CRISP: SA Navy officers on parade yesterday as senior chief warrant officer Matee Joseph Molefe was sworn in as the SA Navy’s new master at arms. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
CRISP: SA Navy officers on parade yesterday as senior chief warrant officer Matee Joseph Molefe was sworn in as the SA Navy’s new master at arms. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
CRISP: SA Navy officers on parade yesterday as senior chief warrant officer Matee Joseph Molefe was sworn in as the SA Navy’s new master at arms. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
CRISP: SA Navy officers on parade yesterday as senior chief warrant officer Matee Joseph Molefe was sworn in as the SA Navy’s new master at arms. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Clear skies, crisp uniforms and salutes marked the swearing in of senior chief warrant officer Matee Joseph Molefe who became the SA Navy’s master at arms (MA) on Thursday.

Molefe took over from long-standing MA, senior chief warrant officer, Pragasen Moodley, who retired.

Molefe, who is originally from Limpopo, now takes on the highest warrant officer position in the navy and operates as the principal adviser to the navy chief.

He will also assist with monitoring and improving disciplinary standards in the navy and be the principal adviser on welfare, discipline and ceremonial duties.

Before joining the navy, Molefe was part of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and was integrated into the navy in 1994, where he worked his way up in various ranks. He was stationed as fleet master of arms before being promoted to master at arms.

Although Molefe spent more than 20 years on the base and performed some of his new duties prior to taking on the position, he still expressed jitters about stepping into his new ranking.

“I am very excited, but it’s so much responsibility I’ll be facing. I’ll be part of the staff council and will give directions to the commander and we’re facing budget cuts. We’re running short on money and less ships can go out, which affects the morale of the sailors.

“Some ships do go out and other operations are continuing. I’ve been doing it for years so I am prepared.”

Moodley, who is looking forward to retirement, stood tall in his crisp white uniform alongside Molefe and admired the parade before his departure.

He held the position of master at arms for seven years after joining the navy in 1959. He served at various posts prior to this which included being a marine master, boat master, instructor and being the master of arms for naval base and fleet.

“When you see the white uniforms, you see the years that have come and gone. I am now going to spend quality time with my wife. I was married to the navy for so many years and she supported me.

“I’ll take a break and go on a holiday or two and perhaps take up a position of service delivery after that. In the navy, retirement doesn’t mean retirement from life,” said Moodley.

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Cape Argus