OMBG, SBS, MMS, OMS
15 August 1956|
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Service/||South African Army|
|Years of service||1994 – current|
General Solly Zacharia Shoke OMBG SBS MMS OMS (born 15 August 1956) 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.
Shoke received his education at Orlando High School, Alexandra Township, 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.
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. He was promoted to Chief of the South African Army in 2004, and became Chief of the South African National Defence Force in May 2011.
Honours and awards
- Order of Mendi for Bravery (OMBG)
- Star for Bravery in Silver (SBS)
- Merit Medal in Silver (MMS)
- Order of Mapungubwe Silver (OMS)
- Maluti Clasp
- Unitas Medal
- Tshumelo Ikatelaho (General Service Medal)
- Medalje vir Troue Diens (Medal for Loyal Service with 30 Year Clasp)
- Service Medal in Silver
- Service Medal in Bronze
- Order of Military Merit (Brazil)
- 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.
- "Zacharia Solly Shoke | South African History Online". Sahistory.org.za. 1956-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "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.
- "Fact file: Chiefs of the SA Army". DefenceWeb. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "Defence Secretary". Dod.mil.za. 1956-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- Szabo, Christopher (2011-06-01). "Outgoing C SANDF says UN mission influenced by SA troops". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
| Chief of the South African National Defence Force
| Chief of the South African Army
2004 – 2011