SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE is home at last.

Article by AB Manku Baloyi.

When SAS MANTHATISI arrived on 7 April 2006 she marked the beginning of a great voyage in the South African Navy that will further emphasise the mark the SA Navy has put on the global map.

The SA Navy welcomed its second submarine, SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE from Germany today in her homeport of Simon’s Town. S102 is the second of three submarines acquired by the South African Government as part of the Strategic Defence Package.


Side by side, S101 and S102

On 26 April 2007, for some, the day started at 0600B when SAS MANTHATISI and SAS MENDI went out towards Cape Point to welcome and escort SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE home. The media were taken out to sea onboard SAS ISAAC DYOBA to witness yet another milestone in the South African Navy.

Various dignitaries including the Minister of Defence were on board SAS AMATOLA to witness S102 coming into the harbour. All the Navy ships in harbour welcomed SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE home with "three cheers" from their brows, as well as a resounding foghorn salute.



C Navy welcoming the crew of SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE home.

Minister of Defence awarding the Ship's Company of SAS DRAKENSBERG with medallions for succesfully escorting S102 back home.

Family members of S102 crew were reunited with their loved ones after months of separation. The sacrifice that both the crewmembers and their family made was recognised and applauded by the Minister.

In Commemoration of this day, each of the crewmembers received a bronze medallion, encased in an engraved wooden box. In his speech, the Minister referred to the crewmembers as being the Cream of the Crop.




 

Corporal Ramokgari is the first Medic to qualify as a SAN Submariner.

Crewmembers and their families.

   



 

In commemoration of this day each of the crewmembers received a bronze medallion.

Members from the Maxeke family also received medallions from the Minister.

“S102 is named after one of South Africa’s great heroines of the struggle for freedom, Charlotte Maxeke. Charlotte Maxeke was a formidable woman and a leader of national standing inspired by a vision of creating a better life for all. Her legacy serves as an inspiration to all of us who strive to create a better life for all in this age of hope.” Said the Minister of Defence. He continued to say “it is fitting therefore that SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE should bear the name of a woman who authored so important a part in the South African history, for the SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE will be crucial in protecting black and white South Africans in many years of her life. That is how Charlotte Maxeke would have liked to see the people, together in peace and secured from all dangers”.

With this acquisition, the SANDF is inevitably sharpening its effectiveness in dealing with all challenges cropping up in the military environment.



The crew of SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE.

The Minister of Defence inspecting the Guard.


Families were happy to be reunited with their loved ones