Fikile Mbalula

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Fikile Mbalula

Minister of Police
In office
31 March 2017 – 26 February 2018
PresidentJacob Zuma
Preceded byNkosinathi Nhleko
Succeeded byBheki Cele
Minister of Sport and Recreation
In office
1 November 2010 – 31 March 2017
PresidentJacob Zuma
Preceded byMakhenkesi Stofile
Succeeded byThembelani Nxesi
Personal details
Born (1971-04-08) 8 April 1971 (age 47)
Botshabelo, Free State
Political partyAfrican National Congress

Fikile April Mbalula (born 8 April 1971[1] in the Free State) is a South African politician who is the former Minister of Police and Minister of Sports and Recreation in the Cabinet of South Africa, a former deputy minister of police, a member of the national executive committee of the African National Congress and former leader of the African National Congress Youth League.


Mbalula was appointed Deputy Minister of Police in the cabinet of Jacob Zuma in May 2009 and later became the Minister of Sport and Recreation after President Jacob Zuma changed his cabinet. On 31 March 2017 following a controversial reshuffling in the cabinet, Mbalula was appointed as Minister of Police taking over from Nathi Nhleko [2] after lobbying from the ANC Youth League[3][4] and possibly as a reward for loyalty towards Zuma,[5] according to media speculation.

In the 2009 general elections he was the manager of the ANC election campaign, which was considered highly successful.[6]

Mbalula was elected to the ANC NEC at the party's Polokwane conference in December 2007 in 15th place, measured in number of votes.[7] He subsequently retired as president of the ANC Youth League of which, at age 36, he was no longer eligible to be a member.[8]

Mbalula was elected president of the ANC Youth League in August 2004, having previously held the post of secretary general.[9]

Mbalula has been credited with installing South African President Thabo Mbeki in that position, and for later deposing him as head of the ANC.[10] His support has also been described as key in gaining Zuma the ANC presidency in a hard-fought race with Mbeki.[11]

He also supported the candidacy of Julius Malema to succeed him as head of the Youth League in what was seen as a move to ensure continuing League support for Zuma.[12]

Apart from politics, he is an ardent supporter of the Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, and the "Minister of Twitter".

Controversial statements[edit]

Known for his disregard for speaking conventions,[13] Mbalula has several times made headlines with controversial statements. In June 2007 he likened the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Bombay, saying black students were left on the periphery while those of Indian descent swelled the ranks.[14]

In December 2007, amid rising tensions in the run-up to the ANC's Polokwane conference, Mbalula wrote a letter to finance minister Trevor Manuel calling him arrogant and an "attention-seeking drama queen". This followed Manuel dismissing Mbalula as a "self-appointed spokesperson of the national democratic revolution".[15]

In April 2008 Mbalula said that Barney Pityana, rector of the University of South Africa, had "made a clown of himself by his overzealous confusion and comical postulations" after Pityana expressed criticism of Zuma.

In January 2014, after Bafana Bafana were eliminated in the first round from the CHAN competition, Mbalula said that the national team were "a bunch of losers".[16][17]

He also once at a public meeting (in the presence of the media) chanted the Springboks rugby team on, ahead of their overseas tour, with the words "Donner hulle...bliksem hulle", to which the audience of supporters erupted in cheers.

On 25 April 2016, he suspended the privileges of SA Rugby, Cricket South Africa and Athletics SA from bidding for international tournaments due to lack of transformation.[18]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  2. ^ New Cabinet – full appointments Archived May 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. News24
  3. ^ ANCYL wants its cadres in top posts Sowetan
  4. ^ Speculation about Zuma's cabinet News24
  5. ^ Zuma's Cabinet: Who's in? News24
  6. ^ Slick party machinery wins the day Business Day
  7. ^ Meet Jacob Zuma's A-team IOL
  8. ^ ANCYL president to retire at 36 News24
  9. ^ ANC Youth League calls on members to put country first SABC
  10. ^ Zuma's NWC vs Mbeki's cabinet Independent Online
  11. ^ Zuma backers urge new direction
  12. ^ Malema elected as new ANCYL leader Mail & Guardian
  13. ^ "Are you mockering me". News24. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  14. ^ Mbalula's comment angers UKZN staff Independent Online
  15. ^ 'Drama queen' Manuel slammed by Mbalula IOL
  16. ^ Mbalula:Useless Bafana are bunch of losers IOL
  17. ^ Bafana 'a bunch of losers', says Mbalula Mail & Guardian
  18. ^ Mbalula bans SA from bidding for major rugby, cricket events Sport24