Deputy Minister in the Presidency Hlengiwe Mkhize has died

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Hlengiwe Mkhize
Hlengiwe Mkhize
Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images
  • Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities Hlengiwe Mkhize has died.
  • This was confirmed by Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale.
  • Mkhize was 69 years old.

ANC national executive committee (NEC) member and Deputy Minister in the Presidency Hlengiwe Mkhize has died. She was 69 years old.

She is survived by her husband Pat Mkhize, three daughters, a son and one grandson. 

Mkhize's death was confirmed by her family who, in a media statement, said: "It is with heavy hearts that the Mkhize family confirms the passing of our wife, mother and grandmother, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize this morning at Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg".

The family said "Mkhize was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2017, and bravely  managed the illness throughout" until "she was admitted to hospital on the 31 August 2021 and lost her battle this morning," read the statement from the family.

Mkhize's family also thanked medical staff that had been attending to her before her passing.

Her last public appearance was when she attended a Parliamentary session on 19 August 2021 and cast her vote for the Speaker of Parliament in Cape Town. 

Mkhize was first elected to the National Assembly in 2009 as a member of the ANC and served as Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services between 26 May 2014 and 31 March 2017, having been appointed to the executive by former president Jacob Zuma.

 Hlengiwe Mkhize with Jacob Zuma
Hlengiwe Mkhize with then-president Jacob Zuma.

From 31 March 2017 to 17 October 2017, Mkhize was home affairs minister.

She was later moved to the position of Higher Education and Training between 17 October 2017 and 26 February 2018, and in February 2018 was removed from Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mkhize was later appointed as Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities.

Mkhize held a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Social Work and Sociology from the University of Zululand; Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, and a Master of Clinical Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Hlengiwe Mkhize
Hlengiwe Mkhize

Official parliamentary records state that, while completing her tertiary education, Mkhize also served as a student leader at the University of Zululand, and was later on the Academic Staff Association at the University of Zululand.

Mkhize was the treasurer-general of the ANC Women’s League and served as ambassador to the Netherlands between 2005 and 2009.

She was the also chairperson of the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.

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