Rhodesian Bush War.[4] He would later rise to become a major in the Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR).[5] Following the country's transition into Zimbabwe, Dyck played a frontline role commanding the RAR in the 1981 Entumbane uprising.[5] The RAR were disbanded in 1981 and the majority of white officers had left the new Zimbabwe National Army. Dyck remained and helped with the foundation of Zimbabwe's parachute battalion from former RAR and Selous Scouts soldiers as well as former ZIPRA and ZANLA guerrillas.[6][7] During this time he forged a close working relationship with the Zimbabwean Minister of Defence (later President) Emmerson Mnangagwa and was awarded the Silver Cross of Zimbabwe.[1][4] In 1986, he was appointed as a Commissioner of Oaths.[8] He retired from the army in 1990 as a Colonel and moved to South Africa.[3] Whilst in South Africa, he would become the commodore of the False Bay Yacht Club.[9]

Mercenary careerEdit

Whilst in South Africa, Dyck founded a demining and anti-poaching company.[3] This business made him wealthy and he branched out into private military contracting, private security and animal conservation.[4] Utilising his contacts with Mnangagwa, in 2008 he set up a company called MineTech where a WikiLeaks cable described them as "business partners".[10] In 2012, he set up Dyck Advisory Group as a mercenary, demining and anti-poaching group.[10] In 2019 and 2020, he was hired by the Government of Mozambique to provide air cover for Mozambique soldiers during the RENAMO insurgency.[4][10] Dyck and his forces were credited with driving RENAMO out of Northern Mozambique.[11] In 2021, he was hired by the Mozambique police to provide military assistance against Islamic terrorists in the Battle of Palma aged 77.[10][12] Dyck's DAG had been accused by Amnesty International of firing into random crowds; however, Dyck responded by stating that armed insurgents running into crowds was a common tactic used by terrorists.[13] Dyck also helped to co-ordinate the evacuation of civilians from the area.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Meikles AGM fails to reassure shareholders". IOL. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b "'We're not counting bodies but focusing on the living' – Colonel Dyck's cry for help". Zim Live. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d 4 min (21 April 2021). "Back from Mozambique, mercenary sees 'only hardships' for insurgent-hit north". France 24. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dyck's new Mozambican wild adventure". The Zimbabwe Mail. 6 November 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b Binda, Alexandre (2007). Masodja: The History of the Rhodesian African Rifles and its forerunner the Rhodesian Native Regiment (Heppenstall, David ed.). Johannesburg: 30° South Publishers. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-1-920143-03-9.
  6. ^ "Counter insurgency in Rhodesia" (PDF). 14. Retrieved 13 July 2021. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Zimbabwean RTD Colonel Dyck holds fort in Mozambique". The Zimbabwe Mail. Retrieved 13 July 2021 – via Newsbeezer.
  8. ^ "Appointment of Commissioners of Oaths" (PDF). The Zimbabwe Gazette: 4-5. 4 July 1986. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  9. ^ "American solo sailor drowns after falling overboard off Cape Town". Sail World. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d "Back from Mozambique, mercenary sees 'only hardships' for insurgent-hit north". Economic Times. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  11. ^ Thornycroft, Peta (9 June 2020). "Anti-poaching squad drives insurgents out of northern Mozambique with snipers and helicopters". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Mozambique: Dozens dead after militant assault on Palma". BBC News. 29 March 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  13. ^ McKenzie, David (31 March 2021). "Mozambique: Leader of mercenary group says that ISIS-linked insurgents hold Palma". CNN. Retrieved 13 July 2021.