Brigadier General Xolani Mankayi has been appointed General Officer Commanding 43 SA Brigade.
He takes over from Major General Lawrence Smith who is now SA Army Deputy Chief.
Mankayi was born in East London and did basic military training in Angola as well as a number of courses in the then USSR, Yugoslavia, the then German Democratic Republic and Bulgaria. He served in a number of positions in MK including as personal staff officer to Joe Modise, the first Minister of Defence in a democratic South Africa, and Chris Hani. This was when they were MK commanders and chiefs of staff.
Highlights of his career in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) include being second in command and then Officer Commanding 12 SA Infantry Battalion. This was followed by a stint as OC of Infantry School before he became the first South African officer to be appointed as a contingent commander. This was the Africa Mission in Burundi (AMIB).
Mankayi has completed both the Senior Command and Staff Course (2000) and the Executive National Security Programme (2005). He attended a senior officer’s peace support operational planner learning programme in Kenya in 2002 as the sole SANDF representative.
Prior to taking over command of 43 SA Brigade headquarters he was Infantry Formation Chief of Staff.