Deputy Minister in the Presidency Hlengiwe Mkhize has passed away, news reports confirmed on Thursday.
Hlengiwe Mkhize dies: What’s the cause of death?
Mkhize, who was aged 69 at the time of her death, served as a high-ranking member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) in the ANC.
At the time this article was published, no statement had been released by the government or her family providing more details on the cause of her death.
This is a developing story
Mkhize’s biography: Here’s what we know about her
Mkhize was renowned in political circles for her work in advocating for women and children’s rights. She graduated with a BA degree in Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology from the University of Zululand in 1976, and later obtained a BA Honours in Psychology and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology in 1978 and 1981, respectively.
While her history with the ANC is not well-documented, early indications of her work with the political party can be traced back to the early 1990s.
While working as a senior lecturer and researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand between 1990 and 1995, Mkhize was recruited to serve in the ANC’s interim branch executive committee (BEC) in Diepsloot and Sandton.
Mkhize served in this position during former president Nelson Mandela’s first and only term. These are the other prominent positions Mkhize held in her tenure as a key member of the ruling party:
1991 – 1995
- ANC BEC Diepsloot member
- Member of the National Women’s Resource Centre
- Board member of the Human Rights Foundation
- Board member of the Goldstone Commission Committee to clarifying the status of traumatised children
- Board member of the South African Prisoner’s Organisation for Human Rights
1995 – 2003
- Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Chairperson of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee
- Member of the Peace Accord Secretariat
- Trustee of the National Peace Accord Trust
2004 – 2008
- Chairperson of the FAZE 2 Civil Society Organisation
- Reparations officer in the President’s Fund
- Chairperson of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- Chairperson of the Council of the University of Zululand
- Chairperson of Transparency International South Africa
- Vice president of the member states at the International Criminal Court at The Hague and the United Nations
- Secretary of the ANC Havana City Branch
- Chairperson of the ANCWL
- Ambassador of South Africa to the Netherlands
2009 – 2014
- Deputy Minister of Correctional Services
- Deputy Minister of Economic Development
2015 – Present
- Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services
- Interim Minister of Home Affairs
- Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women and Children
SA pays tribute to Hlengiwe Mkhize
In the ANC’s limelight, Mkhize often found comfort in letting her peers get the shine. The 69-year-old’s resume remains without stains or links to corruption. In fact, in her short stint as Minister of Home Affairs in 2017, Mkhize was at the centre of reforming the Gupta-tainted department.
Tributes have poured in since news of her passing was confirmed. Here are some of the reactions we picked out from social media:
It is with great sadness and grief that we confirm that Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize passed away this morning, 16 September 2021. Our prayers go out to the Mkhize family. May her soul rest in power.— Dept of Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities (@DWYPD_ZA) September 16, 2021
Sincere condolences to family and friends of Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize (Deputy Minister in Presidency) Thank you for sharing your light & wisdom with all of us ma…May you rest and rise in Glory ✨ pic.twitter.com/WGZQKtAAh6— Sarah Madingwana (@SarahMadingwana) September 16, 2021
How I had hoped and hoped that one day Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize would leave politics and join Academia on full time basis. You couldn't convice her otherwise. She loved the back stabbing ANC. RIP Mom Hlengiwe pic.twitter.com/BEAwbNdzuQ— #QueSeraSera (@ranaperefilwe1) September 16, 2021
RIP Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, deputy minister in the Presidency.— Suntosh Pillay (@suntoshpillay) September 16, 2021
A psychologist turned ANC politician, and former TRC commissioner.
Condolences to her family and friends.