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Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on passing of Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize


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Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on passing of Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize

Image of Deputy Minister in the Presidency Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize
Deputy Minister in the Presidency Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize

16th September 2021


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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by

It is with great sadness and with a heavy heart we wish to inform the public that the Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize passed away this morning, 16 September 2021, after a short illness. 

We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, comrades, and the many citizens affected by this tragic news. 


Deputy Minister Mkhize served this country with an unwavering spirit and her contribution to advancing the democratic goals of this country will be remembered for the longest time. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. 

Media enquiries:
Mr Shalen Gajadhar (Director: Communications, Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities)
Cell: 060 979 4235


Profile for Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize:

Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize was appointed as Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on 30 May 2019. She has held the following positions post-1994: Commissioner at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Chairperson of its Reparations and Rehabilitation committee from 1995 to 2003; Truth and Reconciliation Commission Specialist in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (2003–2005) to set up the President’s Reparation Funds for Victims. She led the TRC delegation to Rwanda to advise the Rwandan Government on the post-genocide possible Transitional Justice mechanism suitable for the Rwandese. She has worked with other Commissioners in the establishment of the Nigerian Commission aimed at dealing with post–conflict justice and restoration mechanisms.

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize has served as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Communications from October 2018 to May 2019. The Minister of Higher Education and Training from October 2017 to November 2018; Minister of Home Affairs from March 2017 to October 2017; Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services from May 2014 to April 2017; Deputy Minister of Economic Development from June 2012 to May 2014; Deputy Minister of Higher Education from November 2010 to June 2012, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services from May 2009 to November 2010.

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize qualified as a Clinical Psychologist, and registered with the Medical and Dental Council of South Africa in 1981. She attained her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Natal (1981);  BA Hons (Psychology) from the University of Natal (1978); BA Social Work from the University of Zululand in 1976. Professor Mkhize registered for a PHD at the University of Natal over a period of 5 years and did not defend the thesis due to political interruptions. She was appointed as Honorary Professor in the Department of Psychology by the University of South Africa in 2010. 

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize has served as Ambassador of South Africa to the Netherlands (2005-2008). During her tenure as an Ambassador, she served as Vice President of the Member States at the International Criminal Court at The Hague and during annual sittings in New York, (2006-2008). She was the Chairperson of the Council of Member States in the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) (2005-2008).

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize has taught in academic institutions, having held the posts of Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Witwatersrand (1990-1995); Lecturer and later Senior Lecturer at the University of Zululand (1984-1990). Concurrently, she served as a visiting Professor at the University of Illinois – Chicago (September 1986-March 1987) and Visiting Professor at the University of Mississippi (Ole, Miss.) (1989).

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize, during the apartheid years, presented papers in over 30 International conferences addressing the anti-apartheid movement abroad on issues pertaining to: Human Rights Violations orchestrated by the Apartheid State; The effects of Torture on victims such as Post traumatic-Stress reactions and Disorders; Children in Armed conflict; Children in violence: a guide for  service providers; The Impact of violence on survivors, families and the oppressed community at large; Mental health of Women Repatriates; Child mental health in the context of social development; Policy making and implementation in countries in transition; Youth and substance abuse in communities at war; The  role  and responsibility of Business in  the liberation of South Africa; Compensation, restitution and support for victims of racism; The Gulu War Women Survivors in Uganda; The Role of Identity in Negotiations and its impact on Performance of leaders in Governments - Harvard University; The role of Psychologists in healing the country: 16th PSYssa Annual conference; Becoming a President of your Country – what is holding women back – 2nd Annual conference Women in Politics in Africa; Restorative Justice in South Africa with special emphasis on perpetrator restoration and the role of Psychologists and other social scientists. 

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize has published nationally and internationally: Violent oppression: Implications for mental Health priorities in South Africa – International Journal of Medicine and Law (1994); Mental Health of women political repatriates – Women and Therapy – New York (1994); Issues in the Classification of Mental illness within changing social relations – International Journal of Medicine and Law (1992); A phenomenological analysis of African adolescents meaning of dagga use within changing social relations – International Journal of Medicine and Law (1988); Psychotherapy in the university setting: A clinical psychological report – University of Zululand Journal of Psychology (1986); Toward effectiveness of psychotherapy in the Third World Context – University of Zululand (1985).

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize has served in various high level committees and boards, amongst them: As member of The Peace Accord Secretarial and later Trustee of the National Peace Accord Trust (1990–2004) an organization which focused on violence prevention and supported the 1st Democratic Elections. She also served in the committee which facilitated the UN–South Africa project on the Returning and Settlement of Political Exiles.

She served as National Convenor of the Progressive Women Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) (2012–to date); A Trustee of Malibongwe Business Trust and later Chairperson (2005); Chairperson of the Peace Commission of the South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID); Chairperson of the Council of the University of Zululand (2005–2007); Chairperson of Transparency International in South Africa (2004–2005); Chairperson of FAZE 2 (Civil Society organization post the World Conference Against Racism) (2001–2005); Founder Member and Trustee of the Children and Violence Trust (1995–to date); Served in the NCRC Action Committee Against Violence (1991–1995); Board Member of the South African Prisoner’s Organization for Human Rights  (1994–1995); Served in the Goldstone Commission Committee for clarifying the status of traumatized children (1993–1994); Board Member of the Human Rights Foundation (1993–1994); Served in the committee mandated to do preparatory work in the formation of women’s coalition (1992–1993); Served in the Academic Staff Association (University of Zululand) which was affiliated to the UDF (1984–1990); She has been active in the programmes of the Association of Black Psychologists (1990–1993); She has served in the Inter University Executive (1974–1977). 

In 1976 she was elected as the President of the Students Christians Movement at the University of Zululand and the liaison with SASO committees on debates and dialogues. She served in the Youth Desk of SABSWA, counselling young people who were displaced from families, escaping detentions. She has worked with the youth on management of trauma and post-traumatic stress reactions (1981–1994), and has actively participated in the establishment of the Detainee Support Group in KZN  (1981–1986).

Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize’s roots and strengths are in community activism. Her religious family upbringing laid a firm foundation for the development of her moral, human rights approach and social conscience. She cut her political teeth as a student in the 1970s when she was recruited to SA Students Movement at Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto. Even a decade later she continued to mobilize the international student community to challenge apartheid while she was in Chicago and the University of Mississippi. 

She is currently serving as the National Executive Committee (NEC) Member of the ANC and the Convenor of NEC deployees to the Eastern Cape (Dec 2017–to date). She has served as: Treasurer General of the ANC Women’s League and member of the NEC of the Women’s League (2008–2015); on the sub-committees on Policy and the sub–committee on Economic Transformation; Secretary of the ANC Havana City Branch (2001–2004); as a health representative within the Ward Councillor’s Advisors within the Havana City branch  (2001–2004); Deputy Chair of the ANC Sandton BEC (1999–2000); as the ANC Zonal Chairperson, the zone comprised of Alexander Township, Sandton and Johannesburg East (1999–2000); in the BEC of the ANC in Sandton (1995–1999). She served in the ANC interim branch executive Committee in Diepsloot (1991–1994); Served in the Central Committee which organized the biggest rally at the University of Zululand celebrating the release of Nelson Mandela (1990).

Issued by Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities


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