The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is saddened to announce the passing of Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Khaya Makina on Thursday, 25 March 2021 whilst on official duty attending the Army Command Council work session in Rhermardo, Mookgophong in the Limpopo Province. The late Brig Gen Makina was the current incumbent General Officer Commanding (GOC) SA Army Artillery Formation.
Brig Gen Makina ascended to the position of GOC on 1 Jan 2016 succeeding then Brig Gen Deon Holtzhausen who was appointed Chief Director Army Force Structure.
He was born on 6 Jun 1964 at New Brighton, Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and is survived by his wife Nombeko Irene Makina and his son Sethu Makina.
Brig Gen Makina matriculated from Ikhwezi Lomso Combined High School in Zwide, Port Elizabeth in 1982 where he cut his teeth in youth politics as a member of the Congress for South African Students (COSAS) and the United Democratic Front (UDF). His political activism saw him join the armed wing of the African National Congress, Umkhonto we Sizwe. He went into exile leaving South Africa by crossing the border into the Kingdom of Lesotho on 9 May 1984.
The late Brig Gen Makina completed his basic military training in the Republic of Angola where he specialised in Artillery and Ground Engineering. He underwent various formative and advanced military training programmes and took a wide range of responsibilities within his field of expertise.
He was a Combat Action Platoon Commander at the Caculama Camp in Malange, Malanje Province in Angola as well as an Engineering Platoon Commander from 1985. In 1987, the late Brig Gen Makina attended a Russian Ground Tactical Artillery Commanders course at the Simferopol Military Combined College in the Crimean Oblast, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and he completed the programme in 1991.
He was deployed to the People's Republic of Tanzania in 1992 and posted as the Training Officer at the uMkhonto we Sizwe's Iringa Camp from 1992 unti11993. Brig Gen Makina completed the Senior Artillery Commanders Course at the Indian Army School of Artillery at Deolali, in the Nassik district at the rank of Major. He was the Chief of Staff at the Kidete Camp in Tanzania from 1993 until the beginning of 1994.
He returned to South Africa from exile in Jan 1994 and was part of the National Peacekeeping Force serving as a Staff Officer (S02) Operations as well as Company Commander in the Koeberg Battalion in the Western Cape.
He integrated into the SANDF at the rank of a major on 27 Apr 1994 in De Brug, Bloemfontein and went on to complete the Bridging Course at Air Defence Artillery School / 10 Anti-Aircrafi Regiment, Diskobolos situated in Kimberley from 1994 until 1995.
In 1995, the late Brig Gen Makina was transferred to School of Artillery in Potchefstroom as the Regimental Support Battery Commander. He rose through the ranks undergoing all relevant courses and assumed various responsibilities until he was appointed Officer Commanding (OC) School of Artillery from 1 February 2002. He was promoted to the substantive rank of Colonel on 1 Jul 2002.
The late Brig Gen Makina was elevated to the higher echelons of SA Army Artillery and served at various posts as a Senior Staff Officer until his appointment as Chief of Staff at the SA Army Artillery Formation Headquarters on 1 Jan 2014, and thereafter as the GOC on January 2016.
He was a decorated Gunner who was awarded the Unitas Medal, Medalje vir Troue Diens with 20 years Bar and Good Service Medal in Bronze amongst others.
Details of his funeral arrangements will be provided in due course.
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Thabang Makwetla, members of the Military Command Council and all Gunners express their sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the fallen Gunner and General Officer.