Military Wiki
Johannes Geldenhuys
Born (1935-02-05)5 February 1935
Place of birth 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 (1980-1985)
Battles/wars Border War
Awards Order of the Star of South Africa SSAS
Southern Cross Decoration SD
South African Police Star for Outstanding Service SOE
Southern Cross Medal SM

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

Born in Kroonstad on 5 February 1935,[1] Geldenhuys' military career began when he joined the South African Army in 1954, serving in the infantry. 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 Africa Territory Force. After this he became Chief of the Army, before being promoted to the position of Chief of the South African Defence Force on the 31st of 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]


Further reading

  • Geldenhuys, Jannie (2009). At the Front: A General's Account of South Africa' 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
Succeeded by
Andreas Liebenberg
Preceded by
Constand Viljoen
Chief of the South African Army
Succeeded by
Andreas Liebenberg

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