- General Constand Viljoen has passed away at the age of 86 years old
- The former commander of the SANDF and founding leader of the Freedom Front Plus died in Ohrigstad on Friday afternoon
- FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald passed his condolences on to the Viljoen family
Former SA Defence Force commander General Constand Viljoen has passed away aged 86.
Founding leader of the Freedom Front Plus party, Viljoen's death was confirmed by current party leader Pieter Groenewald.
Viljoen had served as chief of the SADF during the Angolan War in the 70s, rising to his post as chief of the force under former president PW Botha.
News24 reports that Groenewad indicated Viljoen had died of natural causes surrounded by family
"I can confirm that General Viljoen has died on his farm in Ohrigstad (in Mpumalanga) surrounded by most of his five children at around 13:00 on Friday. He died of natural causes. We would like to offer our condolences to his wife, Risti, and to pay tribute to General Viljoen, who enjoyed wide respect as a soldier and made his mark as a politician. He helped pave the way for a stable transition to democracy."
A 'soldier's soldier', Viljoen was renowned for taking part in operations alongside his troops and is credited with helping defuse tensions leading up to the first democratic South African elections in 1994.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Viljoen had served as a Member of Parliament during Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki's time in office.
The general was awarded the following awards and decorations
- Star of South Africa (SSA)
- Southern Cross Decoration (SD)
- South African Police Star for Outstanding Service (SOE)
- Southern Cross Medal (SM)
- Military Merit Medal (MMM)
- Pro Patria Medal
- Good Service Medal (30 Years)
- Good Service Medal, Silver (20 Years)
- Permanent Force Good Service Medal
- Order of Resplendent Banner with Grand Cordon
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!