July 4 was a memorable date for the SA Army Gymnasium Heidelberg as they handed over the change of command from outgoing Brigadier General Mcebisi Benjamin Masinda to the new Officer in Command Colonel Felicia Nosicelo Maganwe.
The incumbent outgoing Brig Genl Masinda has been at the helm of the Army Gymnasium since 2013 and holds a number of appointments in the training institutions of Umkhonto we Sizwe ranging from ADA instructor to staff commander within the MK units.
He was born in Port Elizabeth on 31 August 1964 and after completing high school at Neweli High School, he left the country in 1985 to join the African National Congress. He received his basic military training in the People’s Republic of Angola, Melanje Province and Caculama Camp.
He was later admitted to the Tanzanian Military Academy in Arusha Monduli, where he successfully completed his Officer Cadet course leading to his commission by the former president of Tanzania.
Upon his return to South Africa, he was integrated in the South African Nation Defence Force (SANDF) where he completed all the required courses. After completing the Joint Command and Staff course at the Zimbabwe Staff College, he was placed at Defence Works Formation as the commander of Regional Works Unit Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Brig Gen Masinda received several medals during his military service, which include the General Service Medal, 10 and 20 Years good service medals, Southern Africa Operations medal and two United Nations medals.
He will soon be relocating to Russia where he will be attached to a diplomatic mission as military attaché. This post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer who retains the commission while serving in an embassy.
Col Maganwe was born on 29 January 1979 in Oudtshoorn. Her military career started in 1999 when she enlisted in the SANDF as a voluntary military service member, whereafter she completed her basic military training at SA Army Gymnasium. She later specialised in the Infantry Corp and progressed through the ranks up to her current rank.
She served in a number of units during her military career and obtained a certificate in Senior Management from the University of Pretoria. She completed her Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme and received an award for the Commandant Research paper and a National Diploma in Joint Multi-National Operations by SASSETA. She also completed a Peace Support Course in Kenya at the International Peace Support Training Centre.
She was married to Lt Col Sello Maganwe who passed away during 2016 and is blessed with two children.
The event concluded with lunch for invited guests at the army base mess.
For more photos of the Change of Command parade, visit www.heidelbergnigelheraut.co.za