Former Chief of the South African Defence Force (SADF), General Jannie Geldenhuys is born in Kroonstad


General Jannie Geldenhuys Source:

Tuesday, 5 February 1935

Johannes Jacobus Geldenhuys (Jannie), Chief of the South African Defence Force (SADF) and member of the State Security Council, was born in Kroonstad, Orange Free State. Geldenhuys earned acclaim for his diplomatic and negotiating skills in South West Africa (Namibia) during negotiations towards an internationally acceptable solution that would lead to independence. In 2001 Geldenhuys was denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for the role he played in an attempt to release Charles Sebe from a Ciskeian jail in 1986.

Geldenhuys was also an accomplice in the murders of activists Dr Fabian Ribeiro and his wife Florence. Appearing before the TRC, he admitted to knowing about police involvement in the murders and did nothing. He however denied ever authorizing the elimination of political activists. In 2012 Geldenhuys publish a book titled: “We were there”, a documentation of his time in South Africa’s war on the Namibian/Angola border.

• Tia-bookstore, “We Were There” by General Jannie Geldenhuys, from TIA MYSOA Book Store, [online], Available at [Accessed: 29 January 2013]
• SAPA, Geldenhuys admits keeping quiet about Ribeiro murders, from South African Press Association, [online], Available at [Accessed: 29 January 2013]

Last updated : 16-Jan-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 30-Jan-2013

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