Two-star is new General of the Gunners

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The General of the Gunners tradition continues in the landward arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) with Major General Willbrod Mazibuko taking over the prestigious post from retired Lieutenant General Jabulani Mbuli.

The handover, including a farewell/welcome salvo by SA Army Reserve Force unit the Nelson Mandela Artillery Regiment, formerly the Cape Field Artillery, took place at Fort Ikapa in Cape Town. Incoming General of the Gunners and his predecessor took part in the shoot with a symbol of office handover following.

The General of the Gunners is recognised as an honourable and prestigious appointment made by SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha. According to the SA Army Air Defence Artillery Formation, the post must be filled by a serving gunner of senior rank and having “influence in the SA Army and SANDF at large”.

“Mazibuko meets all these criteria and surpasses them as the Inspector General, Department of Defence,” the Formation explains, adding the appointment as General of the Gunners “goes beyond formality, it’s embedded in gunner genetics”.

Since democracy in 1994, there have been five Generals of the Gunners. They are Major General PO du Preez (July 1993 to May 1995) and a second term as a lieutenant general from June 1995 to June 1998; Major General CH van Zyl (June 1998 to April 2002), Major General JS Laubscher (April 2002 to August 2005). Major General Roy Andersen (December 2005 to May 2015) and Mbuli (February 2017 to June 2024).