Gunner general dies


Brigadier General Khaya Makina, General Officer Commanding (GOC) the SA Army Artillery Formation, died “with his boots on” while attending an Army Command Council work session in Mookgophong, Limpopo, last week.

He was the gunners’ number one since January 2016 and was an artillerist through and through completing a bridging course post integration at Air Defence Artillery School/ 10 Anti-Aircraft Regiment in Kimberley.

Prior to integration, Makina underwent basic training in Angola specialising in artillery and ground engineering. In addition to serving as combat action platoon and engineering platoon commander, Makina attended and completed a Russian ground tactical artillery commander’s course in the Crimean Oblast, Ukraine. Among his first military taskings in democratic South Africa was Staff Officer (operations) and Company Commander of the National Peacekeeping Force in the Koeberg Battalion.

In 1995 he transferred to the School of Artillery in Potchefstroom, rising through the ranks to become the school’s officer commanding in February 2002. As a colonel he served in various posts as a senior staff officer (SSO) until he was named Artillery Formation headquarters Chief of Staff in January 2014 and subsequently GOC in 2016.

Makina was a decorated gunner and was awarded the Unitas medal, Medalje vir Troue Diens with the 20 year bar and the Good Service Medal (bronze) among others.

Sixty-four year-old Makina was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha) and is survived by his wife Nombeka Irene and son, Sethu.