Remembering Lieutenant General “DR” Zola Wiseman Songo Dabula: A Life of Service and Commitment

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military medical

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has lost an accomplished and dedicated military doctor, Lieutenant General (Dr) Zola Wiseman Songo Dabula. He passed away on June 4, 2023, at his home after being discharged from a hospital in Pretoria. His untimely demise has left a void in the military medical fraternity, as his extensive knowledge and significant contributions to the development of military health services will be greatly missed.

Early Life and Education

General Dabula was born on October 20, 1956, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He received his primary and secondary education in his homeland before pursuing a medical degree (MBChB) at the University of Natal in 1976. He completed his degree in 1982. During his time as a student, he worked as an underground operative for Umkhonto Wesizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress, having been recruited in 1974.

Military Career

General Dabula had an illustrious career in the military medical field. He held various important positions, including General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 1 Military Hospital, GOC of the Tertiary Military Health Formation, and Chief Director Military Health Force Preparation after being promoted to Major General in February 2013. He also served as the Strategic Commander of the Presidential Medical Unit (PMU) of the Republic of South Africa.

The pinnacle of General Dabula’s career came in November 2019 when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and took on the responsibilities of Surgeon General of the SANDF. He held this prestigious position until his retirement on October 29, 2021. Throughout his career, he played an instrumental role in shaping the military health services with his vast knowledge and unwavering dedication.

Condolences and Legacy

As the SANDF and the nation grieve the loss of such a distinguished and committed individual, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans and the Surgeon General have expressed their sympathies to General Dabula’s family, friends, colleagues, and all stakeholders of the South African Military Health Services (SAMHS).

General Dabula is survived by his wife, Mrs. Linda Dabula, and their four children. The impact of his life and career will be remembered by the countless lives he touched during his years of service, both as a military doctor and a dedicated member of the South African National Defence Force.

Honoring a Legacy of Service

In times of sorrow, the nation comes together to honor the memory of distinguished individuals like Lieutenant General (Dr) Zola Wiseman Songo Dabula. His unwavering commitment to the development of military health services and the well-being of his fellow servicemen and women will not be forgotten. While his passing has left an irreplaceable void in the hearts of many, his legacy of service and dedication will continue to inspire generations to come.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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