New Air Force chief appointed

2012-06-19 11:00

Johannesburg - Major General Fabian Msimang has been appointed the new chief of the South African Air Force, the SA National Defence Force said.

Msimang is expected to start on the job on October 1, the SANDF said on Monday.

"Major General Msimang integrated into the SANDF in 1994 as a qualified pilot on the Mi 8 and Mi 25 helicopters."

He underwent his training for flying in Kirghizstan from 1986 to 1991.

Msimang was also a member of the Armed Wing of the Umkhonto We Sizwe.

He was appointed assistant project officer on Project Flange in Italy where he also completed the Senior Staff Course at the Italian Air Force War School.

On his return from Italy, Msimang was then appointed Officer Commanding of the Helicopter Flying School at Air Force Base Bloemfontein. Msimang completed the Executive National Security Programme at the SANDF College.

Since 2010 he has been serving on the Air Traffic and Navigation Systems Board.

Msimang is taking over from Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano who has been chief of the air force for the past seven years.

In November last year, Gagiano resigned from his position following the use of "shadow planes" used to accompany President Jacob Zuma to New York but the then minister of defence Lindiwe Sisulu rejected the resignation.

  • Tax - 2012-06-19 11:05

    Another day another cadre deployment.

      patrick.mampane - 2012-06-19 11:42

      you suppose he is not qualified?

      macdonald.loabile - 2012-06-19 11:53

      You are so sick TaxPayer please do urself a favour read that article again.

      Tax - 2012-06-19 11:55

      Qualified in Kirghizstan? I would prefer a pilot who was trained in a first world country. Aviation is a first world concept.

      claudia.meads - 2012-06-19 11:59

      patrick.m you are 100% correct - he is NOT qualified, not even remotely (excuse the pun)... He carries little more "qualifications" than the most junior flying officers in (eg) the USAF, RAF and Nato. In fact he would probably not even have passed the initial cognitive scanning just to enter one of the Nato AF academies. Anywhere else in the first world he would scarcely be allowed to fly anything other than the mail. I hope for your sake your (supposed) air force never has to face the might of the USAF, RAF or Nato - it would not see the first hour out, before being completely obliterated. The real joke though - little over two decades ago, SA had one of the best Air Forces on the planet, in fact SA had one of the first air forces on the planet.

      bertus.muller.96 - 2012-06-19 12:45

      @Claudia, You are correct that we were one of the first countries in the world to have an air force, however 20 years ago, we did not have one of the best Air Forces in the world. Not only did European countries, USA, USSR, China etc have better equipment, they had far superior numbers. To really judge if this appointment is fair we need to know who the other candidates were.

      patrick.mampane - 2012-06-19 13:06

      that country was one of the Soviet Republics. It was the Soviets who sent the first man (Yuri Alexivich Gagarin) in to space after training at their bases in Kazakstan.

      Irene - 2012-06-19 14:13

      Patrick ~ LOL! Do you know the difference between an astronaut and a pilot?

      patrick.mampane - 2012-06-19 14:39

      Irene if you were not so ignorant you would know that all astronauts ( except people who hitch rides to perform experiments and the recent trend of space tourism) are trained as pilots before they can participate in space programmes. Go do your research.

  • KayBee - 2012-06-19 11:37

    Props to him, but the DoD should be aware that most of the NFS members are on the verge of retirement. What happens when they're all gone? Surely one doesn't expect the promotion criteria to remain the same... *just saying*

  • winston.mullany - 2012-06-19 11:47

    Oh s*&^ there goes the air force!! Oh thats right, we don't really have one so I think he'll do just fine! Gone are the days when the SAAF was the best!

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-06-19 11:48

    At least he is qualified with extensive training. Not so with many other cadre deployments. Good Luck to him. Maybe SAAF will now get to utilize the aircraft purchased under the notorius arms deal.

      Tax - 2012-06-19 11:54

      Would you board a plane being flown by a pilot who was trained in Kirghizstan?

      winston.mullany - 2012-06-19 14:41

      Look up the military of Kirghizstan where he supposedly qualified, I did, almost wet myself laughing if they call that an air force!

  • william.sudding - 2012-06-19 11:49

    Great to see a qualified candidate being appointed for a change.

  • erich.goosen - 2012-06-19 11:54

    Is he the guy who was the chief test pilot for the Tiger Moths?

  • tgif.wtfaw - 2012-06-19 11:56

    WTF did Mkhonto we sizwe Fly??? What a disqualification on a CV

      ahpretorius - 2012-06-19 13:47

      Paper planes!

      Blip - 2012-06-19 14:11


  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-06-19 11:57

    Codename - ''Vlermuis''

  • SM1012 - 2012-06-19 12:08

    I've come to ter that comment here are MOSTLY racially motivated at all instances. I have come to term that certain minority will never accept the AFRICAN. Some of you, your comment are BIASED & sickning of AFRICAN HATRED than facts. We(African) have always compromise ourselves for healthy comminucation, but some of you grow up in can't be changed. ALUTA CONTINUA. - 2012-06-19 15:56

      @sm1012 - you are a dumb F@#ck-if your damn government were not so stupid they would not employ uneducated people and we would not have to make comments. Now just because every employee is an uneducated, unqualified relative of some black politician you think we are racists. Damn man, wtf are you stupid?. its people like you who are the racists and keep the flame of racism burning. you damn uneducated sob. If all the people appointed in these high profile positions were white, uneducated, unqualified relatives of some white politician and we were making comments about them the white people would also think we are racist, but the not they are black relatives and we know what happens when a black guy is in charge. 1) The job is not done 2) The bastard steals the money that is meant to keep the place going 3) He strikes when he is not happy. Don't talk about racism you damn idiot, come here let me slap some sense into you, quickly, chop chop bloody agent, communist, animals

  • patrick.mampane - 2012-06-19 12:21

    Interesting how some dudes keep speaking ill of our defense capabilities yet they carry this craving to effect regime change by use of arms with spectacular failures time and again ( boeremag and other unpronounceable nonsense). If the defense force is so incompetent how come these guys never succeed in their endevours? what does that say of their (the aggressors ) capabilities?

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 13:16

      patrick. I do understand your point, but thought of pointing out that the "boeremag and other's" doings gets pointed out/spying on by the same people you blame as being boeremag. All white. So it is not the "wonderful" defense force. It is people who believe in peace, being white and according to you, trying to "change regime". With out them the defense/police force would have had no or limited success. I am glad this person had some training and not gets employed from a not related background. How good he was trained or who the other choices were one would like the know to estimate if he was the best candidate.

      patrick.mampane - 2012-06-19 13:50

      And you think those spies are acting out of altruism? absolutely not, they are paid operatives and are being handled by very competent agents within the agency. They can't send a black man to spy against this exclusively white formations can they?

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 14:09

      In some, if not a lot of incidents you can be right, but I can assure you that a lot of "whites" pimped on these guys without receiving a cent. The majority of us(whites) are not in favor of having havoc in this country. Most of us also do not have the habit of "seeing nothing and hearing nothing" when questioned on irregularities, incidents or crime. You like to generalize without even knowing your fellow citizens in the country just to make your point. You are no better. We currently do not need the best defense force in the world, but would like the activeness, quality/standard and size to reflect the amount of money spend on it.

  • nick.wonfor - 2012-06-19 12:36

    I've met the General, he's more than qualified as a pilot, never had any cause to find out about his administrative skills. He flew attack helicopters in Angola against the SAAF, I wonder what it is like to be led by someone who was once the person shooting at you. Quite a few SAAF pilots are still around who fought in Angola. Come to think of it, the General probably shot at a fair number of people who are still in the army as well.

  • booysen.gopolang - 2012-06-19 12:54

    Congrats Major-General ! when a black person gets promoted it is seen as cadre deployment. He deserves it.

      Irene - 2012-06-19 14:10

      Because in 99.9% of cases it is.

  • Ringeta - 2012-06-19 13:02

    He is the best and well qualified. Whites are frastrated by that. They did not think a black person may lead such a glorius position. He faught wars tha all the whites who were trained locally and never had international exposure because of apartheid.

      winston.mullany - 2012-06-19 14:00

      Actually the Air Force was once considered to be within the top three in the world a few years back because of our training and standards. Us whites are frustrated, yes, at the standards dropped by you guys. Pick them up and we will support him 100%.

  • samuel.mngwevu - 2012-06-19 13:33

    Now my heart sings

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-06-19 13:38

    Black will never be good enough.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 13:50

      Correct!!! Qualifications and experience will be. Seeing that I do not know him and neither do I know much on Air-forces and flying I will not comment if good or bad, but wish him good luck.

  • ProphetMichellevanRooyen - 2012-06-19 14:04

    Major General Msimang, congratulations. May God bless you in abundance.

  • sisa.mtwana - 2012-06-19 15:03

    Yho bayageza babelungu nibathandayo madoda .

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