Lieutenant General Duma Mdutyana, who had been the SANDF’s Joint Operations Chief since February, has died after a short illness.
In a terse statement Department of Defence head of Communications, Siphiwe Dlamini, said the general “fell ill while on duty abroad and was hospitalised on his return to South Africa”.
Mdutyana was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when he came down ill.
He was born in December 19650 in what was Transkei and matriculated at St John’s college in Umtata. He completed the basic military training course in Angola in 1981 and went to Russia to complete instructors, battalion and brigade commanders’ courses. In 1993 he completed the Senior Command and Staff course at the Defence Services Staff College in India and also earned a Masters in Defence Studies at Madras University.
In South Africa he finished both the junior and senior Command and Control Staff Duties courses between 1996 and 2007 as well as the SA Defence College Joint Command and Staff Duties course.
He served as SSO Operations at Eastern Province Command in 1995 and was Commanding Officer Group 6 from 1996 to 1998. He was promoted to Brigadier General and was appointed as the Director Area Defence at the SA Army Infantry Formation from April 1998 to December 2001, after which he was General Officer Commanding 43 SA Brigade from January 2002.
External Operations, in which he served, were as General Officer Commanding of the South African contingent in Burundi in 2003 and as Deputy Division Commander of the Eastern Division in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the United Nations Mission from February 2005 to September 2007. He was promoted to the rank of Major General in February 2008 and posted as the Chief Advisor to the DRC, Chief of Defence Staff, until March 2009. From April 2009 until November 2010, he served as the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations mission, UNAMID, in Sudan.
From December 2010 Mdutyana was appointed as General Officer Commanding Joint Operational Headquarters until December the following year when he was appointed as Chief Director Operations at Joint Operations Division.
He took over command as Chief: Joint Operations from Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi at the end of January this year.