Vejaynand Ramlakan

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Vejaynand Indurjith Ramlakan
Nickname(s) Vejay
Born 1957
Allegiance South Africa
Service/branch South African Military Health Service
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held
  • Chief of Corporate Staff
  • Surgeon General
  • Chief Director Strategic Planning
  • Inspector General DoD
  • GOC Area Military Health Formation
  • Inspector General SAMHS

Lieutenant-General Vejaynand Indurjith Ramlakan DMG MMS MMB KStJ is a South African military commander. A medical doctor, he served in Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress, during the liberation struggle against the South African government in the 1980s, and transferred to the South African National Defence Force when MK was incorporated into it in 1994.

Early life[edit]

Popularly known as 'Vejay', he was born in Durban in 1957. He started schooling in Durban and matriculated at Naidoo Memorial High in Umkomaas in 1974. He obtained his basic medical degrees from the University of Natal in 1980.


He first joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) as an underground operative in Natal in 1977. During this period, he underwent general military training in South Africa and in Swaziland. At the University of Natal, General Ramlakan served as the President of the Medical Students Representative Council from 1979 to 1980.[1]

From 1981 until 1983, he was Vice President and General Secretary of the Natal Health Worker’s Association, and also a founding member of the United Democratic Front (UDF). As part of the command structures of MK in the then province of Natal, Lt Gen Ramlakan was involved in MK Operation BUTTERFLY. He also held office as a member of the first APMC inside South Africa.

His continued military and active political involvement saw him being incarcerated on Robben Island between 1987 and 1991, where he was a member of the Central Political Education Committee. General Ramlakan served as Medical Commander at the ANC National Conference in 1991 and CODESA between 1991 and 1992 before he became Medical Commander for the President Mandela Guard in 1992. Between 1993 and 1994, he served as Deputy Chief of MK Health Service and led the MK military health team for integration into the NPKF and later the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

In the SANDF, he held the following positions:

  • Director Planning of the South African Military Health Service (SAMHS) between Oct 1994 and Nov 1995;
  • Inspector General of the SAMHS from Dec until Feb 2000;[2]
  • GOC Area Military Health Formation from Feb 2000 until Nov 2000;
  • Inspector General DOD[2] from Nov 2000 until Dec 2004; and
  • SANDF's Chief Director Strategic Planning from Jan 2005[1] until he was promoted to Surgeon-General, in command of the South African Military Health Service in 2005.[1]

On 2 October 2011, he was appointed as Chief of SANDF Corporate Staff designate[3] and took over the post on 1 April 2013.[4]

Following the release of the Nkandla report, newspapers speculated that he was due to go on early retirement in 2014.[5] However, he retired quietly in May 2015.[6]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

He has received the following decorations:[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "SAMHS: Profiles". 9 April 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "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.
  3. ^ "APPOINTMENTS AND/OR PROMOTIONS OF LIEUTENANT GENERALS, ADMIRALS AND MAJOR GENERALS". SA Department of Defence. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. ^ "New Chief of Corporate Staff Services for SANDF". Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "Ramlakan denies Nkandla - related report". The Citizen. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  6. ^ "Ramlakan has retired from the SANDF". Defenceweb. June 2, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  7. ^ TLHABYE, GOITSEMANG (8 December 2014). "President awards Mandela Commemorative medals". Daily News (Durban). Independent Online. Retrieved 18 February 2015.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Jurinus Janse van Rensburg
Chief of Corporate Staff
2013 – 2015
Succeeded by
Louis Dlulane (acting)
Preceded by
Jurinus Janse van Rensburg
Chief of the South African Military Health Service
2005 – 2013
Succeeded by
Aubrey Sedibe
Preceded by
Rolf Hauter
Chief Director Strategy and Planning
Jan 2005 – Jul 2005
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Johan Retief
IG DoD South Africa
2000 – 2004
Succeeded by
Mxolisi Petane
Preceded by
H Spies
1999 – 2000
Succeeded by
PJ Oelofse