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
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
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
“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.
Families were happy to be reunited with their loved ones