This is the biography of Angie Motshekga, a South African politician and educator who has been serving as the Minister of Basic Education since May 2009. She is also a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and a former president of its women’s league.
Early Life and Education
Motshekga was born on 19 June 1955 in Soweto, where she became active in the struggle against apartheid. She attended different schools in Soweto and matriculated from a boarding school in Matatiele. Motshekga obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of the North, a Bachelor of Educational Science degree and a master’s degree in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Andie Motshekga Teaching and Academic Career
Motshekga started her teaching career at Orlando High School in Soweto in 1981. She resigned in 1983 to become a lecturer at the Soweto College of Education. In 1985, she joined the University of the Witwatersrand as a lecturer and conducted research in education, women’s development and language studies. Motshekga also published several papers and books on these topics. She worked at the university until 1994.
Andie Motshekga Political Involvement and Leadership
Motshekga was involved in various political and civic organizations during the 1980s and 1990s. She was a member of the Soweto Education Crisis Committee, the National Education Coordinating Committee, the United Democratic Front, the National Education Union of South Africa, and the Pimville Civic Association. She was also the national convenor of the Teacher Unity talks that led to the formation of the South African Democratic Teachers Union.
Motshekga joined the ANC in 1990 and became the regional chair of its women’s league in the former Kyalami region. She became the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 1999 and served as the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education. The academic was appointed as the MEC for Social Development in 2000 and as the MEC for Education in 2004. She held the latter position until 2009.
In 2008, Motshekga was elected as the national president of the ANC Women’s League, succeeding Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. She led the league until 2015 when Bathabile Dlamini replaced her. She is currently a member of the ANC National Executive Committee and the ANC National Working Committee.
Angie Motshekga As Minister
In 2009, President Jacob Zuma appointed Motshekga as the Minister of Basic Education. President Cyril Ramaphosa reappointed her to the same portfolio in 2018 and 2019. She is responsible for overseeing the national policies and programmes for primary and secondary education in South Africa. The academic has also been involved in various initiatives to improve the quality and access to education, such as the National School Nutrition Programme, the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, the Read to Lead Campaign, and the Second Chance Matric Programme.
On 2 July 2021, Motshekga was appointed as the acting president of the Republic of South Africa, as Ramaphosa attended the state funeral of Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia. She became the first woman to hold this position in the country’s history.
Angie Motshekga Personal Life
Motshekga’s husband is Mathole Motshekga, a lawyer, academic and politician who is also a member of the ANC. They have one daughter, Makgatho Mmathari Motshekga.