Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

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Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (cropped).jpg
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
Assumed office
26 February 2018
PresidentCyril Ramaphosa
Preceded byGugile Nkwinti
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
In office
10 May 2009 – 26 February 2018
PresidentJacob Zuma
Cyril Ramaphosa
DeputyNomaindia Mfeketo
Luwellyn Landers
Preceded byNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (Foreign Affairs)
Succeeded byLindiwe Sisulu
Minister for Local Government and Housing of Limpopo
In office
25 September 2004 – 9 May 2008
PremierSello Moloto
Preceded byThabo Nzima
Succeeded bySiyabonga Quintin
Personal details
Maite Emily Nkoana

(1963-09-30) 30 September 1963 (age 55)
Magoebaskloof, South Africa
Political partyAfrican National Congress
Spouse(s)Norman Mashabane (Deceased 2007)

Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane (born 30 September 1963[1]) is a South African politician. She has been Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform since February 2018 and previously served as South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation since May 2009, taking over from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma until her redeployment in 2018. She is also a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC).


Nkoana-Mashabane was born in Makgoebaskloof and raised in Ga-Makanye, Limpopo. During the 1980s, she was an active member of the United Democratic Front and served in various structures of the Mass Democratic Movement and the African National Congress’ (ANC) underground structures.[2]

After the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, she served the party in various structures, including the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) and actively participated in the relaunch of the ANCWL in the country. Nkoana-Mashabane went on to be appointed as South African High Commissioner to India and Malaysia.[3][4]

She served as the Chairperson of the ANCWL in Limpopo and as member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the organisation from 1992 to 1995.[5]

On her return to South Africa, Nkoana-Mashabane became Limpopo's Local Government and Housing Member of the Executive Council.[6]

In December 2012, Nkoana-Mashabane was re-elected as a member of the National Executive Committee of the ruling party at the party's 53rd National Conference, held in Mangaung, Free State Province. Her first election to the NEC was at the party's December 2007 National Conference, held in the city of Polokwane.[7][8]

President Jacob Zuma appointed Nkoana-Mashabane as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 9 May 2009. Zuma subsequently disputed suggestions that this was an unusual appointment in light of Nkoana-Mashabane's apparent lack of foreign policy experience, saying that "the ANC knows the strengths of this comrade" and noting that she was a member of the ANC National Executive Committee.[9]

During Nkoana-Mashabane's tenure as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa became a member of the group of emerging economies under the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) banner. Nkoana-Mashabane was President of the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Durban from 28 November to 11 December 2011.[10]

She was sworn in for a second term as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 26 May 2014. She is currently a member of the ANC NEC and NWC. In 2015, Ms Nkoana-Mashabane was elected as the Treasurer General of the ANCWL.[2]

In February 2018, she was moved to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and her position was subsequently filled by Lindiwe Sisulu.

Nkoana-Mashabane rose to infamy after an interview on Al-Jazeera (conducted in 1996) where she responded to questions about the state of South Africa by detailing the manner in which she had, in her childhood, carried water pails on her head and subsequently has a hole in her head.[11] She has also continued to be a dogged supporter and defender of disgraced ex-president Jacob Zuma despite his failure to uphold the constitution, his many corruption charges, and his rape charges, and particularly despite his erratic cabinet reshuffles which saw the South African economy lose R5 billion almost overnight.

Personal life[edit]

Her former husband, Ambassador to Indonesia Norman Mashabane, died in a car accident in 2007.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister". Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Profile: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister".
  3. ^ "Profile: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  4. ^ "Reporter apologises to minister". News24. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  5. ^ "*** ANC Parliamentary Caucus ****". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  6. ^ "Profiles New Cabinet Ministers | PMG". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  7. ^ Wolmarans, Riaan. "Shake-up in ANC national executive". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  8. ^ "52nd National Conference: National Executive Committee as elected | African National Congress". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  9. ^ "Zuma defends choice", SAPA (News24), 10 May 2009.
  10. ^ Black, Richard (11 December 2011). "UN climate talks end with late deal" – via
  11. ^ Spector, J Brooks. "How the Maite Have Fallen: Whatever happened to informed, worldwise foreign ministers?". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 20 August 2018.


Media related to Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
as Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
Succeeded by
Lindiwe Sisulu