Chief of Staff of the SA Army Infantry Formation passes on


The Chief of Staff of the South African Army Infantry Formation, Brigadier General Bhasie Gqoboka has passed away after a short illness, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has announced.

Gqoboka passed away at 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane on 21 May 2019. His memorial service was due to be held on 28 May at the Thaba Tshwane City Hall at 13:00. A full military funeral service will be held on 1 June at 09:00 at the Akasia Community Hall in Pretoria. General Gqoboka will thereafter be laid to rest at the Zandfontein Cemetery.

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube and the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke extended their condolences to the Gqoboka family, friends and loved ones.

Gqoboka was born on 4 January 1966 in Tarkastad, Eastern Cape. He completed his matric in 1985. He joined the former Ciskei Defence Force on 1 July 1985. After Basic Military Training he was transferred to 1 Ciskei Battalion (1CBN) as a Private. In 1987 he was selected as Rifleman to undergo Officers’ course and on completion appointed a Platoon Commander at 1 CBN. He progressed in the military ranks as a Motorised Infantry officer.

In 1994, he underwent the Master Instruction Course for Integration at Infantry School. He served in the Infantry Corps during the period in Ciskei Defence Force. He integrated in 1995 as a Major into the South African National Defence Force, specifically the South African Army. In his military career he served as a Commander, Training Officer and Staff Officer. He served in several infantry units such as 21 SAI Bn and 6 SAI Bn to mention but a few. In 1999 he was transferred from 6 SAI Bn to the South African Army Combat Training Centre as a Training Officer at the Junior Command and Staff Duties Branch – Formal Training Wing. In 2002 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and was transferred to Defence Headquarters at the Office of Strategy and Planning.

He was deployed in External Operations. In 2005 he was appointed as the Contingent Commander of Operation Fibre in Burundi. On completion of his deployment, he was appointed as the Military Advisor at the South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. He was tasked to open the Military Office, to establish sound working relations and to ensure that the deployed soldiers are adequately supported in particular by the United Nations.

After successfully completing his assigned duties, he was transferred to the Joint Operations Division as a Senior Staff Officer Peace Support Operations United Nations. He served in this post until his appointment and promotion to Brigadier General as the Commandant of Combat Training Centre from 2013.

Gqoboka was transferred to the South African Army Infantry Formation in March 2015 and appointed as the Chief of Staff. He served at the South African Army Infantry Formation until his untimely passing on 21 May.