Joint Ops second in command fulsome in praise of soldiers’ commitment


The number two at the Joint Operations Division has reinforced the Department of Defence (DoD) Logistics Division assertion that people are the engine of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), saying “each and every soldier committed to donning our uniform and bravely fighting against injustices, calamities and failures” is proof positive South African soldiers are not losing or sacrificing their professionalism.

Major General Elma de Villiers, Joint Operations Deputy Chief, uses the latest division newsletter to point out challenges recently faced by South Africa were “beyond what could be deemed as reasonable limits”. She listed “an ever-exploding influx of crime, the looming threat of a repeat of the July 2021 unrest”, the COVID-19 pandemic and the KwaZulu-Natal floods as pointers to South Africans coming to depend on the SANDF as “a saving grace in times of crises”.

Elaborating, De Villiers continues: “On short notice our soldiers were tasked to perform duties and functions during disaster relief efforts far outside the scope of a soldier’s training”.

“They had to face harsh realities such as searching for human remains, trying to find answers to desperate cries for help and improvise solutions while maintaining an image of discipline and hope.”

This test, she asserts, was passed with flying colours.

“Our soldiers proved we will be the last bastion against despair and hopelessness and that ours is a calling to protect the sovereignty of our country and its people – bravely and proudly.”

De Villiers goes further, writing forces were employed to fight battles on various fronts. These included “carrying the South African flag proudly in regional missions (operations Mistral and Vikela), on the borders (Operation Corona) and in general protection and support to the people (operations Chariot and Prosper)”.

Looking ahead she is not overly optimistic about matters improving saying “things will probably not get easier in the near future” with the rider that soldiers will continue performing with pride and courage as they “serve, safeguard and ensure the security” of South Africans.