A historical perspective on military chaplaincy services in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), 1998-2012

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This study provides a review of the structure, policy and nature of military chaplaincy within the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) from 1998, when the first black Chaplain General in South Africa, Maj. Gen. (Rev.) FFS Gqiba, took office, until 2012. Since 1994, the SANDF underwent a process of transformation in line with the new democratic dispensation in South Africa. The question arises whether the new democratic military order that was arrived at in 1998 simply entailed a substitution of faces and names superimposed onto an old dispensation, or whether it succeeded in establishing a new structure, ethos and policy, as was envisaged in the original planning of the transformation process. To determine the extent of transformation that was effectuated in military chaplaincy after 1998, the structure, character and policies of the old order is traced, and, against this background, the new dispenstion is evaluated. This also indicates that transformation and change are not unique occurrences, but part and parcel of the course of history.