SANDF inauguration readiness: Preparedness peaks for new commander-in-chief

Published Jun 18, 2024


By Hope Ntanzi

South Africa is poised for a historic moment as it prepares to inaugurate its seventh democratically elected president, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Union Building in Pretoria on Wednesday, June 19.

It’s all hands on deck as the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) gets ready for the Union Buildings Presidential Inauguration, showing its allegiance to its new commander-in-chief.

The inauguration of the president is the formal introduction of the seventh administration of the Republic of South Africa. The president-elect will assume the role of head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the SANDF following a public oath of office administered by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The president is sworn in with the participation of all four SANDF Services: the South African Army, Air Force, Navy, and Military Health Service (which includes the National Ceremonial Guard).

The SANDF's attendance at this event not only demonstrates the forcefulness of its “new” commander-in-chief, but also the legitimacy of his governance and leadership, as well as the strength and resilience of the country’s now 30-year-old democracy.

During the ceremony, the SANDF will perform the ceremonial elements including a 21-gun salute, a salute flight by the South African Air Force, an inspection of an SANDF battalion, a battalion march past, and a massed fly past with some of the aircrafts piloted by women like Major Mandisa Mfeka, South Africa’s first black female combat pilot, and Captain Charlene Buitenhuis, Hawk pilot from 85 Combat Flying School.