Defence Intelligence Division
Active1962 - present
Country South Africa
BranchSouth African National Defence Force
TypeMilitary Intelligence
Motto(s)Vigilans et Sciens (until 1994)[1]
ColorsBlack, White, Yellow[2]
Mascot(s)Owl (until 1994)
Chief of Defence IntelligenceLt. Gen Thalita Mxakato

The Defence Intelligence Division of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF-ID also known as Defence Intelligence) is the primary military intelligence agency of South Africa which came into being on 27 April 1994.[3][4] The other intelligence agencies of the country are:


Early years (1910-1961)

The Union of South Africa originally did not possess an independent intelligence service within the Union Defence Force (it was a dominion of the British Empire, and therefore received its intelligence from MI6.) In 1937, the Directorate Operations and Intelligence was formed within the UDF. 20 years later, in February 1957, on the instruction of Defence Minister Frans Erasmus it became fully responsible for the collection and interpretation of military intelligence.[5][6]

Expansion of intelligence capabilities (1961-1994)

The intelligence section on 1 July 1962 was elevated to directorate status and was known as the Directorate Military Intelligence (DMI).[6] After the establishment of the State Security Committee in 1963, DMI together with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the South African Police Service, served on this committee. On 1 January 1968, the formation of the South African Military Intelligence Corps took place, being authorized on 2 February 1968. In 1970 it became Military Intelligence Division (MID) and a year later, cam under the leadership of the Director-General Military Intelligence. On 15 April 1974, DGMI became the Chief Staff Intelligence (CSI) directly responsible to Commander of the South African Defence Force. The Intelligence Centre for the purpose of training was also set up at the former Radcliffe Observatory. On 2 November 1983 the Centre was accorded unit status and was designated the South African Military Intelligence College.[5]


Chiefs of Defence Intelligence


Chief Intelligence Officer

Director Military Intelligence

Chief of Staff Intelligence

Chiefs of Defence Intelligence


  1. ^ "Sentinel Projects: SADF Military Intelligence: An Unofficial Information Page".
  2. ^ "South Africa - SANDF Defence Intelligence Division flag".
  3. ^ Rakoma, Ally (April 2014). "20 years celebration of defence intelligence in a democracy". DoD. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  4. ^ "National Defence Force Intelligence Division". Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Sentinel Projects: SADF Military Intelligence: A SHORT HISTORY OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE DIVISION". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  6. ^ a b "". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Sentinel Projects: SADF Military Intelligence: CSIs and Predecessors". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  8. ^ "Lindiwe Sisulu announces SANDF appointments - DoD - DOCUMENTS - Politicsweb".
  9. ^ "Three New Appointments for Defence". Independent Online. SAPA. South Africa. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ Seleka, Ntwaagae (14 April 2021). "Ramaphosa announces Lt-General Rudzani Maphwanya as incoming SANDF Chief". News24. Retrieved 15 April 2021.