SANDF unity on show in new addition to Military Academy campus

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A new addition to the SA Military Academy campus is a permanent reminder of the amalgamation of various armed forces into the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

It shows in a star type formation the flags of the six components that combined in the SANDF to found a fledgling national defence force on 27 April 1994, a date that will be marked nationally to commemorate 30 years of democracy later this month (April). The symbolic summit carries the SANDF flag with a wall describing the components and their relevance.

The monument is the brainchild of Academy Commandant, Brigadier General Cassie de Castro and was unveiled earlier this month.

Academy Communication Officer Major Engela Meintjes has it the monument is a visual representation of South Africa’s collective military heritage. “Each meticulously crafted and proudly displayed flag represents a distinct chapter in the nation’s military history.”

She reports the Commandant saying “the exhibit tells the story of the successful integration of the various armed forces in the South African landscape pre-1994 into a new SANDF”. He told guests and Academy personnel at the unveiling “it should be an exhibit where all members, current and veterans alike, should be able to see, touch and feel the contribution they made to successful integration no matter their background or association”.

“The exhibit narrates and displays our diverse past and history, as well as our unified present and future, in other words – our destination as the SANDF part of a proud South African nation.”

Putting the monument at the Military Academy in Saldanha is significant as it will serve as a reminder to students of the importance of unity and cohesion that underpin their studies and training at the University of Stellenbosch, Faculty of Military Science facility.