Chief of the SA Army
Warrant Officer of the SA Army

CHIEF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY: LIEUTENANT GENERAL VUSUMUZI RAMAKALA MASONDO, MMM

Chief of the SA Army, Lieutenant General Vusumuzi Ramakala Masondo

Lieutenant General Vusumuzi Ramakala Masondo was born in Umtata in the former Transkei on 21 December 1957. He left South Africa to join the military wing of the African National Congress II (ANC), uMkhonto weSizwe in 1976 whilst he was doing Standard 10 at Adams College in Amanzimtoti.

Lieutenant General Masondo underwent his basic military training in Angola in 1977 and did Air Defence Artillery training in the former Soviet Union in 1978. He served in the ranks of uMkhonto weSizwe in various capacities until his return to South Africa in 1992 after the unbanning of the African National Congress. Whilst in exile, he completed his matric and diploma courses in secretarial and computer studies.

Before integration into the SA National Defence Force in 1994, Lieutenant General Masondo served in the Joint Military Coordinating Council (JMCC) as the co-chairperson of the Inspection Work Logistics Command in 1995. In 1996, he was transferred to 3 Electronic Workshop in Wonderboom where he was appointed as the personnel officer of the unit. After serving as a personnel officer for nearly a year, Lieutenant General Masondo was transferred to the SA Army Signal Formation Headquarters in 1997 and appointed as Staff Officer Class 2 Personnel.

 

On 1 January 1999, Lieutenant General Masondo was appointed as Staff Officer Class 1 Personnel at the SA Army Armour Formation and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was instrumental in setting up the Personnel Section of the SA Armour Formation as this was a newly established formation. He served the SA Armour Formation until 31 May 2002.

Lieutenant General Masondo was appointed as Senior Staff Officer in charge of staffing at the SA Army Headquarters on 1 June 2002 and was promoted to the rank of colonel. On 1 January 2003, he was transferred to the Human Resource Support Centre (Directorate Personnel Maintenance) where he was appointed as Senior Staff Officer in charge of remuneration.

On 1 May 2004, Lieutenant General Masondo was appointed as Director Corporate Communication and promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He served in that post for only one month and on 1 June 2004 was appointed as Personnel Staff Officer to the then Chief of the SA National Defence Force, General S. Nyanda. On 1 March 2006, he was appointed as Acting Director Human Resource Maintenance, a post in which he was confirmed as Director on 1 March 2006. On 1 December 2007, Lieutenant General Masondo was promoted to the rank of major general and appointed as Chief Army Force Preparation.

The highlight of Lieutenant General Masondo's career was his appointment as Director of Exercise GOLFINHO, a SADC peace support operation exercise intended to train the SADC Standby Force capabilities.

Lieutenant General Masondo completed all required military courses, including the Executive National Security Programme. He also pursued his academic studies and holds a Certificate in Defence Management from the University of Witwatersrand, a Certificate in Labour Relations from the University of Pretoria and a C Com degree from UNISA. Lieutenant General Masondo is married to Dinah and the couple has been blessed with two daughters and a son.