Johannesburg - Former chief of service corps, retired Lt-Gen Lehlohonolo Moloi has died, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Tuesday.
Moloi died on Monday at the age of 81, said SANDF spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini.
“General Moloi is one of the first generation of leadership of the new SANDF, and was one of the key negotiators leading to the integration of our country's non-statutory and statutory forces,” said Dlamini
Moloi was born in 1932, in Quting, Lesotho. In 1940 his family moved to South Africa to join his father, who was a railway worker in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
He attended school in Soweto until 1963, when he left the country to join the African National Congress's armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).
He returned to Lesotho, where he lived in exile, and worked there with assassinated SA Communist party general secretary Chris Hani until he was transferred to Lusaka in the early 1980s. He served as an MK commander the entire time.
He worked in MK's operations department, responsible for the deployment and infiltration of members into the country.
On his return to South Africa, he played a major role in the negotiations to ensure MK members were integrated into the then newly-formed SANDF, which he joined as a senior officer.
At the time of his death Moloi was a member of the newly-established Defence Service Commission, which was formed to look after the conditions of service of members.
Dlamini said Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula extended her condolences to his family.
“The chief of the SANDF and Umkhonto we Sizwe Veterans' Association have sent their deepest sympathies to the family.”