The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has appointed General Rudzani Maphwanya, as the new Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Maphwanya’s appointment follows the retirement of General Solly Zacharia Shoke as the SANDF boss.
According to Ramaphosa, the appointment of the highly decorated officer with vast operational experience, takes effect from June 1, 2021.
He said: “ His military career began in 1978 in Umkhonto we Sizwe, and since 1994, he has held numerous positions in the SANDF. He was appointed as General Officer Commanding the South African Special Forces in 2006 and as General Officer Commanding the SA Infantry Formation in 2016.
“ In 2019, Lt. -Gen. Maphwanya was appointed as Chief of Joint Operations. ”
Security Watch Africa reports that Lt. -Gen. Maphwanya will be promoted from Lieutenant-General to General upon his appointment and will serve in this position for a period of five years.
The Commander-in-Chief said the appointment of a new head of South Africa’s Armed Forces is accompanied by other appointments to the Military Command.
“ Major-General Wiseman Simo Mbambo is appointed as Chief of the South African Air Force, Major-General Mbambo began his military career in Umkhonto we Sizwe, where, among other things, he served as a training instructor in the Kibaxe Camp in Angola and was Commander-in-Charge of the former MK Military Aviation Group that underwent training in the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991.
“ He has served in several positions in the South African Air Force, including General Officer Commanding Air Force Base Waterkloof and Chief of Staff Air Operations. Major-General Mbambo is currently Deputy Chief of Staff of the SANDF. I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Major-General Siphiwe Sangweni as Chief of Joint Operations as of June 1, 2021. The Joint Operations Division is responsible for internal and external operations conducted by the SANDF and for the employment of joint forces.
“ Major-General Sangweni began his military career in the underground structures of Umkhonto we Sizwe before undergoing military training in Tanzania. He returned to South Africa in February 1994 as a Platoon Commander in the National Peacekeeping Force, before being integrated into the SANDF. He has served in numerous operational deployments, including as part of AU and UN missions in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is currently serving as the General Officer Commanding Joint Operations HQ.
“ I am also pleased to announce that Major-General Ntshavheni Maphaha is appointed as Surgeon General with effect from November 1, 2021. The Surgeon General commands the South African Military Health Service and plans and executes a healthcare plan to a patient population of over 300,000 people. Major-General Maphaha began his professional career as a medical officer at Tshilidzini Hospital in Thohoyandou in 1992. ”
He also appointed Major-General Thalita Mxakato as Chief of Defence Intelligence as of June 1, 2021, stating that the Defence Intelligence Division provides combat-ready intelligence and counter-intelligence capabilities for employment in operations or joint and multinational force preparations.
He added that the appointments demonstrate the value of effective succession planning and the development of talent across all institutions as critical as the South African National Defence Force.
“ I am confident that under the leadership of these men and women, the SANDF will continue to fulfil its constitutional responsibility, to defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people.
“ I have no doubt that as these distinguished individuals assume their new posts, they will also be conscious of the assignment that history has bestowed on them – to be the guardians of democracy, of peace and of freedom, ” Ramaphosa said.