SA Army Headquarters 67 Minutes of Generosity for Deaf School, The Dominican School for Deaf in Hammanskraal, Pretoria, 28 July 2017

Article by Themba Katsambe, Intern, SA Army Corporate Communication
Photographs by Private Keneilwe Nkwane, SA Army Corporate Communication

On 28 July 2017, the SA Army Headquarters members again took time out from the tight schedule to spend their 67 minutes of generosity in honour of South Africa’s liberal and humanitarian icon for the seventh consecutive year at The Dominican School for Deaf Children in Hammanskraal, Pretoria.

The late president Nelson Mandela dedicated his time to fight against the injustices of oppression for 67 years. The current generation is continuing with the struggle for a better South Africa, hence the need for selfless minutes to be spent helping others in need aroused.

The Program Director Colonel Petrus Motlhabane, and Colonel Zyrona Balie were accompanied by SA Army Headquarters members on behalf of Lieutenant General L. Yam. In partnership with Assupol, the headquarters members donated sanitary pads, clothes, toys, shoes, canned foods and pasta to the school.

The SA Army headquarters members gave the school’s general workers a Friday rest as the members had their shovels, rakes and brooms ready. The members swept and picked up litter, pruned trees and trimmed the grass weeds around the park. They also cleaned the canteen, the swimming pool and other recreational facilities around the yard.

The event commenced with a sermon from Galatians 6 verse 9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”,  by Warrant Officer Class 1 Simon Molahlehi  Rahlao” which was followed by an opening prayer.

In her welcoming address, the Dominican School for Deaf Children Principal Mrs P.S Tsoai was pleased with the presence of the army members. “Being the only black deaf school in the district , with 363 children from Grade R to Junior High School; we are faced with the challenge of lack of resources” said the principal in gratitude for the contribution.

Colonel Zyron Balie delivered a brief speech as she handed over the SA Army Headquarters collection to the headmaster. “To the principal - this is just a token of appreciation to help you out, it’s not much but that’s the best we could do, we would love to hand you this monetary value”.

Following the handing over of donations, Mrs P.S Tsoai thanked the SA National Defence Force for “all these wonderful things. We are very much grateful; never underestimate the little you give, blessed be the hand that gives” she concluded.    

The Program Director Colonel Petrus Motlhabane gave his vote of thanks and in closing – “I also would love to thank all those who donated, who participated, who try and help us every year at this school”. We want to convey our deepest thanks to General Stephen Marumo and also to the Chief of the Army, for permitting us to come and work our 67 minutes here”.

The former president Nelson Mandela’s favourite quote from Invictus, “I am the master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul” - reminds all South Africans and the rest of the world that we should strive to be the change that we want to see in the world.


SA Army Headquarters Corporate Services members, The Dominican School for Deaf Children Academic staff and pupils at the school’s hall singing a hymn before the opening prayer


The Dominican School for Deaf Children Principal giving a vote of thanks to the South African National Defense Force and Assupol




South African Army soldiers cutting and trimming the braches around the The Dominican School for Deaf Children’s yard


Colonel Zyron Balie handing over the SA Army Corporate Services collection to the headmistress Mrs P.S. Tsoai




South African Army soldier sweeping swiftly for Mandela at The Dominican School for Deaf children!  


South African soldiers observant as they are about to trim the thorny bush




SA Army soldier watching and balancing his steps up the tree as he tries to chop off the braches dangling in the passageway


Colonel Zyrona Balie and Principal P.S. Tsoai pause for a shot as the principal receives the donation from SA Army Headquarters




The beautiful beads, cushions and artwork made by the pupils and being sold to the soldiers as part of fundraising


SA Army Headquarters soldiers sweeping the Dominican School for Deaf parking area




Soldiers maintaining the garden for The Dominican School for Deaf


Excited learners at Dominican School showing love to the Army personnel that were present



The soldiers were the caretakers of the premises for the 67 minutes


SA Army soldier doing his bit for the deaf children in memory of Nelson Mandela