Fabian Zimpande Msimang
Born September 1, 1960
Johannesburg, South Africa
Allegiance South Africa
Service/branch South African Air Force
Rank Lieutenant General
Chief of the South African Air Force
Chief Director Air Policy and Plans
Director Helicopter Systems
OC Air Force Base Bloemspruit
OC Helicopter Flying School
Relations Afrika Msimang (Wife)
Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande "Zakes" Msimang (born 1 September 1960, Johannesburg) is a South African military commander and the Chief of the South African Air Force.
He left South Africa with his family at the age of 6 months and went into exile. He completed his secondary schooling in India. In 1983 he was sent to Tanzania to assist with the opening of the ANC Development Centre.
1 Air Force career
2 Aircraft flown
3 Awards and Decorations
4 Proficiency Awards
Air Force career
He received his flying training at Frunze 1 Central Officers Training Center - Kirghizstan, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1986 to 1991. He graduated from the institution with a diploma in Command & Tactics of Military Aviation.
He was a member of the Umkhonto WeSizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress and saw combat in Angola in 1986. In 1994, he completed the Air Force Junior Staff Course in Zimbabwe before integrating into the South African National Defence Force.
He was appointed assistant project officer on Project Flange (the acquisition programme of the Agusta A109) in Italy where he also completed the Senior Staff Course at the Italian Air Force War School. On his return from Italy, Msimang was then appointed Officer Commanding of the Helicopter Flying School at Air Force Base Bloemspruit.
In 2005, he was appointed Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit and promoted to the rank of Colonel. In 2006, he completed the Executive National Security Programme at the South African National Defence College. In June 2007, after a two and a half year tour as Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit, he was appointed Director Helicopter Systems and promoted to the rank of Brigadier General at the Air Command.
In November 2010, he was appointed Chief Director Air Policy and Plans and promoted to the rank of Major General responsible for Air Force strategy, policies, capabilities and resource allocation.
Msimang became the Chief of the Air Force on 1 October 2012.
Awards and Decorations
The following have been awarded to Gen Msimang::Image
Ribbon - Operational Medal for Southern Africa.png Operational Medal for Southern Africa
Ribbon - South Africa Service Medal.png South Africa Service Medal
Ribbon - Tshumelo Ikatelaho.gif Tshumelo Ikatelaho (General Service Medal)
Ribbon - Unitas Medal.gif Unitas Medal
Ribbon - Medalje vir Troue Diens.gif Medalje vir Troue Diens (Medal for Loyal Service with 20 Year Clasp)
Ribbon - Good Service Medal, Bronze.gif Good Service Medal, Bronze (10 Years)
Santos-Dumont Medal of Merit Ribbon.png Medal of Merit Santos Dumont (Brazil)
Commander Order of Military Merit (Brazil)
SANDF Qualification Pilots Wings 0-500 hrs badge embossed.png Pilots Wings (0-500 hrs) badge