20 Things You Didn’t Know About Lindiwe Zulu
How well do you know about Lindiwe Zulu? Well, most people know her as the South African Minister of Social Science. But I can assure you that there are still more you didn’t know about Lindiwe Zulu. Born on the 21st of April, 1958, Lindiwe Zulu was the special advisor to the President on International Relations. She previously served as the head of communication for the PAN African women’s organization in Angola in 1988. In 1989 she moved to Lusaka, Zambia where she held the position of head of communication in the ANC department of Religious Affairs. In 1990 she moved to Uganda where she was the head of communication and administrator in the ANC office. In 1991 she returned to South Africa and became the head of communication in the ANC Women’s League. In this article, we’ll be detailing you on things you should know about Lindiwe Zulu.
After her village was razed to the ground during Apartheid, the villagers were forced to set up new homes in Madadeni, Newcastle which was in the KwaZulu bantustan. Zulu’s parents though, moved their family to Swaziland as her mother is a Swazi from Gege. She was educated at St. Theresa’s and Mjingo schools before attending the Swaziland Cooperative Development College in Ezulwini. Apart from that, Zulu also attended the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College, SOMAFCO, in Malibu, Tanzania before gaining a scholarship to study journalism in the USSR. She spent seven years in Moscow, achieving a master’s degree in Journalism and fluency in Russian. In 1987 she went to Angola for full military training with the Pan Africanist Women’s Organisation.
What’s more? Lindiwe Zulu was elected to the ANC Department of Information and Publicity as the spokesperson for the first democratic elections. In 1994 she became a member of the Gauteng Legislature and in 1995 was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature. In 1999 she was the special advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2001 she was appointed Chief Director for Western and Central Africa up until 2003 where she became the executive head of Government and International Relations, Vodacom group. In 2004 she became the South African Ambassador to Brazil. In 2007 she was elected to the ANC national executive committee. In 2009 Ms. Zulu was elected to Parliament as an MP in the National Assembly. She currently serves as the Minister of Social Development.
All You Need to Know About Lindiwe Zulu
Below consists of details you need to know about Lindiwe Zulu, with respect to her personal life and all that has surfaced around her over the past decades.
Personal Life and Background of Lindiwe Zulu
- Zulu was born on 21 April 1958 in the village of Nhlazatshe, Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga), which was eventually razed to the ground during Apartheid.
- Due to settlements, Zulu’s parents though, moved their family to Swaziland as her mother is a Swazi from Gege.
- She was educated at St. Theresa’s and Mjingo schools before attending the Swaziland Cooperative Development College in Ezulwini.
- Zulu attended the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College, SOMAFCO, in Malibu, Tanzania before gaining a scholarship to study journalism in the USSR.
- She spent seven years in Moscow, achieving a master’s degree in Journalism and fluency in Russian.
- In 1987 she went to Angola for full military training with the Pan Africanist Women’s Organization.
- Zulu is married to Kgosietsile Itholeng, a fellow South African in exile, who she met in Angola.
- Zulu has four children: daughters Nokuthula and Phindile, and sons Sipho and Boitumelo. Her son, Sipho, is named after her father.
- Zulu’s brother was a member of the Pan African Congress.
Her Activities in Government
- Lindiwe Zulu joined the African National Congress and went into exile in Mozambique.
- Zulu returned from exile in 1992 to become head of communications in the ANC Women’s League.
- She then became an executive committee member in 1993.
- In the same year, she was seconded to the ANC’s department of information and publicity as the spokesperson for the elections.
- In 1994 she joined the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and was appointed Deputy Speaker in 1995.
- From 1999-2001 she was a special advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- From 2001-2003 she was the Chief Director for western and central Africa in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- In 2004 she was posted to Brazil as South African Ambassador for four and a half years.
- Since 2009 she has been an ANC Member of Parliament.
- In 2013 she was appointed to the National Working Committee of the ANC.
- Since 2014 she has held the position of Minister of Small Business Development.
Controversies that Has Surrounded Her
Lindiwe Zulu has been on the face of publicity in the South African government on countless times, which has led to some questioning her capability and leadership. For instance, she was cleared of lying about the purchase of ministerial cars which it was alleged had cost R3.1m amount, but had in fact cost R1.8m back in 2018. Aside from that, there are other notable controversies:
The Democratic Alliance (DA) takes Lindiwe Zulu to court today over food distribution restrictions
It was reported that the Democratic Alliance accused Lindiwe Zulu (Minister of Social Development), over the issue of food distribution restrictions in South Africa, and was dragged to the Western Cape High Court.
The DA has brought the action after Zulu’s department enforced a ban on soup kitchens and drew up tight regulations that hindered the distribution of food parcels by NGOs and charities.
The draft regulations were issued and have been applied even though they have not been legally processed.
A large number of food relief organizations were told by the police or by officials of the Department of Social Development (DSD) to stop giving out food. It is believed that thousands of people have suffered malnutrition and hunger as a result.
- In court, the DA will say that the Minister has no authority to issue such regulations, that the regulations are irrational anyway, that she didn’t follow proper procedures, and that the regulations contradict the constitutional right to food.
We know that Zulu is dissembling and floundering. What we don’t know is whether she really believes her department is so efficient it can feed millions (which has already been disproved by facts on the ground) or whether she is so cynical that she doesn’t care if people can starve just so long as she can control the supply of food for the purpose of getting votes.
Anybody who believes the Department of Social Development, which cannot even properly pay SASSA grants, can in two weeks establish a countrywide network to feed millions of people is deluded.
In contrast, thousands of formal and informal NGOs have been feeding people and are well informed about where help is most needed. It should be the role of government to let them get on with it and fill in the gaps.
- In a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting, Minister Zulu denied she’d blocked food distribution. She then contradicted herself by defending her restrictive regulations, saying they were to ‘ensure coordination” of food relief efforts.
She Was Told to Stop Public Comments
Lindiwe Zulu was criticized by Robert Mugabe, and was told to stop making public comments by the then South African President, Jacob Zuma.
- Mr. Zuma, the chief mediator in Zimbabwe’s 2008-9 political crises, said only he was authorized to comment ahead of the 31 July elections. This is as a result of his envoy, Lindiwe Zulu, previously stating that the electoral preparations were “not looking good”. A statement from Mr. Zuma’s office said that some of the comments made about Zimbabwe had been unauthorized, unfortunate, and inaccurate. Although, the statement did not refer to Lindiwe Zulu by name.
- That was when President Mugabe was seeking to extend his 33-year rule and will face Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the ballot box. The two long-time rivals have been sharing power since 2009, under a deal brokered by Mr Zuma.
- Zimbabwe’s president then asked Mr. Zuma to stop her from commenting. According to him, he said, “I appeal to President Zuma to stop this woman of theirs from speaking on Zimbabwe.” “That persistent negative voice from South Africa… could it please be stopped?” the state-owned Herald newspaper reports. We were given one facilitator with one mouth and that is President Zuma himself; that’s the voice, the only voice we want to hear.”
- She has previously said the elections should be postponed from 31 July, prompting Mr Mugabe to call her “stupid and idiotic”.
- Two days of early voting for members of Zimbabwe’s security forces then saw many logistical problems, such as a lack of ballot papers, raising fears that the election wouldn’t go smoothly.
- The election was the first to be held since a new constitution was approved in a referendum.
- However, some of Mr. Tsvangirai’s long-standing demands such as reform of the state media and security forces, seen as supporting Mr. Mugabe, have not yet been implemented.
- Even as at then, a South Africa-based satellite TV station aimed at Zimbabwe, 1st TV, was launched, prompting strong protests from Mr. Mugabe’s allies.