Refiloe Johannes Mudimu

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Refiloe Johannes Mudimu
Vice Admiral Mudimu.jpg
Born (1954-03-06) 6 March 1954 (age 61)
Sophiatown, Johannesburg, South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
Service/branch  South African Navy
Years of service 1998 – 2014
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held
  • Chief of the South African Navy
  • Chief of Naval Staff
  • Chief Director Maritime Support
  • Chief of Fleet Staff
  • IG SA Navy

Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu CLSDMGSMMMSMMMMMB,LOM,SAN (Rtd) is a former South African military commander, who served as the Chief of the Navy before his retirement in 2014.

Early life[edit]

Johannes Mudimu was born on 6 March 1954,[6] in Sophiatown. He became a member of the African National Congress and Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) in 1975.

Early career[edit]

Mudimu received his military training in Angola, East Germany and the then USSR. He successfully completed the commander’s course in 1977.[7] He then served as an instructor in MK camps until 1979 when he was deployed as Chief of Logistics in Luanda, Angola.[8]

Mudimu later served in ANC Headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia as the co-ordinator of the ANC Youth Radio Programs as well as a member of the Editorial Board of the Youth Publications. Early in 1985, he was deployed in Harare, Zimbabwe as the ordnance operative.[8]

Later, Mudimu was deployed as a commander of the underground units in the Transvaal and Northern Transvaal Provinces. He returned to South Africa in 1991 after the unbanning of the ANC.[9] In 1992, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Personnel and Training and served in the MK High Command until the integration of the forces to form the South African National Defence Force in 1994.[8]

After the integration of the forces, he was appointed to General Siphiwe Nyanda’s office as MK Chief of Staff Personnel and Training. Later he was appointed Director, Integration of the Non Statutory Forces (NSF’s).

Navy career[edit]

Mudimu was transferred from MK to the South African Navy in 1998 as a Rear Admiral (Junior Grade).[10] Later, he was appointed as the Inspector General (Navy). That same year, he successfully completed the Navy Senior Command and Staff Course as well as the Senior Management Programme at the University of Stellenbosch.[8]

On 1 April 1999, Mudimu was transferred to Simon’s Town where he was appointed Chief of Fleet Staff until 30 September 2000. On 1 October 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and appointed as Chief Director Maritime Support,[11] a post later changed to Chief of Naval Staff. He has completed all military courses prescribed for senior officers including the Joint Staff Course 41/99.

In 2005, Mudimu was appointed Chief of the South African Navy and promoted to Vice Admiral.[8][12]

Vice Admiral Mudimu retired on 31 March 2014.[13]

US Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus visits with the Chief of the South African Navy Vice Adm. Johannes Mudimu


On 20 March 2014 it was announced that Vice Admiral Mudimu was due to become the next Chairman of Armscor.[14]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

On 19 April 2012, Johannes Mudimu received an Honorary Doctorate from Durban University of Technology.[15]

His list of Military awards includes:[1][2]

Military offices
Preceded by
Johan Retief
Chief of the South African Navy
2005 – 2014
Succeeded by
Samuel Hlongwane
Preceded by
Position renamed
Chief of Naval Staff
2000 – 2005
Succeeded by
Mosoeu Magalefa
Preceded by
Martyn Trainor
Chief Director Maritime Support
2000 – 2000
Succeeded by
Position renamed
Preceded by
IG South African Navy
1998 – 1999
Succeeded by
J Barker

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CV of the Chief of the Navy". SA Navy. 
  2. ^ a b "C Navy awarded US Legion of Merit Medal". Navy News XVII (4): 8. 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Hendricks, Lisa (September 2007). "Brazil honours SANDF members for meritorious service" (PDF). SA Soldier: 23. 
  4. ^ a b "Tamandaré Medal of Merit" (PDF). SA Soldier 12 (3): 16. March 2005. 
  5. ^ a b Janse van Rensburg, AB Phillip (2008). "More Honours for Chief of the Navy". Navy News XVII (4): 15. 
  6. ^ "Johannes Mudimu". Who's Who SA. 2012. 
  7. ^ "V Adm Refiloe Johannes Mudimu". Fact files. DefenceWeb. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Vice Admiral Refiloe Johannes Mudimu | South African History Online
  9. ^ "SA Navy Vision & Mission". RSA Department of Defence. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Mokone, Tumo (March 3, 1998). "Navy swims steadily towards integration". City Press. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ "SENIOR PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS IN THE SANDF". South African Government. 27 September 2000. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  12. ^ Maluleka, Slindile (16 April 2012). "Plea to Africa to invest in navies". Independent Online. Retrieved 20 April 2012. SA Navy chief Vice-Admiral Johannes Mudimu has called on African countries to invest more in protecting their seas from piracy. 
  13. ^ Helfrich, Kim. "Hlongwane named new Navy Chief". Defenceweb. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  14. ^ Helfrich, Kim. "Defence Review approved, new Armscor chairman named". DefenceWeb. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ Durban Univ Technology to honour Navy Chief - Daily News |
  16. ^ "Medals of Brazil". Orders, Decorations & Medals. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  17. ^ Zulu, N.C. LS. "Seafarer bestowed Medal of Merit". Navy, RSA Department of Defence. Retrieved 26 November 2014.