Don’t do drugs and don’t fraternise was the over-arching message given by outgoing SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief, General Solly Shoke, to SA Air Force (SAAF) personnel at the force’s fighter town – AFB Makhado.
Shoke will vacate the CSANDF office suite in the Armscor Building at month-end making way for new Chief, soon to be General Rudzani Maphwanya. Shoke is currently on a six province farewell tour.
He told personnel at the Limpopo air force base, one of two in the province, they “should desist from indulgence in drugs and fraternisation in the organisation to allow the national defence force to remain a shining example of discipline and integrity in South Africa”.
He, according to a SANDF communication officer, “decried the lack of discipline among soldiers in general and cautioned senior officers to stop fraternising with sub-ordinates by enticing them with money and gifts”.
Other concerns in the SANDF raised by the long-serving four-star general were favouritism, nepotism and tribalism.
On drugs Shoke said: “I cannot issue weapons of war to soldiers who indulge in ‘nyaope’. I cannot entrust on a person who is high on drugs the responsibility of carrying a gun”.
The farewell message was not all negative with praise for what national defence force personnel from all four services did while deployed on Operation Notlela, the SANDF component of the national COVID-19 response, and continued efforts and successes achieved on the border protection tasking Operation Corona.
Shoke was accompanied by incoming SAAF Chief, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo. They also called on 5 Special Forces Regiment in Phalaborwa.