Solly Shoke

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Solly Shoke
General Solly Shoke - SEAC visits Africom.jpg
Born (1956-08-15) 15 August 1956 (age 62)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
Service/branch  South African Army
Years of service 1994 – current
Rank General
Commands held

General Solly Zacharia Shoke OMBG SBS MMS OMS (born 15 August 1956)[1] is a South African military commander. He joined Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress, in the 1970s, and served as a field commander fighting against the South African government in the 1980s. He transferred to the South African National Defence Force when MK was incorporated into it in 1994.

Military career[edit]

Shoke received his education at Orlando High School, Alexandra Township,[2] in Johannesburg. Other academic qualifications include a Diploma in Human Resources Management from Damelin, a Certificate in Defence Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Certificate in Personnel Management from IPM. Shoke joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), in the 1970s. In the 1980s he served as field commander during the liberation struggle against the South African government. He obtained his military training in Angola and completed the Brigade Commanders Course in the USSR. He became part of the underground leadership of Operation Vula in 1988. Between 1993 and 1994, Shoke followed an Intermediate Staff Course in Zimbabwe. In 1994 he was appointed as Director Personnel Planning of the SA Army.[2]

In 1998, he commanded the South African Development Community forces during Operation Boleas in Lesotho. He was the Director Personnel Acquisition from January 1999 to October 2000 when he was promoted to the rank of Major General as the Chief Director Human Resources Support.[3] He was promoted to Chief of the South African Army in 2004,[4] and became Chief of the South African National Defence Force in May 2011.[5]

Shoke meeting with SECNAV Ray Mabus

Honours and awards[edit]

He was awarded the Order of Mendi for Bravery for his work in the G5 unit of Umkhonto weSizwe.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moeketsi, Maj P.I. (September 2004). "The new Chief of our Army takes charge" (PDF). SA Soldier. 11 (9): 15. ISSN 1609-5014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Zacharia Solly Shoke | South African History Online". 1956-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  3. ^ "SENIOR PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS IN THE SANDF". South African Government. 27 September 2000. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  4. ^ "Fact file: Chiefs of the SA Army". DefenceWeb. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  5. ^ "Defence Secretary". 1956-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  6. ^ Szabo, Christopher (2011-06-01). "Outgoing C SANDF says UN mission influenced by SA troops". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
Military offices
Preceded by
Godfrey Ngwenya
Chief of the South African National Defence Force
2011 –
Preceded by
Gilbert Ramano
Chief of the South African Army
2004 – 2011
Succeeded by
Vusumuzi Masondo