Minister of Defence and Military Veterans's Address to SA Army Unit Commanders, 12 to 14 October 2010

Article and Photos by Lieutenant Colonel Mafi Mgobozi, SA Army Corporate Communication

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu and
Chief of the SA Army, Lieutenant General Solly Shoke on arrival










“I want to assure you that we care for you and our thoughts are always with you”, those were the words of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu during her address to SA Army Unit Commanders at the SA Army Extended Army Command Council (EACC) meeting held at SA Army Infantry School over the period 12 to 14 October 2010.

The EACC is held twice a year and is attended by all Army Unit Commanders both Regular and Reserves from all over the country. The presence of the minister was a great honour to members attending the EACC.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu and Infantry School Women










During her address, the minister thanked the SA Army Commanders for their role in bringing peace in the African Continent. “In Africa, you can’t talk of peace without mentioning the South African Army. It is very important to know that those members who are deployed either externally or internally are always in our thoughts. Please tell your subordinates that we really appreciate what they are doing for the country and the continent. I am also glad to hear that we are not only bringing peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but we are also training their troops so that they can be able to maintain peace in their own country.”

FLTR: Major Genera Vusi Masondo, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu and Lieutenant General Solly Shoke










The South African public really appreciated that the SA Army is back on borders, to ensure that our borders are safe again. “I asked myself why in the first place they took that task from the Defence Force. In my meeting with the farmers, they raised a concern about the non-deployment of the Army along Lesotho borders. I am glad to hear that in the near future the army will be deployed along the Lesotho border. At least I had an answer for them.”

She also thanked the SA Army for their contribution during the Soccer World Cup. “There were many people who were saying South Africa won’t be able to hold a successful Soccer World Cup, but we proved them wrong. Your role during the public service strike was much appreciated by the public. Our people were able to go to hospitals to receive care and medication without any fear of intimidation, because you were there to protect them.”

She stressed the importance of discipline. “Each one of us here is required to be disciplined. The Defence Force is regarded as a disciplined force. The responsibility of discipline lies in each and every member within the Defence Force. Let us be the symbol of hope to our children. Lets our children say I want to be in the Army. Let your troops in your unit say it proud that they are the best of the best,” the minister said.

The Minister concluded by saying that she understands the problems faced by the Army regarding resources and she further said that is why we are prioritising the landward forces to ensure that they are well equipped.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu  talking to members of Infantry School










The Chief of the SA Army assured the Minister that he and his commanders will make sure that the SA Army remains a highly disciplined force.

Chief of the SA Army, Lieutenant General Solly Shoke and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu