Johannes Geldenhuys

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Johannes Geldenhuys
Born (1935-02-05)5 February 1935
Kroonstad, Orange Free State Province, Union of South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
Service/branch  South African Army
Years of service 1954 – 1990
Rank General
Commands held
  • Chief of the South African Defense Force (1985 – 1990)
  • Chief of the South African Army (1980 – 1983)
  • GOC South West Africa (1977 – 1980)
Battles/wars Border War

General Johannes ('Jannie') Geldenhuys SSAS SD SOE SM GCIH ORB, is a former South African military commander who served as Chief of the South African Defence Force between 1985 and 1990.[1][2]

Military career[edit]

Born in Kroonstad on 5 February 1935,[1] He obtained a BMil from the University of Pretoria before joining 1 Special Service Battalion.[3]:77 Later he went on to higher command in 1977, serving as commander of South West Africa Command, a post he held until 1980, when he served in the position of General Officer Commanding the South West African Territorial Force. After this he became Chief of the Army, before being promoted to the position of Chief of the South African Defence Force on 31 October 1985. In this role, he took part in negotiations that brought the Border War to an end in 1989, after 23 years of fighting.[2]

Medals and Decorations[edit]

  • U.S. Navy Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg Grand Star of Military Merit (Chile)


  1. ^ a b "5 February 1935: General Jannie Geldenhuys is born". SA Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Senior (High Office) Officers / Offisiere". SADF Info. Archived from the original on 23 March 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Uys, Ian (1992). South African Military Who's Who 1452-1992. Germiston: Fortress Publishers. ISBN 0-9583173-3-X. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Geldenhuys, Jannie (2009). At the Front: A General's Account of South Africa's Border War. Johannesburg, South Africa: Jonathan Ball Publishers SA. ISBN 978-1-86842-331-6. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Constand Viljoen
Chief of the South African Defence Force
1985 – 1990
Succeeded by
Andreas Liebenberg
Preceded by
Constand Viljoen
Chief of the South African Army
1980 – 1985
Succeeded by
Andreas Liebenberg
Preceded by
GOC South West Africa
1977 – 1980
Succeeded by
Charles Lloyd