History was made this morning when Commander Sifiso Mkhwanazi became the first black African to command Naval Station Durban when he took the baton from Commander David Hugh Jones at a change-of-command parade at Salisbury Island.
The Navy, in a statement, says the appointment reflects its ongoing commitment to transformation and representivity at all levels.
Mkhwanazi was born in KwaMakhutha, Durban on 9 April 1974. He joined uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1991 and successfully completed various courses within the organization. He integrated into the SA Navy as a seaman.
Career highlights include a tour of duty as executive officer (2nd-in-command) of the Combat Support Ship SAS Drakensberg. During his tour aboard the SA-built ship, she escorted home the submarine SAS Manthatisi from Kiel, Germany, to SA. The trip included a diversion to Belgium to uplift a rotor for the Koeberg nuclear power station.
Shore postings have included a tour a Staff Officer Maritime Operations at the Joint Tactical HQ KwaZulu-Natal and the Senior Officer Force Provisioning at the Directorate of Maritime Warfare , Navy Office Pretoria.
Mkhwanazi is married to Melanie and has a son aged 13 years and a daughter of four.