The new man in the cockpit of corporate services for the SA Air Force (SAAF) plans to “rekindle relations and create a win-win environment with the media community to ensure South Africans understand the importance of the air force”.
This is part of what Brigadier General Mongezi Michael Kweta, recently appointed SAAF Director: Corporate Staff Services (DCSS) sees his post entailing, according to the SAAF’s Major Ntokozo Ntshangase. Kweta replaces Brigadier General Hilton Smith who is now Director: Military Aviation Regulation and Policy.
Kweta, according to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), is responsible for all communication efforts in and outside the SAAF. “He is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring proper and effective communication of the SAAF strategy, capability and challenges. He is also tasked with improving and maintaining conducive bilateral relations with other air forces, particularly in the SADC region.”
“My focus is to ensure the directorate communicates more and effectively,” a published interview has him saying.
He stresses the need to handle the media well. For him, the military and the media are not adversaries; instead, they are allies with the same agenda but different methods and means. He expects the media to appreciate that due to the nature of military business “other things will not be made available to the public”.
His air force career started in human resources at AFB Bloemspruit as a major before he was transferred to the Directorate: Management and Renewal Services being promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2004 and colonel as director in 2007. Kweta served in New York as defence attaché to the UN in 2013 earning his first star two years later. After a four-year tour at world body headquarters he was named Director: Human Resource Services (DHRS).
Kweta holds a number of qualifications, including a Bachelor of Social Science and Humanities in Industrial Psychology and BA Honours Degree in Industrial Psychology from the Universities of Cape Town and South Africa, respectively. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Purchasing and Materials Management (University of Cape Town) and Masters Programme in Project Management (George Washington University in the United States of America).