War College seemingly up and operational in Centurion


Notwithstanding misgivings expressed three months ago, indications are the SA National War College (SANWC) is now based at a former hotel on the eastern side of Centurion.

It’s unclear whether the SANWC has given up its previous premises – also previously a hotel on the northern side of the Pretoria CBD. A SA National Defence Force (SANDF) social media posting attributed to Captain Lehutso Phahlamohlaka has it the Joint Senior Command and Staff Course is currently underway at what was St George’s Hotel. It is now known as the SA National War College, St George and hosts 77 officers from the four services – SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Army, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) and SA Navy (SAN).

Earlier this week the new premises were visited by SA Army Deputy Chief, Major General FM Ramantswana for a hands-on update on the 2022 course.

“The purpose of the visit,” Phahlamohlaka reports, “was to enlighten students on the Joint Senior Command and Staff Course programme regarding employment of the SA Army during joint operations, joint force employment strategy, force design and structure and joint army doctrine development, as well as joint landward defence doctrine. The significance of the presentations is to broaden the horizon of students regarding the SA Army”.

The SANWC move, along with that of the SANDF (SA National Defence Force) Defence College, was roasted by both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Freedom Front Plus (FF), mainly because of the reported lease costs of around R5 million a month.

“At first glance there seems to be multiple irregularities with the lease contract which could be exploited by corrupt individuals looking to further fleece the State,” DA shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais said adding “a close eye” would be kept on the deal.

“The SANDF cannot be allowed to decline further and used as a front for State capture and corruption.”

The FF+ said it was “unacceptable” for the Saint George Hotel to be rented for training and the party will ask the Public Protector to investigate.

This training has always been offered at established premises, the party said, asking why existing facilities cannot be upgraded if they are deemed unsuitable.

“There are numerous military bases in the country with more than enough facilities where training can be given to senior officers. The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans should provide immediate answers on the lease agreement.”