Hard on the heels of a new officer commanding for SAS Saldanha, the SA Navy’s other major training facility in the form of its naval college also welcomes a new boss.
Captain Zimasa Mabela will take command of the SA Naval College in Gordon’s Bay.
Mabela will be the four-ringer at the helm of the SA Navy (SAN) training facility specialising in officer training for the maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
Mabela has been in naval uniform for 22 years since completing her naval ratings part 1 training at Saldanha. This was followed by stints as a divisional and combat officer before becoming a crew member aboard SAS Isandlwana (F146) as assistant operations officer. Further qualifications saw her certified as officer of the day, bridge watchkeeper, ocean navigation and assistant weapons officer.
In 2008, Mabela was appointed as instructor officer at the training facility she now returns to as officer commanding. She completed the junior staff and warfare course (JSWC) in 2009 and then posted to SAS Makhanda (P1569) as acting operations officer attending combat officer qualifying part 2 in 2010.
She was a first lieutenant at Naval College in 2011 followed by the same rank on SAS Umzimkulu (M1142) and started command qualification training completed in 2015 when she was named Officer Commanding SAS Umhloti (M1212) with the rank of commander. During her term in command of the River Class minehunter she took the ship through the Knysna Heads for the 2016 oyster festival and was part of various fleet exercises including Armed Forces Day as well as a transit to Durban for bridge watch keepers’ training.
Mabela completed the senior military management programme in 2016 going on to complete the joint senior command and staff programme at SA War College in 2017, where she was honoured as the best SAN academic.