Fact file: Defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu


Below is the government biography of the new Minister of Defence, Lindiwe Sisulu 

  • Date of Birth: 10 May 1954
  • Born to Walter and Albertina Sisulu
  • Marital Status: Married
Current Positions
  • Minister of Housing of the Republic of South Africa since 29 April 2004.
  • Inaugural Chairperson of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development since 2005.
  • Member of Parliament since 1994.
  • Member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African Congress (ANC).
  • Member of the National Working Committee of the ANC.
  • Trustee of the South African Democracy Education Trust.
  • Member of the Board of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
  • Trustee of the Albertina and Walter Sisulu Trust.
Academic Qualifications
  • Completed GCE Cambridge University Ordinary Level at St Michael’s School, Swaziland (1971).
  • Completed GCE Advanced Level at Waterford Kamhlaba, Swaziland (1973).
  • BA degree and Diploma in Education, University of Swaziland (1980).
  • BA Hons in History from University of Swaziland (1981).
  • MA in History, Centre for Southern African Studies, University of York.
  • M Phil, Centre for Southern African Studies, University of York (1989). Thesis topic: ‘Women at Work and Liberation Struggle in South Africa’.
Career/Memberships/Positions/Other Activities
  • Detained for political activities (1975 – 1976).
  • Joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and worked for underground structures of ANC in exile 1977 – 1978).
  • Obtained military training specialising in Intelligence (1977 – 1979).
  • Teacher at Manzini Central High School (1981).
  • Lecturer, Department of History, University of Swaziland (1982).
  • Sub-editor, The Times of Swaziland, Mbabane, Swaziland (1983).
  • Lecturer, Manzini Teachers Training College (1985 – 1987).
  • Chief Examiner, History for Junior Certificate Examinations for Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (1985 1987).
  • Returned to South Africa (1990).
  • Personal Assistant to Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) Head of Intelligence (1990).
  • Chief Administrator for the ANC at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) (1991).
  • Administrator of Intelligence, ANC Department of Intelligence and Security (1992).
  • Director of the Govan Mbeki Research Fellowship, University of Fort Hare (1993).
  • Member of Management of the Sub-Council on Intelligence, Transitional Executive Council (TEC) (1994).
  • Chairperson of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (1995 – 1996).
  • Consultant of the National Children’s Right Committee, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. (UNESCO) (1992).
  • Member of Management Committee, Policing Organisation and Management course, PDM, University of the Witwatersrand (1993).
  • Deputy Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa (1996 – 2001).
  • Minister of Intelligence of the Republic of South Africa (24 January 2001 – 28 April 2004).
  • Head of the Command Centre for Emergency Reconstruction (2000 – 2002).
  • Minister of Housing (29 April 2004 – 9 May 2009)
  • MInister of Defence (10 May 2009 – present)
  • Awarded the Human Rights Center Fellowship in Geneva (1992). Her project for the UN Center resulted in University of the Witwatersrand School of Business setting up a training course to upgrade the policing skill of MK members.
  • The Presidential Award for the breaking new ground in Housing delivery strategy by the Institute for Housing of South Africa (2004).
  • International Association for Housing Science Award in recognition for outstanding contributions and achievement towards improving and solving world’s housing problems (2005).
Research and Publications
  • ‘Women at Work and Liberation Struggle in the 1980’s’ in R Cohen (ed), Themes in the twentieth century South Africa, Oxford University Press (1991).
  • ‘South African Women in Agricultural Sector’ (pamphlet) York University (1990).
  • ‘Women Working Conditions in South Africa’ South African Situation Analysis, National Children’s Rights Committee, UNESCO (1992).
  • Housing Delivery and the Freedom charter: the beacon of hope, new agenda. Second quarter (2005).
Source: Ministry of Housing