Thursday, 26 June 2014


         BLACK     SOCIAL   HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                           Joint Operations finally recognize General's contribution

Major General Dlambulo Tshiki who received 30 year service and Unitas medals.
Major General Dlambulo Tshiki who received 30 year service and Unitas medals.(SABC)
The Joint Operations Division of the SANDF has paid tribute to more than 30 of its soldiers for not only operational duties but also long service, collectively adding up to 110 years.
Speaking at a medals parade held at the Special Forces Brigade headquarters outside Pretoria, Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi, made special mention of Major General Dlambulo Tshiki who received not only the Unitas Medal, issued to commemorate the unification of defence forces and armed forces in April 1994, but also the 30 years service medal. 
He encouraged the serving soldiers to pick up the baton from General Tshiki and to raise the bar when it came to standards and performance.  With reference to 110 years of collective long-service experience and exposure, Mgwebi said there was no reason for soldiers to under-perform.
Lt-Gen Mgwebi noted that this honour for General Tshiki was 18 years overdue.  Mgwebi pointed out that recognition must be given timeously and he urged that all outstanding medals citations be processed speedily.
General Tshiki began his military career with the Transkei Defence Force and since 2003 has been the Chief of Staff Joint Operations Division.
General Tshiki, who retires at the end of August, said that while the Unitas medal was just a symbol, what was important was the effort and the contribution made to the military.
He said he had issued the same medal to many soldiers in the past while not having been awarded it himself. 
General Tshiki began his military career with the Transkei Defence Force and since 2003 has been the Chief of Staff Joint  Operations Division. During that time he on several occasions acted as Chief of Joint Operations.
South Africa's contribution to international peacekeeping operations was acknowledged with the awarding of an African Union Medal for operations in the Comoros and a United Nations medal for service in Nepal.
SA has assisted the African Union with securing peace and stability in the Comoros islands five times between 2001 and 2007. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, South Africa was requested to deploy an observer to the United Nations Political Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) during April 2007. The operation was terminated at the end of July 2009.
General Mgwebi also handed over twenty Tshumelo Ikatelaho Medals to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Medical Health Services in recognition of their contributions to military operations. This is a General Service Medal and is awarded for service in military operations for which individual campaign medals are not issued. 
In terms of service medals two were presented for 30 years' service, one for 20 years, two for ten years and a certificate for ten years' service was presented to a civilian member. 
Joint Operations currently deploys soldiers in both internal and external operations. These include Operation Corona to safeguard the country's borders, the anti-piracy patrols in the Mozambique Channel (Operation Copper) and Operational Mistral in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   
The Joint Operations Division, which was established only 15 years ago in August 1997, is solely responsible for deploying forces of all four services for operations and force preparation exercises. After the completion of the mission, the forces return to their service. The exception is the Special Forces Brigade, which is permanently at Joint Operations' disposal.