Oupa Gqozo

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Joshua Oupa Gqozo (; born 10 March 1952) was the military ruler of the former homeland of Ciskei in South Africa.

Early life

Oupa Gqozo was born in Kroonstad on 10 March 1952, the son of a Christian minister. He was sent away at a young age to stay with a relative living in Witgatboom in Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo Province). There he completed his primary education at Seabe Community School. Gqozo returned to Kroonstad where he attended the Phomolong Junior and Bodibeng Senior High School. He dropped out of school in 1972 and went to work as a warder at Kroonstad prison. He later matriculated through correspondence in 1975. In Afrikaans, Oupa means "Grandfather".

Military career

The Prisons Department sent Gqozo to study at the Baviaanspoort Training College and upon completion he worked at Klerksdorp prison. He joined the South African Defence Force (SADF) and worked as a soldier and chief clerk of 21 Battalion based in Lenasia, Johannesburg.


The Ciskei Defence Force (CDF) was established during March 1981 from 141 Battalion of the SADF as part of 21 Battalion. Gqozo was moved from the SADF to the CDF as part of the officer core. On 4 December 1981, Ciskei was granted nominal independence...
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