SANDF Chief in Cuba for South African soldiers’ graduation ceremonies


SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief, General Solly Shoke, was in Cuba recently for three military graduation ceremonies where South African soldiers were among those who not only graduated but did so with merit.

The first was at the José Marti Military Technical Institute in Havana where a total of 10 SANDF members graduated in Air Traffic Control, Technical Aviation, Technical Armaments and Technical Radios courses.

Captain Mahluli Masinga was awarded a gold certificate for best student.

The second graduation attended by South Africa’s top soldier was at the José Maceo Inter-Arms School in Santiago de Cuba where another 10 SANDF officers graduated after completing a three year specialised technical tank training and tank transporter operations course.

Lieutenant Hunadi Tshehlakgolo received a gold certificate for best student on her specific course.

During this graduation ceremony, Shoke was also given the opportunity to promote 10 of his soldiers to lieutenant.

The third and final graduation ceremony was at the General Maximo Gomez Revolutionary Armed Forces Academy where 13 SANDF officers completed the Defence and Security Programme (SDSP) as well as the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme (JSCSP). Both programmes last a year with students tutored in strategic operations. Seven SANDF officers, all colonels and captains (SAN) attended the Defence and Security Programme.

Captain (SAN) Mokgadi Maphoto was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for best student. In the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme, attended by six SANDF officers, Lieutenant Colonel Diamond Mphafudi was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for best South African student.

As part of the official visit Shoke paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Defence of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, Army General Leopoldo Cintra Frais where matters of interest including strengthening military relations between the armed forces of both countries were discussed, the SANDF said.