The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has announced that Brigadier General Motlhokomedi Kenneth Petso, General Officer Commanding Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof, has passed away.
Petso passed away on Tuesday 4 June. A case of murder has been opened after he was reported missing, according to Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters. His body was found in Garankuwa whilst his vehicle is missing although the tracking device was recovered in Brits.
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in a statement she learnt with shock and dismay the untimely death of Petso. She stated she would like to send her sincerest condolences to the Petso family and relatives, members of Air Force Base Waterkloof, colleagues and the entire air force community.
Petso joined the former Bophuthatswana Defence Force on 13 March 1987 and qualified as a pilot on the Pilatus PC-7 in 1993 and integrated into the South African Air Force (SAAF) in 1994 as a second Lieutenant and posted to 42 Squadron to fly the Cessna 185. He was then promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1995. He was posted to 41 Squadron in 1997 to fly the Cessna 208 (C-208) and Pilatus PC-12. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1998.
He was selected for pilot instructor’s course in 2000 and completed his instructor’s tour in Central Flying School (CFS), then transferred to Air Force Base Langebaanweg in 2003. He was promoted to the rank of Major in 2003 whilst still at CFS.
He was appointed Officer Commanding 41 Squadron and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2007. In 2008, he completed his Senior Staff course in the United States of America at Air War College in Montgomery Air Force Base stationed in Alabama.
Brigadier General Petso spent 2009 at SAAF HQ as acting senior staff officer operations at Directorate Air Transport and Maritime Systems. He was subsequently appointed as Officer Commanding AFB Langebaanweg and promoted to the rank of Colonel in 2010.
He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and appointed as Officer Commanding AFB Waterkloof from 1 July 2015.