Gerald Malinga was born on the 18th May 1957 in
Johannesburg, being one of five children. He
attended St Martins Catholic Primary School and
Orlando West High School both situated in
Orlando West in Soweto. He was a student
activist in high school and joined the Azanian
People’s Liberation Army (APLA) in 1975 as a
In 1976 he left South Africa for
military training in exile. At the beginning of
1977, General Malinga was selected to be part of
a group of APLA cadres to be trained in aviation
in Nigeria. He qualified as a pilot at the
Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre in
Zaria, Kaduna State and later obtained the
Commercial Pilot's License and a Diploma in 1980.
General Malinga studied in the USA and obtained
a Bachelor of Arts Business Administration
(Double Major) from Stillman College (1991) in
Tuscaloosa Alabama. At Stillman College the
General became a member of the Cordell Wynn
Honors Program and was listed in the Who’s Who
in American Colleges and Universities.
Upon returning to South Africa from exile,
General Malinga integrated into the South
African National Defence Force (SANDF) with the
rank of A Lieutenant Colonel in the South
African Air Force (SAAF) in 1995 where he joined
and flew at 41 Squadron in 1996 and became
Squadron Commander in 1998.
attended and completed the
Senior Command and Staff Course at the South
African Air Force College in 2000. In 2001 he
was posted to and flew at 21 Squadron and was
then promoted to Colonel, he became commander of
21Squadron in 2002.
and completed the Executive
National Security Programme in 2002. In January
2004 he was promoted to Brigadier General and
appointed Director Education, Training and
Development in the South African Air Force. In
March 2005 he was promoted to Major General and
was appointed Chief Director Force Preparation
in the SAAF.
General Malinga was then posted to Joint
Operations Division Headquarters in June 2006 as
the Chief Director Operations Development. In
November 2010 he was appointed as the General
Officer Commanding Air Command at the South
African Air Force Headquarter. He is currently
on the post of Deputy Chief of the Air Force
since November 2011.
The General has been awarded the Silver Merit
Medal, medal for Southern Africa Operations, the
South African Service medal, Unitas medal, the
Itumelo medal for participating in and
supporting operations, the 10, 20 and 30 Years
Good Service medals.
General Malinga is married to Faith and blessed
with two children.