Sisulu bids farewell to ex-defence chief

2011-06-02 17:01
Johannesburg - Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu bid farewell to former SA National Defence Force chief General Godfrey Ngwenya, who has been appointed South Africa's ambassador in Angola.

"He brought required stability and integrity into the defence force," Sisulu said in a speech prepared for delivery at a function on Wednesday night.

Ngwenya had to "hold up" the leadership of the defence force in 2008 when the then defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota and his deputy Mluleki George left the ANC to found the opposition party, the Congress of the People.

"When this unthinkable [situation] happened, we lost no sleep because we knew that the defence force was in the good hands of General Ngwenya - an unwavering patriot whose grasp of the political imperatives of our constitutional democracy is unquestionable," said Sisulu.

"With the political uncertainty that has engulfed the Arab world and some part[s] of Africa - we count ourselves lucky that we had such as he when he was needed."

Ngwenya led South Africa's first peace mission to Burundi and played a significant role in the transformation of South Africa's defence force.

"Today, the defence force is recognised, has sufficiently transformed and [is] efficiently responsible to be given its place as a state institution outside of the public service.

"Very few know how hard General Ngwenya worked to achieve these goals. He leaves the defence force in a better position with all the changes that we have implemented in the past two years."

Sisulu said he had "listened more than he talked" and had preferred to remain in the background, shunning the limelight.

She said it was under Ngwenya's command that South Africa had assisted in various continental peace missions.

Also under his command, the number of women generals in the SANDF increased from 12 to more than 30, including one major general; soldiers' conditions of service improved; the SANDF participated in the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup; the safety of the country's borders improved; and the SANDF twice helped prevent a health disaster during public service strikes.

The new chief of the defence force is General Solly Shoke.

Ngwenya, who has been awarded the Pro Patria Medal in silver for his service, spent time in Angola as part of the ANC's military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe during the struggle against apartheid.
Read more on:    sandf  |  solly shoke  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  angola  |  military

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.