The South African Defence Force (SANDF) is undergoing massive leadership changes with new commanders taking over in almost all units in the next 6 months.

Speaking during his farewell tour of various units countrywide, retiring Chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, revealed that there will be many changes with new commanders in the Air Force, Joint operations and Special Forces, among others.

General Solly Shoke

General Shoke said :

I am sure you might have seen through the media, that there are changes at senior level in the SANDF.

Maybe I’d like to start with myself. I’m sure you are aware that towards month end, I will be retiring as Chief of the SANDF , I’ll be finishing my term or retiring from uniform.

And now I will be giving the baton to Lt. General Rudzani Maphwanya, the current Chief of joint operations, who is here with me, and maybe I’d like to him to stand up and so that you can see what type of an animal is going to take over.

Lt General Rudzani Maphwanya

He’s an infant here, a Special Forces operator. He was once GOC: Infantry formation, I’m sure you are familiar with that face.

And then, there is a new chief of the Air Force, who actually became the chief of the Air Force, on midnight Friday, Lt General Wiseman Simo Mbambo, who’s not here, because he’s also busy with a handing over and taking over at the air force.

Lt General Simo Mbambo

And there’s also a new Chief of the joint operation, who will take over from Maphwanya, from the first of June.

And then there is also a new chief of Defense Intelligence,  Major General Thalita Mxakato, who will also become the chief of intelligence from the first of June.

And there’s also the Surgeon General, Lt. General Ntshavheni Maphaha, who will become the Surgeon General, as of the first of November. 2021.

Major General Ntshavheni Maphaha

I felt that it would be amiss of me not to come to the unit. And not only talk to officers, but talk to men and women in uniform, who make the Defense Force tick, who make the defense force to be what it is, that is the troops on parade.

It is you people. I felt that it would be a privilege for me to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the good work that you’re doing, and the good work that you have done, not only for yourselves, but for the people of South Africa,and the continent.

The unit where I am today has performed exceptionally well in a number of taskings, both inside South Africa and also beyond the borders of this country. You have always been at the forefront. Mabizwasabele.

When there are problems in this country, I was talking to the officers in the hall. I was saying, you know, the people of South Africa have so much confidence in the defence force that whenever their problems, of whatever nature, they will always call for the defense force, because they know that you are there for them.

And you’re the last line of defense.

When there are floods, your are there, when there are fires, you are there. At the height of COVID, when everyone disappeared, you were there.

You were the only ones to get up the bullies, and health professionals who were at the forefront, and even some of the health professionals, they were not keen, but you were at the forefront.

But you had no choice, but to take the lead, in ensuring that you save the lives of our people. You were at the forefront in ensuring that there was peace, stability and tranquility in South Africa, and also beyond our borders, because we can only succeed as a nation, and grow our economy in an environment where there’s peace. And at the center of it is the SANDF, that makes it possible for our economy to grow.

With those few words fellow officers. I would like to say once more, thank you. And thank you for the bottom of my heart.

It was not easy, but it was a pleasure. Also to be afforded the opportunity to lead this organization, and this defense force would not have succeeded without your efforts.

Your efforts will not go unnoticed and our plight for resources, I’m also convinced that it will not go unnoticed.

We’ll work hard to ensure that we address the problem of the budget and other challenges that the defense force is facing.

And then as we speak right now. We’re also in touch with the Commander in Chief, putting before the commander in chief and cabinet,  the challenges that we face as an organization.

May God bless you in service of the nation. I thank you.

Please watch the video above this post for more details.