Lindiwe Sisulu is the current Minister of Human Settlements in South Africa.
Lindiwe has held many ministerial positions since 1996.
She was the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs from1996-2001.
In 2001, she became Minster of Intelligence under President Thabo Mbeki till 2004.
She succeeded Rob Davies as Minister of Housing in 2004; she held this position till 2009.
Under Jacob Zuma’s presidency, Lindiwe Sisulu became Minister of Defense and Military Veterans from the 10th of May 2009 till June 12th, 2012.
She then served as Minister of Public Service and Administration from the 12th of June till the 25th of May, 2014.
She assumed her current position as Minister of Human Settlements on the 26th of May, 2014.
She has also served as a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress as well as a Member of Parliament since 1994.
Linidiwe Sisulu was born on the 10th of May 1954.
Her parents were African National Congress Leaders and anti apartheid activists – Albertina Sisulu and Walter Sisulu.
In 1973, Lindiwe Sisulu completed her education at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa which is located in Swaziland.
She was detained from 1975-1976 for her anti-apartheid endeavors. She then joined the military branch of the African National Congress where she specialized in ‘Intelligence’.
In 1980, Sisulu received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and she received B.A. Hons in History from the University of Swaziland in 1981.
She eventually acquired her MA in History.
She graduated with a Master of Philosophy degree in 1989 from the University of York’s Centre for Southern African Studies.
She has two siblings: fellow Politician – Max Sisulu and journalist, Zwelakhe Sisulu.
Lindiwe Sisulu was a lecturer at Mazini Teacher Training College in the mid-1980s. Then in 1990, she became Jacob Zuma’s main assistant in the Intelligence Service unit of the African National Congress.
In 1996, she was given her first government appointment as the deputy minister of home affairs which she held till 2001.
In 1992 she was awarded the Human Rights Center Fellowship in Geneva.
She received the Presidential Award for Housing Delivery by the Institute for Housing of South Africa in 2004 and in 2005, she was awarded the International Association for Housing Science Award.
Lindiwe Sisulu’s housing project – the N2 Gateway – has been surrounded by a number of controversies for a long while. One of such controversies occurred in 2007 when the N2 Gateway was involved with largest occupation of houses in South Africa’s history leading to thousands of families being displaced.
She was also chastised by the parliament in 2012, for her excessive use of executive flights during her turn as Minister of Defense and Military Veterans. She was accused of making a total of 203 trips but in actuality she only made 35 trips. An apology was later issued to her.
She has published several articles from 1991. Some of which are:
• South African Women in Agricultural Sector
• Women Working Conditions in South Africa
• Women at Work and Liberation Struggle in the 1980s
• Housing Delivery and the Freedom charter: the beacon of hope, new agenda.
Lindiwe Sisulu has been married since 1996. Her husband is Prof. Rok Ajulu, a Kenyan academic who fled his country in the early 1980s during the Moi repression when independent thinkers were targeted and attacked.
He currently teaches in Witwatersrand University.
Lindiwe Sisulu’s husband regularly visits his home country now that the political climate is relatively calm. He usually resides in Bondo, his hometown, whenever he visits Kenya.
Promising to never forget his Kenyan roots, the professor still maintains close ties with his associates from the repression era: Raila Odinga – current Kenyan Prime Minister, James Orengo – current Minster of Lands and Peter Anyang’Nyong’o – current Minster of Health (and father to Lupita Nyong’o).
His father was a political activist in the 1960s and was subsequently imprisoned. Prof Rok Ajulu took over his father’s mantle after his father passed away.
He was later expelled from the University of Nairobi for his political activism.
He has a child, Achieng Ajulu Bushell, from a previous relationship.
Professor Rok Ajulu has always been supportive of his wife and her career.
His oldest son is Che Samora Ajulu, named after Cuban revolutionary – Che Guevara and Mozambican Leader – Samora Machel.
The couple has two daughters– Ayanda Sisulu and Ntsiki Sisulu, and a son, Vuvo.