Zola Skweyiya

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Zola Sidney Themba Skweyiya
Zola Skweyiya.jpg
South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
In office
September 2009 – February 2014
President Jacob Zuma
Preceded by Obed Mlaba
Minister of Social Development
In office
Succeeded by Edna Molewa
Minister of Public Service and Administration
In office
Succeeded by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi
Personal details
Born (1942-04-14) 14 April 1942 (age 74)
Simon's Town
Political party African National Congress
Alma mater University of Leipzig

Zola Sidney Themba Skweyiya (born 14 April 1942 in Simon's Town, Western Cape) is a South African politician who was Minister of Public Service and Administration from 1994 to 1999 and Minister of Social Development from 1999 to 2009. Skweyiya was re-elected to the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress in 2007.


Since his return from exile in 1990, he has directed the Department of Legal and Constitutional Affairs. He has helped to set up the Centre for Development Studies and the South African Legal Defence Fund, both at the University of the Western Cape. Skweyiya also serves on the board of trustees of the National Commission for the Rights of Children. He was also elected as president of UNESCO's Management of Social Transformations.

Skweyiya was first elected to Parliament in 1994, and he joined the Cabinet as Minister of Public Service and Administration in the same year. He was moved to the position of Minister of Social Development under President Thabo Mbeki in 1999. After 15 years in the Cabinet and Parliament, his retirement from both was announced on 6 May 2009, following the April 2009 general election. As a result, he was not sworn in for the new parliamentary term. He did not leave politics altogether, however; he remained a member of the ANC National Executive Committee[1] and on 7 May 2009 the party announced that he would have a new post working at the ANC Presidency. According to ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, Skweyiya voluntarily chose to leave parliamentary politics, "contrary to current speculative and surreptitious commentary". He praised Skweyiya's "immense skill and expertise" and said that the ANC still wanted to make use of his abilities.[2]

He was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to as the South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in September 2009.[3]


  1. ^ "Skweyiya set to retire", Sapa (IOL), 6 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Skweyiya deployed to ANC Presidency", Sapa (IOL), 7 May 2009.
  3. ^ "High Commissioner Profile". southafricahouseuk.com. 

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