Secretary for Defence and Military Veterans, Dr Sam Makhudu Gulube

Dr. Sam Gulube was appointed as Secretary for Defence in December 2011. He was the Advisor to the Minister of State Security from March 2011 to December 2011. From 2006 to 2011 he was the National Medical Director ofthe South African National Blood Services where he was responsible for development, review and implementation of Blood safety policies blood collection, processing and distribution of blood products to South African hospitals. He led healthcare professionals that changed the use of race classification to determine the safety of blood donors to the use of more scientific policy of a safe donor is a regular donor irrespective of race that resulted in Blood supply in South Africa being recognised as one of the safest blood supply despite the heavy HIV / Aids. burden on its population.

He served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Agency of South Africa from 2003 to 2006. During his term he turned that organization around introducing new projects such as Telecontainers and Community Digital Hubs (CDH) that gave the Universal Service Agency a new identity in under served communities it serves. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Director ofthe National Telemedicine Research Centre at the Medical Research Council (MRC) of South Africa. Under his leadership the MRC and the International Digital Partnership established the Telemedicine Testbed in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa that served as a Centre of Excellence in the introduction of Telemedicine in Southern Africa.

Dr Gulube's medical studies were interrupted when a warrant for his arrest was issued by the apartheid regime for participating in organising the solidarity student uprisings of 1976 at the University of Natal. Left the country to join the African National Congress Umkhonto Wesizwe in Angola in 1976 at the age of 22 where he received basic military training and advanced training in heavy artillery. He served as the June 16th Detachment member under the given name of"Scientist Manefesto" and was the Head of information Department at Novo Catengue and Quibashe military camps. He worked for Radio Freedom at the ANC Headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia in 1978/79.

He was appointed ANC Deputy Representative to the United Nations in New York from 1979 to 1986 where he was responsible for Management of the ANC Observer Mission to the United Nations and Representation to the United States. He played a leading role in ANC campaigns to isolate Apartheid South Africa at the United Nations, in the USA and internationally. He was responsible for preparation of the ANC debates to the United Nations General Assembly and other UN bodies and led various ANC delegations to international conferences and conventions. His also contributed towards coordination ANC fundraising campaigns in the USA.

In 1986 he was instructed by the ANC President 0 R Tambo to resume his medical studies at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed the General Surgery Residency Program at the University of South Florida in Tampa Florida. While training young surgical residents as an assistant professor in Florida in 1995, Dr Gulube participated in the establishment of a Telemedicine/Tele-education Network of the University of South Florida that expanded over five hospitals in three cities. That experience stimulated his interest in Information Technology and Telemedicine as a viable tool to improve quality and equity in education and healthcare services.

On his return to South Africa in 1997 he joined the South African National Defence Force as the Lt Col and Principal Medical Officer responsible for supervision of the provision of medical and surgical services to patients at 1 Military Hospital. He led the SA Military Health Services Telemedicine project and became the chairperson of the Presidential Medical Team in 1999. In 2000 he served as a member of the Presidential National Commission on Information Society and Development as well as a member of the Business Advisory Council of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Secretary for Defence and Military Veterans