CO DITSHEGO - FROM SA TO
Article by Amn Nwabisa V. Dlevu. AD ASTRA
In the dusty area of Dennilton, Mpumalanga, a
young man was born. Makwe Zachariah Ditshego (27) is the
epitome of perseverance. His hunger for a prosperous future
has not only led him to where he is today, but has shaped
his character too.
Through trying times he managed to push boundaries and get
where he wished to be. He is the second child of George and
Linah Ditshego and has four siblings. He matriculated in
Mpumalanga and later pursued further studies at the Pretoria
West College, where he studied Mechanical Engineering, and
achieved an N6 (National Technical Certificate).
CO Zachariah Ditshego with CO Ephraim
Seteng in Potchefstroom
“In 2006, I decided to join the South African
Air Force (SAAF) as a Reserve Force member,” said Candidate
Officer (CO) Ditshego. On completion of Basic Military
Training he was deployed to Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
(AF MDW) at the Radar Mechanical Section as a Technical
“My dream is to become a Technician, but owing to financial
constraints this dream has not yet come true,” said Ditshego.
He longs for an opportunity to do practical training at 68
Air School one day. His passion for sports, particularly
soccer, has opened more doors than he could imagine.
CO Zachariah Ditshego received an The
Best Overall Trophy in SA team
One day, while playing soccer in 2007, a
letter arrived inviting members who would like to take part
in the Sport Military Pentathlon, which consists of five
challenges: obstacle course, swimming, orienteering, first
aid, LOAC, rifle shooting and 9 mm shooting in Bloemfontein
to represent the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
He decided to enter.
The following year, 2008, an invitation came through for the
second round of selections. Out of eight participants from
the SAAF, Ditshego was the only one who made it. He then
went for training in Potchefstroom over a period of two
months. Later they were invited to the Netherlands for
training sessions that would fully prepare them for the
Internationals that took place in Turkey.
Lt Hanse van Domeneen from The Netherlands
CO Zachariah Ditshego received the Best Overall Trophies.
After seven days spent in the Netherlands, he
received an achievement certificate, together with fellow
player and coach - Col Wim Albert. On their departure to
Turkey, CO Ditshego noted that the Turkish rifle was
different to ours; it was lighter, but the technique was the
same. About 36 countries participated in the Internationals
in Turkey. He received another certificate in Turkey. The
SANDF achieved 20th place.
Presently CO Ditshego is looking forward to the results of
the 2009 selections, which took place last month. 86 members
participated and he was the best overall. This year the
internationals will take place in Bulgaria during the first
week of August.
His support system is his proud family in Mpumalanga, Major
General Anderson, Chief Director of Defence Reserve Force,
and his coach, who motivated him and his Section Head. WO1
Mike Amos also showed great support. CO Ditshego is a proud
father of twin girls, Onkutlwile and Onthatile. He sees
himself as a qualified technician in the future.