President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed the first woman to the military command council of the SANDF. Major-General Thalita Mxakato will commence her role as Chief of Defence Intelligence on 1 June 2021.
About the appointment of Major-General Mxakato, President Ramaphosa said, “This is a significant – and long-overdue – development in the ongoing effort to advance the position of women in our armed forces,”.
From 1 June 2021, Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya will take over from General Solly Shoke as chief of the SANDF. General Shoke was chief of the armed forces since 2011.
President Ramaphosa said, “Lt-Gen Maphwanya is a highly decorated officer with vast operational experience. 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,”.
Ramaphosa praised the SANDF for its successful succession planning and development of talent.