Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

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Biographical information


An active trade unionist and member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), she received military training in Angola and the Soviet Union and was exiled in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola. She has recently held the position of Minister of Public Service and Administration.

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Cape Town, Western Cape (then Cape Province), South Africa

Geraldine Fraser was born in 1960 in Lansdowne, Cape Town. She received her primary education in Wynberg and matriculated at Livingstone High School in Claremont, Cape Town. She took part in student politics at Livingstone and was elected to its Student Representative Council.

After completing her schooling, she enrolled in 1978 for a Lower Secondary Teachers’ Diploma at theUniversity of the Western Cape (UWC). As she had grown up under the guidance of her grandmother, who was a unionist, Fraser-Moleketi became active in the Bellville Association for Community Action, a civil organisation that fought to resolve political issues facing the Bellville Community.

In 1980, the political situation in South Africa prompted her to leave the country and she joined theAfrican National Congress (ANC) in exile in Zimbabwe. After working under the leadership of Joe Gqabi (who was later assassinated) Fraser-Moleketi was drawn into the military structures of the ANC and joined its military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe.

As an MK cadre, Fraser-Moleketi began basics in Angola, received officer training at the Military Institute of the former USSR and specialised military training in Cuba. It was during her time in exile that she became a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP). At this time, she served in the Regional leadership of the SACP based in Zimbabwe.

She returned to South Africa in 1990, during the initial talks between the ANC and the National Party government. Her return, supported by the SACP, was to prepare for the relaunch of the party after it was unbanned. From 1990 to 1992, she filled various party positions, first as National Administrator and then as Personal Assistant to Joe Slovo and Chris Hani, both successive SACP General Secretaries.

In 1995, Fraser-Moleketi began to work for the South African government when she was appointed Deputy Minister for Welfare and Population Development. In June 1996, she became the Minister of this department.

In 1999, she was appointed Minister of Public Service and Administration, a post she held until 2008.

• Geraldine Jocelyn Fraser-Moleketi [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 July 2009
• Hon GJ Fraser-Moleketi (Geraldine Jocelyn) [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 July 2009]
• Human Sciences Research Council

Last updated : 05-Aug-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011