Deputy Chief of the Air Force



Major General Gerald Malinga


Major General 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 courier.

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.

The General 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.

He attended 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.


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