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Council honours Infantry School

Oudtshoorn, 30 October 2018 – The Executive Mayor, Councillor Colan Sylvester has last week, bestowed the Infantry School with the town’s highest honour, the Freedom of the City.

The Infantry School has, as a symbol of the conferment of the freedom of the City displayed a parade through the streets of the town’s Central Business District (CBD) to the headquarters of the Oudtshoorn Municipal Council in Corner Voortrekker Road and Langenhoven Street on Friday, 26 October 2018.

The Freedom of the City Parade was attended by the Chief of Staff SA Army Infantry formation, Brigadier General Gqoboka, Councillors wearing their official gowns, the Infantry School Officer Commanding, Colonel Diamond Madie and his entourage, former Officers Commanding of Infantry School, Brigadier Generals Xolani Mankayi and Nkhabu Nthejane, the South African Police Service (SAPS), SAPS Academy and the Department of Correctional Services among others.

In his address, Mayor Sylvester reassured that the relationship between the town and the Infantry School which started in October 1963 when the Infantry School was established in Oudtshoorn, will remain intact. “We want to ensure the continuation our relationship by officially bestowing the freedom of our town on you today.

Sylvester praised the Infantry School for its “gallant deeds” of not only keeping our country safe, but help bring stability to our continent as part of the African Renaissance. “On behalf of the entire community of the Greater Oudtshoorn, I would like to express our hearty appreciation for being home to the South African Army Infantry School.”

“We once more want to take our hats off for the men and women in uniform for standing in the forefront of the defense and peace-keeping of not only our country but the entire Africa. We would like to continue to extend our hand in friendship to the South African Army Infantry School, and trust that we will work together to ensure the growth of the Oudtshoorn Infantry School, to become the leading base in South Africa through training, education and development.”

The parade was followed by an exchange of gifts occasion at the Town’s Banquet Hall, between the host of the event, Mayor Sylvester and the guest of honour, Chief of Staff SA Army Infantry formation, Brigadier General Gqoboka. Deputy Executive Mayor, Councillor Noluthando Mwati welcomed the guests.

Brigadier Gqoboka thanked Mayor Sylvester for the Freedom of the City parade. “A wholehearted vote of thanks to the  Executive Mayor of Oudtshoorn,  the community of Oudtshoorn, surrounding areas,  all stakeholders that  made this parade a success and all present here today for gracing us with your presence  to witness this positive occasion with us.”

“Indeed it has been a long journey and like any other journey, it has its ups and downs. However, we endure, remained focused and stay the course. Today SA Army Infantry School is exercising its privilege in hosting the Freedom of the City Parade. In this context we remember that granting of the Freedom of the City by the Council is a great honour. The SA Army Infantry Unit is so privileged that it can march into the city with drums beating, colours flying and weapons on safe.”

Likewise, Brig Gen Gqoboka echoed the preservation of the relationship between the town and the Infantry School. “Let me also take this opportunity to reassure the Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Councillor Sylvester that the SA Army Infantry School will always manage our sound relationship with jealousy. As we continue we will handle our relationship responsible with care and respect. I believe that it is in this keeping together that we can achieve more progress and prosperity.”

The Speaker of Council, Cllr. Julia le Roux-Krowitz thank all participants for “having successfully conferred the Freedom of the City to the Infantry School”.