Africa & World

South African deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize dies

SOUTH Africa’s Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize has passed away at the age of 69.

Her cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa paid tribute to her on Twitter shortly after news of her death broke.

He wrote: “My condolences to her family and her Organisation, ANC. She rode to prominence when she was one of the TRC Commissioners. A very passionate individual about her work. RIP Sisi”.

Mkhize was appointed to the position in 2019.

Prior to her appointment as deputy minister, Mkhize served as South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands from 2005 to 2008.

She was also the deputy minister of correctional services from May 2009 to June 2012, and the deputy minister of economic development from June 2012 until May 2014.

Mkhize served as the deputy minister of telecommunications and postal services from May 2014 to March 2017 and was the minister of home affairs from March 2017 to October the same year.

Mkhize was also the chairperson of the peace commission of the South African Women in Dialogue since 2004; the treasurer general of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL), and had been a member of the National Executive Committee in the ruling party.

She was a founder member and a trustee of the Children and Violence Trust and had been a trustee of the Malibongwe Business Trust from 2005.

Her death follows the sudden demise of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu who died of Covid-19 related complications earlier this year.

He was 62-years-old.

Mthembu was the face of the ANC for many years as its spokesperson and recently was the face of the government in the fight against the coronavirus. □

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