media statement 2008

STATEMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE: THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE ANNOUNCES THE PASSING ON OF THE SECRETARY FOR DEFENCE MR JANUARY BOY MASILELA

Date: Tuesday 26 August 2008
Embargo: None

The Minister of Defence, Mr Mosiuoa Lekota, regrets to announce that the Secretary for Defence, Mr January Boy Masilela has passed on, following a motor vehicle accident on the N4 highway near Bronkhorstspruit, on the morning of Sunday 24 August 2008.

Minister Lekota and a delegation of senior Department of Defence officials and military officers visited the family of Mr Masilela and expressed condolences on behalf of the Department of Defence. The Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Godfrey Ngwenya, has also expressed his condolences to the family.

Mr Masilela joined the Department of Defence in December 1999, and has served his office with loyalty and dedication until his untimely death. As the Head of the Department of Defence, he has played an important role in the signing of various International Agreements.

Mr Masilela was born in Middleburg, Mpumalanga on 01 January 1955, where he grew up and did his secondary school education until he left the country for exile. While in exile he trained in Angola, Soviet Union, the then German Democratic Republic and Cuba. He was a Commissar (Deputy Commander) in the Umkhonto WeSizwe Head Quarters in Angola and Chairman of Regional Political Military Council in Botswana.

On returning from exile he held the following senior positions: 1994-1997, Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Local Government in Mpumalanga; from 1997-1999, and Member of the Executive Council (MEC) Department of Agriculture in Mpumalanga. In December 1999 he was appointed the Secretary for Defence (Director-General) in the Department of Defence.

The memorial service and the funeral arrangements will be announced once confirmed by the family.

Ends

Released by: The Ministry of Defence
Private Bag X 161
Pretoria
0001

Enquiries: Mr. Sam Mkhwanazi
083-628-0858