Honourable Penda Ya Ndakolo, born on 23 March 1960 at Oshigambo in Oshikoto Region, is the current Minister of Defence since 21 March 2015.
Prior to his appointment as Minister, he served as Governor of Oshikoto Region from 2004 - 2015. He has been a Regional Councillor in Oshikoto Region from 1993 -2004 and SWAPO Party District Coordinator in the Oshikoto Region from 1990 – 1992. He was also a teacher at Onkumbula Junior Primary School immediately after independence.
Hon. Ya Ndakolo joined the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) in 1975 and joined the Liberation Struggle in 1979. In the same year, he received military training, and specialised in Radio Communication Warfare.
He was an Anti – Air Defence Platoon Commander in the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) from 1979 -1980. In 1980 to 1989 he served as a Political Commissar and Deputy Commander of Political Matters.
Hon. Ya Ndakolo studied Fundamentals of Regional and Local Government. He has also studied Project Management, Public Service Management as well as Public Service Delivery courses with ESAMI.
He was honoured with the First Class Medal, the Most Distinguished Order of Namibia by His Excellency Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2014.
The Minister is the political head of the Ministry of Defence and is accountable to the Government and the nation for the effective management and administration of the Ministry and the NDF. Acting through the Chief of the Defence Force, he/she provides the policy direction of the Defence Force.
The Minister of Defence chairs the Defence Staff Council which is the MOD's highest Management Committee. As the Minister responsible for defence, he represents the Ministry in the National Assembly and in Cabinet. The Minister is supported directly by the Deputy Minister, the Chief of the Defence Force and the Permanent Secretary.