Fact file: Lieutenant General Solly Zacharia Shoke

Lieutenant General Solly Zacharia Shoke is Chief of the SA Army. He was born on 15 August 1956 in Alexandra, Johannesburg. He completed his school career at Orlando High School.

Shoke has since obtained a Diploma in Human Resources Management from Damelin, a Certificate in Defence Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Certificate in Personnel Management from IPM.

He has held several command positions, starting as a unit commissar and later a commander in the Transvaal Urban Machinery of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). During “Operation Vula” in the 1990s he became part of the national underground leadership of MK. Shoke was MK National Coordinator for the Peace Process during the negotiations and was also part of the work groups that facilitated the creation of the SANDF. 
Shoke received general training in Angola and did a brigade commander’s course in the then Soviet Union. He completed a Zimbabwean intermediate staff course during 1993/4. In 1995/6 he passed the Senior Command and Staff Course at the SA Army College and graduated from the Joint Staff Course in 1998.
In April 1994 he was appointed as the Director Personnel Planning of the SA Army. In January 1997 he was appointed as the Director Integration. He was the Director Personnel Acquisition from January 1999 to October 2000 when he was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed Chief Director SANDF Human Resources Support. In June 2004 Shoke was promoted Lieutenant General and appointed the Chief of the SA Army.
One of the highlights of his career was when he became the Mission Commander for the SADC Forces in Lesotho in 1998 to 1999.
Major General Shoke is married to Charlotte and has four children. He speaks nine languages and he is fond of golf and soccer.