CHIEF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY:
LIEUTENANT GENERAL L. YAM,
MMS, CLS, RCDS, ENSP
Lieutenant General Lindile Yam was born in East
London in the Eastern Cape. He joined Umkonto we
Sizwe in 1981 where he received training
the SA Army, Lieutenant General
Lindile Yam, MMS, CLS, RCDS, ENSP
In 1982 he was appointed as a commander and
drill instructor. In 1983 he saw action in the
Eastern Front of Angola where he got wounded and
spent time recuperating in Yugoslavia. During
1987 he completed the urban and rural warfare
training as well as the company commanders'
course in East Germany.
On his return, he served as a company commander,
in the Northern Front before his appointment at
the main MK Training Centre “Richard Barney
Molokoane” in Caculama as an instructor in
tactics (battle handling) and company commander.
3 Companies were later merged together under his
command during this period into a battalion. He
opened a base in Tanzania from where he was sent
to infiltrate South Africa and later became the
Regional Commander for the Border Region.
In 1993/4 Lieutenant General Yam completed his
Junior Command and Staff Course in Ghana and in
1994 he was integrated into the SA National
Defence Force with the rank of a Lieutenant
He was the first member of the
Non-Statutory Forces to become an Officer
Commanding of a statutory standing unit when he
was appointed as the Officer Commanding of 13 SA
Infantry Battalion in November 1994.
In 1997 he was appointed as the Staff Officer 1
Operational in Group 8, East London. In 1998 he
completed the Senior Command and Staff Course
and in 2000 Executive National Security
Programme (ENSP). He also completed a course in
Defence Management at the University of the
Witwatersrand. In 1998 he was appointed as the
Officer Commanding Group 6 in Port
with 22 units under his command.
In November 2001, he was appointed as the
Director Physical Training (D PTSR) where he was
appointed as the Republic of South Africa
representative of the Conference for
International Military Sport (CISM), serving
with representatives of 133 countries.
He was then appointed as the Chief Eastern and
Southern African Liaison Offices as well as an
additional member of the CISM Board of Directors
as part of the International Strategy and
Planning Committee. He was also co-opted as
South Africa's Mega Games Security Committee
member before he was sent to the United Kingdom
Royal College of Defence Studies in 1995 for a
Global Security Strategy Course.
He remained in the United Kingdom to become the
Defence, Army and Naval Advisor for South Africa
and Sweden (non-resident) from 2006 to 2009.
He has a Damelin College Diploma in Personnel
and Training Management as well as an MA Degree
(Kings College) from the University of London.
Lieutenant General Yam returned to South Africa
and was appointed as the Commandant of the
Military Academy in Saldanha. On 1 November
2011, he was appointed as the General Officer
Commanding of the SA Army Infantry Formation and
promoted to the rank of Major General.
On 1 February 2016, he was appointed as the
Chief of the South African Army (C Army) and
promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.