Andreas Liebenberg

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Andreas Liebenberg
General Andreas 'Kat' Liebenberg.jpg
Born (1938-04-18)18 April 1938[1]
Upington,[2] Cape Province, Union of South Africa
Died 23 May 1998(1998-05-23) (aged 60)
Pretoria,[3] Gauteng, South Africa
Allegiance  Republic of South Africa
Service/branch  South African Army
Years of service 1965-1993
Rank General
Commands held
  • Chief of the South African Defense Force (1990–1993)
  • Chief of the South African Army (1985–1990)
  • GOC Special Forces (1982–1985)
Battles/wars Border War
Spouse(s) Helena Johanna (Crafford)[4]

General Andreas ('Kat') Liebenberg SSAS SD SOE SM MMM (1938–1998) was a South African military commander. He joined the army in 1955 after obtaining a BA Law degree at the University of Stellenbosch[2] and was commissioned in 1961.

Army career[edit]

He was posted to London as a military attache in 1969.[5]:25 In 1972 he returned from London to become second in command of the Army Gymnasium. Two years later he was back at Army Headquarters as a Staff Officer before becoming Director Infantry, and in December 1977, as a colonel, Officer Commanding 2 Military Area (later called Sector 10) at Oshakati.[5] He stayed there till January 1980, when he became Director of Operations at Army Headquarters in the rank of Brigadier.[5]

He served as GOC Special Forces from 1982 to 1985, as Chief of the Army from 1985 to 1990, as Chief of Defence Force Staff for a few months in 1990,[6] and then as Chief of the SADF from 1990 to 1993.[7] He was a member of the defence committee of the Transitional Executive Council which supervised the South African government during the final months leading up the first democratic election in 1994.


In 1995, he, former defence minister, General Magnus Malan, and former defence force chief, General Jannie Geldenhuys were tried for murder, as a result of a military operation in which several civilians had been killed. They were all acquitted.

Awards and decorations[edit]


  1. ^ "Andreas Jacobus (Kat) Liebenberg, former head of the SA Defence Force, is born.". SA History Online. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Uys, Ian (1992). South African Military Who's Who 1452-1992. Fortress Publishers. p. 133. ISBN 0-9583173-3-X. 
  3. ^ "Gen. Kat Liebenberg (60), ex-chief of the SA defence force, dies of cancer in Pretoria". SAHO. South African History Online. 23 May 1998. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Liebenberg word nuwe hoof van Weermag" (in Afrikaans). Die Burger. 28 July 1990. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "The SADF: Supplement to the Financial Mail" (PDF). Financial Mail. July 1987. 
  6. ^ "Meiring kry bevel van leër". Die Burger. March 1, 1990. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ Fact file: Chiefs of the SANDF,past and present | DefenceWeb

See also[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Johannes Geldenhuys
Chief of the South African Defence Force
1990 – 1993
Succeeded by
Georg Meiring
Preceded by
Ian Gleeson
Chief of Defence Force Staff
Succeeded by
Marthinus Bekker
Preceded by
Johannes Geldenhuys
Chief of the South African Army
1985 – 1990
Succeeded by
Georg Meiring
Preceded by
Maj Gen Fritz Loots
GOC South African Special Forces
1982 – 1985
Succeeded by
Maj Gen Joep Joubert