Lindiwe Sisulu

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The Honourable
Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu
Lindiwe Sisulu, ABr 1200EF12909099127, detail.jpg
Lindiwe Sisulu, 2009
Minister of Human Settlements
Assumed office
26 May 2014
President Jacob Zuma[1]
Preceded by Connie September
Minister of Public Service and Administration[1]
In office
12 June 2012[1] – 25 May 2014
President Jacob Zuma[1]
Preceded by Roy Padayachie
Succeeded by Collins Chabane
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans[2]
In office
10 May 2009[2] – 12 June 2012[1]
President Jacob Zuma[2]
Preceded by Charles Nqakula[citation needed]
Succeeded by Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula[1]
Minister of Housing
In office
29 April 2004 – 10 May 2009
President Thabo Mbeki
Kgalema Motlanthe
Preceded by Rob Davies[citation needed]
Succeeded by Tokyo Sexwale[2]
Minister of Intelligence
In office
24 January 2001 – 28 April 2004
President Thabo Mbeki
Preceded by Joe Nhlanhla
Succeeded by Ronnie Kasrils
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs
In office
President Nelson Mandela
Thabo Mbeki
Personal details
Born (1954-05-10) 10 May 1954 (age 63)[3]
Johannesburg, South Africa[citation needed]

Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu (born 10 May 1954) is a South African politician, member of parliament since 1994, and member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress. She served as Minister of Housing from 2004 to 2009,[3] Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from 2009 to 2012,[2] currently serving as Minister of Human Settlements since May 2014 and former Minister of Public Service and Administration from 2012–2014.[1] Sisulu returned to her former portfolio of Human Settlements (Housing) in 2014.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sisulu was born to ANC leaders Walter and Albertina Sisulu in Johannesburg.[5] She is the sister of journalist Zwelakhe Sisulu and politician Max Sisulu.

From 1975 to 1976 Sisulu was detained for her anti-apartheid activities. During her exile from 1977 to 1979 she joined the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, specialising in Intelligence.[3][6]


In 1973, Lindiwe Sisulu graduated from Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Mbabane, Swaziland. In 1980, Sisulu received a BA degree and Diploma in Education, and in 1981 received a BA Hons in History from the University of Swaziland. She also received an MA in History, and in 1989 an MPhil from the Centre for Southern African Studies at the University of York.[3]


  • R Cohen, ed. (1991). "Women at Work and Liberation Struggle in the 1980s". Themes in the twentieth century South Africa. Oxford University Press. [3]
  • (1990). "South African Women in Agricultural Sector" (pamphlet), York University.[3]
  • "Women Working Conditions in South Africa". South African Situation Analysis. National Children's Rights Committee, UNESCO. 1992. [3]
  • Housing Delivery and the Freedom charter: the beacon of hope, new agenda. 2005. [3]


  • 1992: Human Rights Center Fellowship in Geneva.[3]
  • 2004: Presidential Award for Housing delivery by the Institute for Housing of South Africa.[3]
  • 2005: International Association for Housing Science Award.[3]

Early career[edit]

In the mid-1980s Sisulu worked as a lecturer at the Mazini Teachers Training College.[7] In 1990 she became the main assistant to Jacob Zuma in the ANC's intelligence services.

Government career[edit]

Sisulu was first given an appointment in the government as deputy minister of home affairs in 1996, serving through 2001. While minister of defence she appointed Tony Yengeni to the Defense Review Committee.[8]


Lindiwe Sisulu's flagship housing project called the N2 Gateway has been embroiled in a number of controversies. Joe Slovo Informal Settlement has adamantly refused to be relocated to Delft, Cape Town to make way for government bond and free houses. After a protest by Joe Slovo residents, Sisulu drew significant criticism from civic groups for saying "if they choose not to cooperate with government, they will be completely removed from all housing waiting lists."[9][10] A spate of letters exchanged between Sisulu and UWC Professor Martin Legassick also received attention because Legassick called into question Sisulu's refusal to meet directly with the residents of Joe Slovo.[11]

In December 2007, the N2 Gateway also was host to the largest occupation of houses in the country's history. The result has been the displacement of thousands of families into Temporary Relocation Areas and onto the pavement in Symphony Way.[12][13]

In September 2009, she appointed Paul Ngobeni as her legal advisor. This appointment was immediately challenged from various quarters, including Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and the Standing Committee on Defense, because he is not qualified to practise law in South Africa and has been disbarred from practising law in the US where he also faces criminal charges of fraud, larceny and petty theft.[14]

Sisulu became embroiled in a controversy in November 2012 when Parliament accused her of over-using executive jet flights during her tenure as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. She was accused of making 203 trips with the South African Air Force rented Gulfstream plane, however due to administrative failures, this figure was incorrect and an apology was issued afterward. She had actually only made 35 trips.[15]

In April 2013, she appointed Menzi Simelane as her legal advisor.[16] In a judgement (in October 2012) finding him unfit to be appointed as head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Constitutional Court Judge Zac Jacoob said "[We] conclude that the evidence was contradictory and on its face indicative of Mr Simelane's honesty. It raises serious questions about Mr Simelane's conscientiousness, integrity, and credibility."[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Changes to National Executive and South African Police Service" (Press release). Government of South Africa. 12 June 2012. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the appointment of the new Cabinet". South African Government Information. 10 May 2009. Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "GCIS: Profile information: Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu, Dr". GCIS. 22 May 2006. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Profiles | National Department of Human Settlement". Republic of South Africa Department of Human Settlements. Retrieved 3 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Sisulu tipped to take acting Deputy President post". SABC news. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Housing, Republic of South Africa". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  7. ^ Africa Confidential profile
  8. ^ Article about Sisulu's removal as defense minister
  9. ^ "N2 Gateway and the Joe Slovo informal settlement: The new Crossroads?". Abahlali baseMjondolo. 16 September 2007. 
  10. ^ "Sisulu plan under fire". The Sowetan. 12 September 2007. 
  11. ^ "Cape Town removals: Exchange of letters re Joe Slovo with Minister Lindiwe Sisulu". Labournet. 
  12. ^ "Squatters vow war if evicted". Cape Argus. 19 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Housing and Evictions at the N2 Gateway Project in Delft". Abahlali baseMjondolo. 8 May 2008. 
  14. ^ "Exchange between Democratic Alliance and Minister Sisulu regarding Paul Ngobeni". 
  15. ^ South Africa: Written Reply On Sisulu's Flights Withdrawn, Africa:, 2012, retrieved 16 November 2012 
  16. ^ "Simelane Appointed Special Adviser". Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Simelane appointment invalid". News24. Retrieved 28 April 2013.