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Parade for new Simon’s Town naval base boss

David Mkhonto saluting a naval parade at Simons Town.A Change of Command Parade for Flag Officer Commanding Naval Base Simon’s Town took place there on Friday 27 February.

Rear Admiral (Junior Grade) David Mkhonto handed over the telescope representing the Change of Command to Rear Admiral (Junior Grade) Joseph Tsokolo Dlamini on a blustery day at the largest naval base in southern Africa.

Dlamini joined the ANC’s Military Wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe, in 1986 and was integrated into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on 27 April 1994.

After basic training, he completed various courses as a Logistics Officer, much of it at Simon’s Town. He served as the Base Manager of Naval Base Simon’s Town from February 2004 to April 2006 and became the Senior Staff Officer of Safety at Navy Headquarters from April 2006 to January 2007. Thereafter he served as the Facility Project Officer at Naval Base Simon’s Town until January 2010.

He was appointed Base Executive Officer at Simon’s Town in January 2010 and then went on to serve as the Officer Commanding Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) from February 2013 to February 2015.

Speaking exclusively to defenceWeb after the Parade, Dlamini said that he was very proud of being appointed the Commander of Naval Base Simon’s Town as he had spent much of his career at the Naval Base.

“I’m also very proud to have Rear Admiral (JG) “Koos” Louw here as well because he was our Officer Commanding during our basic training and I had the privilege of serving under him as XO (Executive Officer), which was his choice,” Dlamini said.

“So I really feel honoured and I'll give my best to take the Base to another level,” Dlamini continued.

Referring to his time at the Maritime Reaction Squadron, Dlamini noted that, although he enjoyed his time with the MRS, it was not easy being a logistical officer moving into the combat arena.

“With the experiences I brought from Umkhonto we Sizwe, I didn’t feel any threats, I just did a mind shift,” Dlamini explained. “With the support of my family and the other senior officers, I made it through.”

Following the handover of the ceremonial telescope which signifies the official handing and taking over of Naval Base Simon’s Town, Mkhonto was seated on a ceremonial gun carriage, pulled by his senior officers. This is part of naval tradition where the outgoing Officer Commanding is pulled to the unit’s gates by his senior officers.

Mkhonto had served as Flag Officer Commanding Naval Base Simon’s Town since July 2012 and is believed to have been appointed as Director Fleet Logistics.


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