Vice Admiral M.S. Hlongwane

South African Navy

Vice Admiral M.S. Hlongwane was born on 06 July 1962 in Frankfort (Orange Free State), but he grew up in Vaal Triangle in a small township called Bophelong (Vanderbijl Park). He started school in 1970 at Mqiniswa Combined School (Bophelong in Vaal Triangle), he completed his Junior Secondary School in 1980 at Lebohang Junior Secondary School (Boipatong) where he obtained his Junior Certificate. In 1982 he completed his matric at State Senior Secondary School (Sebokeng).

He joined the African National Congress (ANC) and its Military wing UM khonto We Sizwe (MK) in 1982, working as an under ground operative and left South Africa in September 1984 to join the ranks of Umkhonto We Sizwe in exile (Angola).

He received his military training in Angola and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He successfully completed the basic MK course that was conducted over a period of 9 months in Caculama Malange Province (Angola). On completion of the basic course, he was deployed at the Armoury in the base, later he was deployed as a Security and Protector in the Regional Headquarters in Luanda,(securing and protecting the leadership whenever they visited MK Cadres in the camps).

In August 1986, he was amongst the Umkhonto We Sizwe cadres, who were selected to attend the Naval Course in Azerbaijan (Baku) at the Caspian Naval Red Banner College named after Kirova. He specialised in Ship Navigation Command for a period of four and half years. In November 1991, he successfully completed the Naval Ship Command Course in Navigation and he obtained a qualification of Diploma in Ship Navigation.

In 1991 he was appointed as Chief of Logistics of the two MK Camps i.e. Mgagawa and Kidete Camps in Tanzania. In 1993 - 1994 he participated in the Joint Co-ordinating Committee (JMCC) as a member of the Navy working group.

After the integration of the Armed Forces in April 1994, he was integrated to the SA Navy in 1994 as Lt Cdr and attended the Bridging and orientation courses at South African Naval College and Maritime Warfare School (Combat Orientation Course).  He served onboard Minehunter, SAS UMGENI as officer under training.  In 1997 he re-mustered to Maritime Intelligence focusing on the Counter Intelligence Section.

On 1 November 1999, he was appointed SO1 Maritime and subsequently promoted to the rank of Commander.

On 1 November 2003 he was appointed SSO Operations Counter Intelligence and promoted to the rank of Captain. From March 2005 to March 2008 he served at the Democratic Republic of Congo as a Military Attaché.

On 1 March 2008, he was appointed Chief of Fleet Staff at the Fleet Command HQ in Simon’s Town which saw him promoted to the rank of R Adm (JG).

In 2012 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the SA Navy at Navy HQ and subsequently promoted to the rank of R Adm.

On the 1 April 2014, he succeeded V Adm Mudimu which saw him promoted to the rank of V Adm assuming the post of Chief of the SA Navy.

V Adm Hlongwane holds a Diploma in Ship Command Navigation.  He has successfully completed all military courses prescribed for Senior Officers since 1994.  V Adm Hlongwane has successfully completed Joint Senior Command and Staff Program as well as the Executive National Security Program.

V Adm Hlongwane is a recipient of the following awards:

  • Merit Medal in Silver (MMS)
  • Merit Medal in Bronze (MMB)
  • Medal for Loyal Service with bar for 30 years
  • Medal for Loyal Service with bar for 20 years
  • Unitas Medal
  • SA Service Medal
  • Good Service Medal in Bronze
  • Operational Medal for Southern Africa
  • Decoration Mandela in Gold

V Adm Hlongwane is married to Thandi and are blessed with two children.