Chief of the SA Army
Warrant Officer of the SA Army

CHIEF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY: LIEUTENANT GENERAL L. YAM, MMS, CLS, RCDS, ENSP

 

Chief of the SA Army, Lieutenant General Lindile 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 experience.

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 Colonel.


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  Elizabeth 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.