Major General Ntshavheni Peter Maphaha was born on 8 August 1967 in Thohoyandou, Venda, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. After completing his secondary schooling in 1984 at Lwamondo High School in Limpopo, he then enrolled for his tertiary education at the University of Natal (now Nelson Mandela Medical School) where he completed the Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree (MBchB) in 1990, which he completed within the prescribed period.
To advance his military career, Maphaha completed a series of military courses, including; the Officers Formative course in 1995, the Medical Battle Handling (Platoon Commander) course in 1996, the Junior Command and Staff course in 2000, the Senior Management Programme (SMP) in 2005, as well as the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme (JSCSP) in 2006. He further completed the Executive National Security Programme (ENSP) at the SA National Defence Force College in 2010. In addition, Maphaha completed the Introduction to Strategic Leadership: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba in 2019.
Before joining the country’s defence force, Maphaha first served as the Medical Officer at Tshilidzini Hospital in Thohoyandou, Limpopo from 1992 to 1994. He then joined the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) where he held various positions since 1995 to present day. From 1995 to 1997 he served as the Senior Medical Officer at Vuwani Sickbay (a Unit within Area Military Health Unit Limpopo, a position in which he was responsible for treatment of patients. Part of his career’s highlights include an inaugural peace enforcement deployment to the Kingdom of Lesotho in 1997.
Between 1998 and 2002, Maphaha was assigned with the duties of managing health services in Limpopo area for the SAMHS while serving as the Medical Staff Officer in Area Military Health Unit Limpopo. In 2002, he was appointed the Senior Staff Officer (Deputy Director) Communicable Diseases in the office of the Director Medicine at the SA Military Health Service Headquarters. During that year he deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a member of the Air Evacuation Team for the UN Peace Mission in that country. In 2003, he was seconded to the United Nations as the Force Medical Officer of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) tasked with the responsibilities to establish, control and manage medical support for all forces deployed in that peace mission, a position he held until 2005.
In the year 2008, Maphaha was appointed the Officer Commanding at 2 Military Hospital, a position well-known as a Superintendent which he held until 2011. Subsequent to that appointment, he was then appointed as the General Officer Commanding 1 Military Hospital in 2012 and promoted to the rank of a Brigadier General, which he occupied until May 2020. On 01 June 2020, Major General Maphaha was appointed the Chief Director Military Health Force Preparation and substantively promoted to the rank of Major General.
Following the appointments of the new Military Command members as announced by the President of the Republic of South Africa, President Ramaphosa occasioned by the retirement of some General Officers in the SANDF, Major General Maphaha was appointed as the Surgeon General of the SANDF with effect from 1 November 2021.
On the education front, Maphaha obtained a range of qualifications including Diving Medical Examiner from the University of Stellenbosch (2008), the Senior Management Programme from Tshwane University of Technology (2006), as well as a Medical Strategic Leadership course which he did with Fort Sam (USA Army Medical Institution, Houston, Texas, 2010).
Major General Maphaha is married to Noelene Salome Maphaha and blessed with two children.