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Minister of Defence, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu

Ms Lindiwe Sisulu assumed office on 11 May 2009. She succeeded Mr Charles Nqakula who left office on 08 May 2009. Whilst the Deputy Minister Mr Thabang Makwetla succeeded Mr Fezile Bhengu.

Ms Sisulu was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 10 May 1954. In 1973 she completed the GCE Advanced Level certificate, at Waterford Kamhlaba, in Swaziland.

Her highest academic qualification is a Master of Arts in History obtained from the University of York, in the United Kingdom (UK). Ms Sisulu holds amongst others a Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of York, Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Swaziland and Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Swaziland.

She was detained for political activities from 1975-1976. Upon her release she went into exile where she joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and worked for underground structures of the African National Congress (ANC). She received military training, specialising in Intelligance (1977-1979).

Whilst in exile she held several positions. She taught at Manzini Central High School in 1981, and later became a lecturer in the History Department at University of Swaziland in 1982. In 1983 she was employed by The Times of Swaziland newspaper as a sub-editor. After this she went back to the Education Department where she became a Chief Examiner for Junior Certificate Examinations Syndicate in Botswana, Lesotho and Swazliland from 1985-1987.

In 1990 she worked as Personal Assistant to the current President, Mr Jacob Zuma. The positions she has held include Chief Administrator for the ANC at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) in 1991, Administrator of Intelligence, ANC Department of intelligence and Security in 1992, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence since 1995 to 1996.

In 1996 she was appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs until 2001, after which she was appointed Minister for Intelligence Services until 2004. It was after the second National democratic elections that she became Minister of Housing. A portfolio she held until her appointment as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans.