SAAF Museum OC inspects facilities


Recently appointed SA Air Force (SAAF) Museum Officer Commanding, Lieutenant Colonel Aobakwe Gaelejwe, has ventured across South Africa to inspect the state of Museum facilities first-hand.

In his maiden engagement with the SA Air Force Museum stakeholders (Friends of SA Air Force Museum) as a relatively newly appointed Officer Commanding, Gaelejwe heeded a call from various Museum Curators to embark on a roadshow and inspect facilities, reported Major Romeo Mabote, SA Air Force Museum Public Relations Officer.

The SAAF Museum has its headquarters at Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing (formerly Air Force Base Swartkop) in Centurion, with satellite branches at Air Force Station Port Elizabeth and Air Force Base Ysterplaat in Cape Town.

Asked about the museum satellite in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), Gaelejwe expressed concern on the ‘dilapidated’ facility. “The resuscitation of this facility will cost us an exorbitant amount of money. The strong winds endured by the Port Elizabeth Museum created these structural defects,” he said. The Port Elizabeth facility is apparently out of bounds to visitors during strong winds.

Gaelejwe takes over form Acting Museum Officer Commanding Major Ntokozo Ntshangase, who died suddenly at the beginning of this year. “Major Ntshangase paved the way for me to shine. I will bask in his fountain of knowledge and transcendent brilliance. It is a pity that I had a short stint with Biyela. May he continue to find eternal peace in heaven,” Gaelejwe said.

New management is also coming to Ysterplaat, with Lieutenant Colonel James du Toit the new Museum Curator. “I am ready to take over the reins from Lieutenant Colonel Mfeketo who is going on early retirement subsequent to the approval of her Mobility Exit Mechanism (MEM),” he said.

Air Force Bases Makhado and Hoedspruit as well as the Lowveld Aero Club Nelspruit will be afforded opportunities to engage Gaelejwe during the second round of oversight visits, before the new year ushers in. These oversight visits are treated as a precursor to the annual SA Air Force Museum Air Show, scheduled for 2024.