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Personal Details

Sylvester Salufu Mainga was born in the north east of Namibia in his home village Kanono, Sibbinda Constituency in the Zambezi Region on 18 August 1955. He is married to Doreen with four children Inonge, Namakau, Mainga and Salufu.


He received primary education in his home village and secondary education at Kizito College, some 3 km east of Katima Mulilo. He graduated from the University of the North (Turfloop) with a B Juris in 1982, with an LLB at Rhodes University in 1985, and with an LLM at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State, USA in 1995.

Professional History

After his graduation of the B Juris degree, he worked for a year for the then Administration for Caprivians, the Zambezi Region, today, before enrolling for the LLB degree at Rhodes University. After his graduation of the LLB degree he unsuccessfully failed to secure articles of clerkship in two of the law firms in Windhoek he had applied for. He then joined the office of then the Attorney-General as a public prosecutor in the Magistrate’s Court Windhoek. He was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South West Africa during January 1989. During July 1989 for a brief period he presided as a Magistrate at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. From the beginning of August 1989 to 17 November 1989 he was an officer in the Commission for the Prevention and Combating of Intimidation and Election Malpractices established in terms of Proclamation AG 11 of 1989.

He was appointed as a magistrate in his home town of Katima Mulilo at the beginning of 1990 where he remained until 31 January 1991. At the beginning of February 1991 he was transferred to the Grootfointen Magistrate’s Office, where he presided over the Otavi and Tsumkwe Magistrates Courts as well. During 1992 he was elevated to the Regional Court as one of the two Regional Court Magistrate’s, presiding over the Otjiwarongo, Rundu and Oshakati Magisterial Divisions.

At the end of 1993, beginning 1994 he secured a Fulbright scholarship to study an LLM degree in the USA. He left Namibia at the beginning of July 1994 to Washington D. C. where he registered for an Orientation Course in the US Legal System from 11 July to 6 August 1994 at Georgetown University Law Center. He successfully completed the course and was awarded a certificate. He thereafter proceeded to Philadelphia where he registered for the LLM degree which he obtained in 1995. On his return to Namibia in the middle of the year in 1995, he was elevated to head the Oshakati Division which comprised of Tsumeb, Ondangwa, Eenhana, Oshakati, Outapi and Opuwo Magisterial Districts. He, besides heading the Oshakati Division continued to preside over the Regional Court in Otjiwarongo, Rundu and Oshakati Divisions.

On 1 February 1997 he was appointed as the Chief Magistrate, he and his family returned and settled in Windhoek. On 16 January 1999 he was appointed as an Acting judge of the High Court of Namibia the position he occupied until 15 October 1999. On 16 October 1999, he was appointed as a Judge of the High Court in a permanent capacity. He served in that capacity until 30 April 2010. On 1 May 2010, he was elevated to the Bench of the Supreme Court of Namibia.

Other Relevant Activities

While serving as a Judge of the High Court of Namibia:

  • He chaired the Magistrates’ Commission from July 2006 to 30 April 2010;
  • He chaired the Steering Committee on the community service.

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