Siphiwe Nyanda

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Siphiwe Nyanda
Siphiwe Nyanda c. 1996.jpg
Siphiwe Nyanda, c. 1996
Nickname(s) Ghebuza[1]:14
Born (1950-05-22) 22 May 1950 (age 69)
Soweto, South Africa
Allegiance South Africa
Service/branch Umkhonto we Sizwe
South African Army
Years of service 1974–2005[1]
Rank General
Commands held Chief of the South African National Defence Force
Gauteng Command
Chief of Staff of the Umkhonto we Sizwe
Awards Star of South Africa
Star for Bravery in Silver
Conspicuous Leadership Star
Decoration for Merit in Gold
Merit Medal in Silver
Military Merit Medal
Spouse(s) Sheila Nyanda née Mathabe
Other work Minister of Communications

General Siphiwe Nyanda SSA, SBS, CLS, DMG, MMS, MMM (born 1950)[2] is a South African military commander and politician. He served as Chief of the South African National Defence Force from 1998 to 2005, Minister of Communications from 2009 to 2010 and appointment as a board member of Denel in May 2018.

Military career

Nyanda joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress, in 1974, and served as a field commander during the liberation struggle against the South African government in the 1980s. He was appointed MK Chief of Staff in 1992, and served on the Transitional Executive Council which oversaw the change of government in 1994.

Major General Nyanda became part of the South African National Defence Force, into which MK was incorporated in 1994, and served successively as Chief of Defence Force Staff (1994–1996), General Officer Commanding Gauteng Command (1996–1997), Deputy Chief of the South African National Defence Force (1997–1998), and Chief of the South African National Defence Force (1998–2005).[1]:14–15

Awards and decorations

In 1999, Nyanda was awarded the Star of South Africa, Gold.[3]

Performance as Communications Minister

Nyanda was a controversial figure throughout the 18 months that he was minister of communications. Dubbed the "minister of luxury" by South Africa's Mail & Guardian, Nyanda was alleged to have spent hundreds of thousands of rands living in a luxurious Cape Town hotel throughout his tenure because he was unhappy with the ministerial house appointed to him.[4]

At the same time as the allegations surrounding his living arrangements came to light, Nyanda's private business was under scrutiny. A company, in which Nyanada's family owned 45%, called GNS Risk Management Services (subsequently renamed Abalozi Security Risk Advisory Services) was accused of impropriety in a tender process in March 2010. Amongst its numerous clients were several parastatals, including Transnet Freight Rail, passenger train company Metrorail, state bus company Autopax, and the Gauteng provincial government.[5]

It later emerged that Transnet Freight Rail had been involved in the awarding of tenders without following the correct procedures. Amongst the tenders that were questioned was one security contract valued at ZAR55 million, awarded to GNS Risk Management Services.[6] Transnet's CEO, Siyabonga Gama, was dismissed when the allegations came to light. However, Nyanda was not reprimanded.[7]

In October 2010, Nyanda came under fire for the suspension of communications ministry director general Mamodupi Mohlala. It was reported that in July 2010, on the day that Nyanda axed Mohlala, she had reported tender irregularities worth ZAR70 million to the police for a fraud investigation and had reportedly called for disciplinary action against several senior civil servants.[8]

Nyanda fervently denied the allegations, labeling them "false, spurious and malicious".[9] However, shortly after the story regarding the removal of Mohlala came out, Nyanda was removed from his position in the Ministry of Communications.[10] Despite the numerous suggestions of political impropriety, Nyanda was subsequently appointed as a parliamentary counselor to ex-President Jacob Zuma.[11][when?]


  1. ^ a b c Mofokeng, Maj Gen Mohato Dan (June 2005). "Farewell to a determined military leader with a clear vision" (PDF). SA Soldier. RSA Department of Defence. 12 (6): 14–16. ISSN 1609-5014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Gen Siphiwe Nyandapublisher=Sabinet Online". Sabinet Law.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-10-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Mapiloko, Jackie; Underhill, Glynnis (12 March 2010). "When in Cape Town Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda lives a five-star life at the city's top hotels – courtesy of the taxpayer". Mail & Guardian.
  5. ^ "Siphiwe Nyanda reminds me why we're doing this". South African corruption project. Archived from the original on August 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Basson, Adriaan (29 January 2010). "Nyanda Inc makes millions from govt". Mail & Guardian.
  7. ^ "Transnet: Gama is out". Mail & Guardian. 29 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Nyanda fumes at allegations over corruption". Mail & Guardian. 17 October 2010l.
  9. ^ "Nyanda lashes out 'false, malicious' report". Mail & Guardian. 15 July 2010.
  10. ^ Pillay, Verashni; Webb, Boyd (31 October 2010). "Zuma replaces seven ministers in reshuffle". Mail & Guardian.
  11. ^ "Nyanda to be Zuma's Parliamentary counsellor". Mail & Guardian. 25 November 2010.

External links

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Government offices
Preceded by
Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri
Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services. (South Africa)
Succeeded by
Roy Padayachie
Military offices
Preceded by
Georg Meiring
Chief of the South African National Defence Force
Succeeded by
Godfrey Ngwenya
New title Deputy Chief of the South African National Defence Force
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Pierre Steyn in 1993
Chief of Defence Force Staff
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chris Hani
Chief of Staff Umkhonto weSizwe
Integrated into South African National Defence Force
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