Panyaza Lesufi

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Panyaza Lesufi

Andrek "Panyaza" Lesufi.jpg
Lesufi in 2014
Gauteng MEC for Education
Assumed office
31 May 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byNomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
In office
23 May 2014 – 29 May 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byBarbara Creecy
Succeeded byNomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
Gauteng MEC for Social Development
In office
5 November 2019 – 19 June 2020
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byThuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe
Succeeded byNomathemba Mokgethi
Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government
In office
30 May 2019 – 31 May 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byBarbara Creecy
Succeeded byNomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Assumed office
21 May 2014
Personal details
Andrek Lesufi

(1968-09-04) 4 September 1968 (age 52)
Edenvale, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Political partyAfrican National Congress
Alma materUniversity of Natal

Andrek "Panyaza" Lesufi (born 4 September 1968) is a South African politician. He has been serving as the Gauteng MEC for Education since May 2014, despite a brief interruption in May 2019. He was appointed the Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government in May 2019, but returned to the post of Education MEC a day later. Lesufi is also a Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for the African National Congress (ANC) and the Deputy Chairperson of the party in the province.[1][2][3][4] Lesufi served as the acting MEC for Social Development following the death of Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe in November 2019 until the appointment of Nomathemba Mokgethi in June 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Andrek Lesufi was born on 4 September 1968 in Edenvale, then part of South Africa's Transvaal Province. He and his parents were evicted from Edenvale due to the apartheid-era Group Areas Act. They relocated to Tembisa. He was given the nickname "Panyaza" because of his love of football.[5]

Lesufi attended Tlamatlama Lower Primary School and soon started schooling at Tshepisa Higher Primary School. He matriculated from Boitumelong Senior Secondary School and completed his tertiary education at the University of Natal, where obtained a bachelor's degree in administration.[6]

Political career[edit]

Lesufi had been involved in the Mass Democratic Movement while he was still in his youth. He started his political activism in Tembisa. While attending the Boitumelong Secondary School, student activist Kennedy Nkoane recruited Lesufi to become involved in anti-apartheid activities. Lesufi's older brother and student leader at the University of the North, Nikisi Lesufi, had by that time escaped from prison and left South Africa to become a member of the ANC.[7]

Lesufi was a member and leader of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS). He became involved in the Tembisa Student Congress (TESO) when COSAS was banned. He was also active in the National Education Crisis Committee. Lesufi was involved in the South African Student Congress (SASCO) while a student at the University of Natal. He would eventually be elected the president of the university's SRC.[8]

Lesufi has been incarcerated twice. He was briefly sentenced to the Modderbee Prison in 1988 after defying the state of emergency regulations.[7] In 1995, he served a short prison sentence at the Durban City Prison.[citation needed] South African President Thabo Mbeki, later on, awarded him the University of Natal’s Chief Albert Luthuli Award.[8]

After the unbanning of the African National Congress, Lesufi became involved in the party's structures and served as chairperson of the party's now-defunct Tembisa branch for three terms. He soon became deputy regional secretary of the party's Kyalami region. He was the inaugural deputy regional secretary of the party's Ekurhuleni Region. He has served on the ANC's Provincial Executive Committee since 2007. In June 2018, Lesufi was elected deputy provincial chairperson of the party.[9][10]

Lesufi was the spokesperson of the inaugural Ekurhuleni Mayor Bavumile Vilakazi. He was at a time part of a task team assembled by the Minister of Social Development Zola Skweyiya to establish the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). He also worked for the Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and soon became involved in the Department of Basic Education in 2014.[11]

Gauteng provincial government[edit]

Following Lesufi's election to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 2014, Lesufi was named Gauteng MEC for Education. He held the post until May 2019 when Premier David Makhura appointed him to the position of Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government. Due to public outcry, Lesufi was reinstated as Gauteng MEC for Education.[12][13][14] After the death of Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe in November 2019, he was appointed the Social Development MEC.[15] He served in the post until the permanent appointment of Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi in June 2020.[16]


  1. ^ Krige, Nick. Panyaza Lesufi back in education: The people have spoken, The South African, 31 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  2. ^ Lesufi emerges victorious as deputy chairperson in Gauteng, The Citizen, 21 July 2018. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  3. ^ Panyaza Lesufi new finance MEC as Gauteng cabinet announced, BusinessDay, 29 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  4. ^ New Gauteng premier appoints executive council, News24, 23 May 2014. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  5. ^ Taunyane, Omogolo (6 May 2019). "Panyaza Lesufi: Gauteng education MEC, soccer fanatic, Ngud' groover". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  6. ^ Panyaza Lesufi: Is he qualified to be Gauteng’s new finance MEC?,The South African, 29 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b Lesufi appointed MEC, The Tembisan, 10 June 2019. Retrieved on 28 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b Andrek Panyaza Lesufi, Millennium@EDU SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION. Retrieved on 28 July 2019.
  9. ^ Panyaza Lesufi: My future is in the ANC. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  10. ^ Panyaza Lesufi wins Gauteng ANC deputy chair position. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  11. ^ Minister Bathabile Dlamini: Social Development Dept Budget Vote Speech 2016/17. Retrieved on 28 July 2019.
  12. ^ Panyaza Lesufi back as MEC for education in Gauteng, TimesLIVE, 31 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  13. ^ Panyaza Lesufi back as Gauteng education MEC after public demand, BusinessDay, 31 May 2019.
  14. ^ Lesufi back as education MEC. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  15. ^ Jordaan, Nomahlubi (5 November 2019). "'It's an honour', says Lesufi after being named acting social development MEC". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  16. ^ Tandwa, Lizeka (19 June 2020). "Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi appointed new Gauteng social development MEC". News24. Retrieved 12 September 2020.

External links[edit]