Military Wiki
Fabian Msimang
Nickname Zakes
Born (1960-09-01)September 1, 1960
Place of birth Johannesburg, South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
Service/branch  South African Air Force
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held

Chief of the South African Air Force Chief Director Air Policy and Plans[1]
Director Helicopter Systems
OC Air Force Base Bloemspruit

OC Helicopter Flying School

Lieutenant General[2] Fabian "Zakes" Msimang MMM (born 1 September 1960,[3] Johannesburg) is a South African military commander and the Chief of the South African Air Force.

He left South Africa with his family at the age of 6 months and went into exile.[3] He completed his secondary schooling in India. In 1983 he was sent to Tanzania to assist with the opening of the ANC Development Centre.[4]

Air Force career

He received his flying training at Frunze 1 Central Officers Training Center -Kirghizstan, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1986 to 1991. He graduated from the institution with a diploma in Command & Tactics of Military Aviation.[5]

He was a member of the Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress and saw combat in Angola in 1986. In 1994, he completed the Air Force Junior Staff Course in Zimbabwe before integrating into the South African National Defence Force.[6]

He was appointed assistant project officer on Project Flange (the acquisition programme of the Agusta A109) in Italy where he also completed the Senior Staff Course at the Italian Air Force War School. On his return from Italy, Msimang was then appointed Officer Commanding of the Helicopter Flying School at Air Force Base Bloemspruit.[7]

In 2005, he was appointed Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit and promoted to the rank of Colonel. In 2006, he completed the Executive National Security Programme at the South African National Defence College. In June 2007, after a two and a half year tour as Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit, he was appointed Director Helicopter Systems and promoted to the rank of Brigadier General at the Air Command.[6]

In November 2010, he was appointed Chief Director Air Policy and Plans and promoted to the rank of Major General responsible for Air Force strategy, policies, capabilities and resource allocation.[6]

Msimang became the Chief of the Air Force on 1 October 2012[8]

Aircraft flown


  1. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Msimang new CAF". DefenceWeb. 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  2. Lt Gen Msimang Ready For Take-Off
  3. 3.0 3.1 "New Year - New Beginnings at Air Force Base Bloemspruit". 2005. pp. 13. 
  4. Greebe, Hanrie (2007). "The driving force behind a successful base". pp. 7. 
  5. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Appointment of new Chief of the South Africa Air Force". 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Chief of the Air Force
  7. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"NEW AIR FORCE CHIEF APPOINTED". 19 June 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  8. Lt General Msimang Takes Over Command Of Saaf
  9. Helfrich, Kim (19 June 2012). "Helicopter Pilot and ex-MK cadre appointed new SA Air Force chief". 
Military offices
Preceded by
Carlo Gagiano
Chief of the South African Air Force
2012 - current

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