New defence boss can help provide much needed stability, MPs say
Cape Town – The parliamentary portfolio committee on defence on Tuesday threw its weight behind the appointment of the new secretary for defence, Sonto Kudjoe.
Kudjoe is taking over from former secretary for defence Sam Gulube, who had remained in office after his term of his appointment ended in December.
Kudjoe was the first female director-general of the State Security Agency (SSA) in 2013.
She has been the ambassador to Egypt from 2006 to 2010 and also held several positions in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
In a statement, committee chairperson Cyril Xaba welcomed the appointment of Kudjoe.
Xaba said Kudjoe’s appointment signified the continued empowerment of women in the defence sector.
"As the country commemorates women’s month, we welcome the appointment of Ms Kudjoe in this highly crucial position and we believe that her experience, strength and vast knowledge of the defence industry will contribute to bringing the much-needed stability to the department,” Xaba said.
“We realise the enormous task ahead and the myriad of challenges facing the department and thus we wish her well in her new role.”
Xaba also expressed good wishes to Gulube, who first joined the South African National Defence Force as a medical doctor in the Military Health Services.
He said Gulube’s contribution to the local defence industry strategy and his focus on the Defence Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Sector Code were some of the key attributes which he will be remembered for.
“On behalf of the committee, I wish to thank Dr Gulube for his service to the country and wish him well in his much deserved retirement."