Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s new Higher Education Minister previously served four years as the South African Minister of Science and Technology.
Ramaphosa definitely has his favorites and Pandor was one of them. She was Ramaphosa’s top pick for Deputy President when he ran for the ANC leadership last year. Despite that, the position was awarded to David Mabuza.
Pandor is not a lady of drama and leads in good faith. Here are five facts about our new Minister:
1) She is a converted Muslim
Whilst studying in Botswana during the 1970s, she met her future husband Sharif Joseph Pandor. As a practicing Muslim, Naledi was compelled to convert to his religion and has never looked back since.
2) She is a woman of infinite knowledge with three degrees
She completed her studies in Botswana by achieving a BA in History and English. She then achieved her masters at the University of London, and completed her hat-trick of degrees in 1997. Pandor was awarded her MA in Linguistics at Stellenbosch University in 1997.
3) She has help the position of acting president a whopping three times
In the last five years, Pandor has held the fort whilst Jacob Zuma jetted off for obligations abroad. In October and November of 2013, she was acting President during JZ’s respective trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana. She was in the hot seat once more in March 2015, when Zuma visited Algeria.
4) Revolution runs thick in her blood
Naledi Pandor comes from a long line of revolutionary activists. Her father, Joe Matthews, was one of the 154 ANC members who were charged in the 1956 Treason Trial, before subsequently having his name cleared. Pandor’s grandfather was the great Z.K Matthews; a man who lectured all across the world, and fought against apartheid.
5) She is fearless and does not hold back when calling the ANC out on their drama
This is what the party needs: Someone in the higher echelons who will happily call out Ministers who aren’t sticking to their promises. Back in March 2017, she said that the ANC has not followed the direction given by the national executive committee to scrutinize party leaders’ lifestyles.
Pandor is a fair women and questioned how some of her colleagues could possibly have “13-bedroom houses” when they are living well beyond their means as politicians.
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