By NOKUZOLA THWALA | 2019-07-12
FORMER Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) Commander Four Star General Sobantu Dlamini officially handed the baton to the new commander Jeffrey Tshabalala at the army headquarters in Nokwane yesterday.
Witnessing the occasion were Major Prince Sicalo, National Chief Defence Officer Prince Hlangusempi, Ministry of Defence PS Andreas Mathabela, Acting Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) National Commissioner William Dlamini, His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) Acting Commissioner General Phindile Dlamini, senior ranking army officials and more. This is the second similar occasion as the same was witnessed in the year 2000 when former army commander the late Brigadier Fonono Dube handed power to the now former commander General Sobantu Dlamini.
Dlamini said it was a tradition in the defence force to exchange the colour and sword between army commanders; one leaving and one coming into office.
The two also signed change of command certificates. Upon arrival, General Sobantu Dlamini scanned the audience, nodded, saluted and said “kwekugcina”. He appreciated all officers who worked with him and his family, especially his supportive wife. He apologised for any wrong he might have committed. “Thank you for your support as we worked well together until this time where I officially hand over to Tshabalala having been appointed by His Majesty the King into this demanding job. To my wife, ‘I love you.’ we might have had our differences but through it all I saw God and I acknowledge that he exists. I am an army officer until I die and when you meet me in town you will still salute me,” he said. Dlamini wished Tshabalala the best as he maintains peace serving under the King. He added that every now and then he would attend the defence force’s events. “Tshabalala was my deputy, an administrator and he fully understands the operations as we dealt with issues. I hereby relinquish and in the very same breath hand over command to him as appointed by His Majesty the King two weeks ago to be commander of the EUDF,” Dlamini said.
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