UPDF delegation in SA for military museum benchmarking


A high level delegation from the 60-year-old Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) is currently in South Africa fact-finding and benchmarking local military museums.

Led by UPDF political commissar Major General Henry Masiko, the Ugandan delegation paid a courtesy call on SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha, before getting down to the nitty gritty of the visit. This, according to Colonel Sammy Mosiane, SSO, SA Army Corporate Communication, is to benchmark the establishment, management and operations of South African military museums.

“Specifically, the delegation seeks to draw lessons from the rich and long South African experience in the history and background of museum development, including transition over the years and the preservation of its vision and mission,” Mosiane wrote.

The reason for the UPDF visit was explained by Brigadier General Alex Oluput. He told CArmy and senior staff officers, including Project Koba-Tlala director, Brigadier General Gerhard Kamffer, it was part of a project to conserve and preserve Uganda’s military antiquity and stimulate nation building. This, in turn, will give impetus to preserve the east African country’s military history and provide “innovative discovery and learning opportunities for scholars” according to Mosiane.

A brief presentation by Kamffer on the landward force headquarters on the eastern side of the Pretoria CBD gave the Ugandan delegation an early insight into how South Africa’s military history is managed.

Army headquarters was previously, Mosiane wrote, the Transvaal State Artillery (Transvaal Staatsartillerie) precinct and served as headquarters for “most major historic conflicts”. It is a key military heritage site and is managed under the National Heritage Resources Act by way of a conservation management plan.