Vice Admiral Refiloe Johannes Mudimu was born in Johannesburg on 6 March 1954. Mudimu joined the Navy in January 1998 when he was appointed Inspector General. On April 1, 1999, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Flag Officer Fleet, a post he retained until September 30, 2000, when he was appointed Chief of Navy Staff. He succeeded Vice Admiral Johan Retief as Chief of the Navy on March 1, 2005.
Mudimu joined uMkhonto we Sizwe in 1975 and left South Africa in August the next year. He attended training courses in Angola, the former East Germany and the then-Soviet Union. He completed a MK commander`s course in 1977 and served as an instructor at various MK camps until 1979 when he was promoted Chief of Logistics in Angola. His next posting was at ANC head office in Lusaka where he headed Youth Radio programmes. He also served on the editorial board of ANC Youth publications. Mudimu`s next posting was to Zimbabwe where he headed the Ordnance Department. He was next appointed head of underground units in the Transvaal and Northern Transvaal. He was then appointed to MK High Command as Deputy Chief of Personnel and Training.
After joining the SANDF in 1994, Mudimu was posted to the office of the General Siphiwe Nyanda as MK Chief of Staff Personnel and Training and was later appointed Director Integration and Rationalisation of Non-statutory Forces.