The South African soldier who was force commander of the UN’s single largest peace support mission retired from active service earlier this year has resurfaced in a top position at the Department of Military Veterans (DMV).
Derrick Mgwebi retired from the SANDF soon after completion of an extended tour of duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with MONUSCO.
Without any fanfare or official announcement his photograph this week appeared on the DMV website under the title “Office of the Director General”. Numerous phone calls to DMV media liaison personnel went unanswered until today when it was confirmed that Mgwebi was now “acting director general of the DMV”.
“He took up office on June 5,” a spokesman said adding previous director general, Max Ozinsky (who was also acting in the position), assisted his replacement in a handover period that finished on June 15.
Mgwebi is widely respected in South African and continental military circles and spent more than 35 years in uniform.
Prior to his moving to the UN mission in DRC, he was Chief: Joint Operations for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). Other positions he held include Director: SANDF Special Forces as well as being Director of Training and Operations. He was also Military Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (1995-1997) and served at Mpumalanga Command (1997-2002), after which he was appointed Director of the SA Army Infantry Formation. From 2004 to 2006, he served as Force Commander of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB). From 2007 to 2011 Mgwebi was SANDF Human Resources Chief.