Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha named South Africa Army Chief
Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha was named on Thursday, 9 April Chief of the South African Army, taking over from Major General Mannetjies de Goede, who was working as the acting Chief following the death of chief designate, Lieutenant General Thabiso Collin Mokhosi, earlier this year.
South African Department of Defence (DoD) said in a statement hat “approval was granted for the appointment and promotion of Major General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha to the substantive rank of Lieutenant General with effect from 8 April 2020 in the vacant post of Chief of the South African Army (SA Army)”.
Prior to being named chief of SA Army, Mbatha was General Officer Commanding Training Command. He also served as GOC of the SA Military Academy (2012-2017) following a year-long stint as Army Gymnasium Officer Commanding between 2011 and 2012.
Mbatha was born in Kimberley on 25 July 1968. His career in the South African army started in 1994 when he was named Provincial Integration Officer (MK) and SO2 Operations as part of Northern Cape Command Ops Room.
At a glance: South African Army strength
Military personnel: 81,300 (est).
Reserve: 15,000 (est)
Armored vehicles: 2,000
Self-propelled artillery: 43
Towered artillery: 72