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2012 Achievers
Author: Maj A. Mentjes
Published: 17/04/2013

​​​The Military Academy had a successful 2012 academic year with regards to academic achievements from staff and students under the leadership of the Commandant Military Academy, Brigadier General Lawrence Mbatha and the Dean of the Faculty of Military Science, Professor Samuel Tshehla. The academic year went very well with a pass rate of 90% at the 3rd year level. At the beginning of the academic year 35 students registered for 3rd year of study. The Academy recorded 33 students who graduated at the end of the year with one cum-laude. This is a great testimony of the quality of lecturers and graduates trained by the unit, as well as proof of their hard work and dedication. The Military Academy acknowledges the challenges experienced in the first year level. The faculty recorded 65% pass rate in the first year which is still reasonably high compared to other faculties.  The cream of the crop amongst the achievers were Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Nel (Lecturer), Doctor Noel Jacobs (Secundus Dean of Faculty Military Science), Doctor Abraham Love Prins (lecturer), Lieutenant Vusi David Malaza (lecturer), Captain Lindiwe Mashigo (post graduate student) and Lieutenant Babitsanang Annah Lekhuleng (Graduate from 2012).Lieutenant Colonel (Doctor) Michelle Nel received her LLD from UNISA at the June graduation.  The title of her thesis is “Sentencing Practice in Military Courts”.  She made history by being the first lady at the Military Academy to obtain this degree. The purpose of the research was to investigate the sentencing practice of the military courts.  Since very little research has been done on South African military law this study makes new material available that has not been published in the public domain.  In investigating the military judicial system certain constitutional concerns were identified regarding the independence of the military justice system, the treatment of military offenders as well as the powers of appeal and review of the military review authority.  To a large extent it was also found that a number of concerns are based on apparent dangers rather than actual dangers to the independence of military courts and the rights of the military accused.  This thesis therefore contributed to the accessibility of military law for a civilian audience, facilitating a platform for future military law research.Doctor Abraham Love Prins achieved his Ph.D with the title of his thesis being “Fischer-Clifford matrices and character tables of inertia groups of maximal subgroups of finite simple groups of extension type”.  The character table of a group provides considerable information about the group and is therefore important in the physical sciences as well as in pure mathematics. Since the classification of all finite simple groups, completed around 1980, more recent work in group theory has involved methods of calculating character tables of maximal subgroups of finite simple groups. In his thesis he applied techniques bases on the Fischer-Clifford theory and demonstrate considerable ability and insight into solving difficult mathematical problems successfully, using computer algebra systems such as GAP and MAGMA. The use of these systems requires an advanced knowledge of algebra together with an ability to write programs to do special calculations. Few people have used this particular technique up to now but interest has grown in recent years and is likely to be used in the future to solve many more mathematical problems.Doctor Noel Jacobs has successfully trained and supervised the first Masters student in the Technology program of the Faculty of Military Science. Dr Jacobs also completed his MBA as part of staff development and attributes his success in the completion of the degree to inspiration, motivation and youthful exuberance he gets from his own student. Lieutenant Vusi David Malaza made history by completing his Masters in Military Technology with a cum laude. He also made history by being the first student to have graduated from the Military Academy (SA) and the Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) (Dubna, Russia) collaboration administered under the framework of the SA-RUSSIA bilateral agreement.   Lt Malaza’s research was based on Nuclear Physics, specifically looking at Nuclear Reactions.  For this purpose he successfully designed two multi-detector systems installed in Russia at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). These detector systems enabled him to come up with a new nuclear decay channel which can be used in the future to produce energy (electricity) more efficiently.  His research was under the supervision of Dr N.M. Jacobs.Capt Lindiwe Mashigo received the rector’s award from the University of Stellenbosch for Academic Excellence. The award is awarded to the best student over-all students for the past three years of study. Lieutenant Babitsanang Annah Lekhuleng received her B Mil degree in Human and Organizational Development (HOD) with Cum Laude at Stellenbosch University graduation during December 2012.  She received awards for being the best final year student, the best SA Army student, as well as being the overall best student in the HOD programme.  She was also the best third year student in the HOD programme, Applied labour law and Public and Development Management.  She also received the Sword of honour for being the overall best third year student, which includes academic and military aspects.  She is starting with her B Mil Honours degree in Industrial Psychology at the Military Academy this year.