Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma

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Biographical information



Deputy President of the South African Student Organisation, medical doctor, member of the ANC, former Minister of Health, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, former Chairperson of the African Union

First name: 
Nkosazana Clarice
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
27 January 1949

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was born on 27 January 1949. She received her secondary education at Amanzimtoti Training College until 1967 and began her tertiary studies 1971 at the University of Zululand . She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Science (BSc) and left the country in 1976 to complete her MB ChB at the University of Bristol in 1978.

During the 1970s Dlamini-Zuma became active in underground African National Congress (ANC) activities while serving as the Deputy President of the South African Student Organisation (SASO).

At the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), Dlamini-Zuma was part of the Gender Advisory Committee.  In 1994, during the era of former State President Nelson Mandela, she was appointed as the Minister of Health. During this time the Tobacco Products Control Bill, which was enacted in 1999, made it illegal for anyone to smoke in public places. She remained in this portfolio until 1999, when she appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs ; serving from 1999 to 2009 in this position. From 2009 to 2012, Dlamini-Zuma served as South Africa's Miister of Home Affairs after which she was elected to serve as the African Union's (AU) Chairperson from 2012 to 2017. 

In 2013 the South African Goernment conferred the Order Of Luthuli Award in Gold for her contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa.

Dlamini-Zuma was previously married to President Jacob Zuma.

• Joyce, P. A. Concise Dictionary of South African Biography
• WhosWho. (2017). Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma . Available at http://whoswho.co.za/nkosazana-dlamini-zuma-919 online. Accessed on 6 February 2017

Last updated : 01-Sep-2017

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