Nyanda appointed new SANDF chief
The cabinet announced yesterday that Gen Nyanda
would take up his
post on June 1, thereby becoming the first black South African to attain the rank of full general.
appointment evoked mixed reaction from opposition parties.
The Democratic Party said it would support him, while the Freedom Front advised Gen Nyanda
to adopt a moderate approach and not to judge SANDF members on a racial basis.
The National Party said it did not dispute Gen Nyanda's
appointment, but questioned its timing.Gen Nyanda
told reporters here he
felt humbled by government's confidence and trust in him.
"I am conscious of the heavy responsibility it places on my shoulders.I pledge to return the trust shown in me by serving the government and the people of South Africa with unflinching loyalty, dedication, and to the very best of my ability."Gen Nyanda
realised this could only be achieved with the support of all serving SANDF members.He
would spell out his
vision of the future of the SANDF after Gen Meiring's departure at the end of next month.Gen Nyanda
, whose brother, Zwelakhe, was killed by security forces of the former government in a 1983 cross-border raid into Swaziland, indicated that personal feelings would not influence his
approach to his
"Everything that has happened in the past, of course, has meaning for me, but this appointment has to do with a national responsibility which I want to assume," he
said.FF spokesman Pieter Groenewald said Gen Nyanda was being thrown into the deep end.
...DP spokesman James Selfe said Gen Nyanda faced a huge task to transform the military without sacrificing efficiency.
...The ANC Youth League
congratulated Gen Nyanda
appointment and applauded the cabinet for "taking such a bold decision which will go down in the history of the army as one such decision which our people will never live to regret nor forget".Gen Nyanda, 47, was born in Soweto and matriculated at Orlando High School in 1969.He enrolled for a BSc degree at the University of Zululand, where he was expelled in his second year because of political activities.Gen Nyanda worked as a sports writer for the former World newspaper from 1973 to 1976.He fled the country in June 1976 and joined uMkhonto weSizwe, the military wing of the ANC.After undergoing military training in the former East Germany, he served in various capacities in the underground of the ANC. -- Sapa
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