Archive: Women making rapid progress in Navy


Women are making rapid progress in the SA Navy, Vice-Admiral Refiloe Mudimu said on Monday.

DURBAN Nov 21 Sapa
   Women are making rapid progress in the SA Navy, Vice-Admiral
Refiloe Mudimu said on Monday.
   The navy's two female submariners were on course in Germany and
graduated from a general submarine knowledge course last week.
   "At the closing parade of this course, the Officer Commanding of 
the German submarine training centre paid tribute to the SA Navy
candidates and stated that they... had set an example to German
candidates in the future," said Mudimu.
   "The two young ladies, PO (Petty Officer) Doreen Oosthuizen and
LS (Leading Seaman) Rosemary Rapetswa also achieved excellent
   The Navy's diving course now musters two female divers, and
another woman is undergoing "enabling training" to pass the
gruelling course.
   The three women divers were in Durban harbour on Monday with 60
other divers -- including four reservists -- in a training exercise 
involving the recovery of a vehicle, arms and ammunition, and
bodies from underwater.
   "Plans have been implemented to fully empower women to fill
posts at all levels of the decision making structure both in combat 
and in support roles, on shore and at sea," said Mudimu.
   An achievement in this area included the appointment of South
Africa's first African woman rear admiral, Rear Admiral (junior
grade) Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala.
   Another was the appointment of the first woman to command an SA
navy ship, Sub-Lieutenant Thalia Starling, officer commanding of
SAS Tekwane based in Durban.
   The first woman to became a coxswain of a commissioned ship was
Warrant Officer Wendy Lancaster when she was appointed coxswain of
SAS Protea.
   Lieutenant-Commander Maria Clulee and Many Erasmus were the
first women to be appointed as first lieutenants (second in
commands) of a strike craft and a mine hunter respectively.
   "In addition to this 35 percent of the 86 members undergoing
training at the Naval College in Gordon's Bay are women. This is a
total of 30 women, comprising 22 African, two white and six
coloured women," said Mudimu.
   "This month four more black women were promoted to the rank of
captain, in the spirit of women empowerment. I give the assurance
that everything will be done to ensure these women do not encounter 
obstacles in the execution of their duties."
Source : Sapa /le/dag/rjt
Date : 21 Nov 2005 14:29