Parliament welcomes woman Defence Secretary appointment


The appointment of the new Secretary for Defence, Gladys Sonto Kudjoe, signifies the continued empowerment of women in the defence sector, says Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.

The committee welcomed the appointment of Kudjoe in a statement on Tuesday.

“As the country commemorates Women’s Month, we welcome the appointment of Kudjoe in this highly crucial position and we believe that her experience, strength and vast knowledge of the defence industry will contribute to bringing the much-needed stability to the department,” said committee cqhairperson Cyril Xaba.

Kudjoe’s appointment was announced last month ahead of her scheduled first day in office on 1 August 2020.

Kudjoe served as South Africa’s ambassador to Sweden between 2002 and 2006, and Egypt from 2006 to 2010.

She also held several senior positions in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Kudjoe was the first female Director-General of the State Security Agency (SSA) appointed in 2013. She was with the then South African Secret Service (SASS) for about 13 years before.

“We realise the enormous task ahead and the myriad of challenges facing the department and thus we wish her well in her new role,” Xaba said.

Xaba has also, on behalf of the committee, expressed good wishes to the outgoing Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, who first joined the South African National Defence Force as a medical doctor in the Military Health Services.

Dr Gulube was a key role-player in the drafting of the 2015 Defence Review.

“Dr Gulube’s contribution to the local defence industry strategy and his focus on the Defence Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Sector Code are some of the key attributes which he will be remembered for.”

“On behalf of the committee, I wish to thank Dr Gulube for his service to the country and wish him well in his much deserved retirement,” Xaba said