Joel Netshitenzhe

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Joel Netshitenzhe (born 21 December 1956 in Sibasa, Venda) was head of the policy and coordination advisory unit in the presidency until the end of December 2009.[1] He previously served as head of South Africa's Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) from 1998 to 2006.

As a key political strategist for South African President Thabo Mbeki, Netshitenzhe is considered one of the country's most powerful political players.[2] As head of the GCIS, his role is effectively to head up the president's policy unit.

Netshitenzhe was at one stage considered as a possible contender in the country's forthcoming presidential elections due to his close working relationship with Mbeki.[3][4] However, after Mbeki rival Jacob Zuma assumed the presidency of the ruling African National Congress in December 2007, Netshitenzhe's prospects looked to have diminished significantly. He has, however, retained his place on the party's influential National Executive Committee,[5] where he is on the economic transformation and political education subcommittees.[6]


  1. ^ "Zuma praises Netshitenzhe – full text". The Times. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Dlamini-Zuma, Nkosazana (11 December 2007). "Other Likely Contenders". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Plaut, Martin (29 July 2007). "ANC launches leadership selection". BBC News. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Malefane, Moipone (4 November 2007). "Now Netshitenzhe enters the race". The Times. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "ANC National Executive Committee". African National Congress. 20 December 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "ANC heavyweight weighs in against mine nationalisation". Mining Weekly. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010.