Deputy Minister's profile

Mr Thabang Makwetla

Personal Information

  • Surname: Makwetla
  • Names: Thabang


Mr. Thabang Makwetla (Hon), South Africa’s current Deputy Minister Defence and Military Veterans. He was born in Bochabelo (Middelburg) in the Province of Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Academic Qualifications

Mr Makwetla obtained a Diploma in Public and Policy Development Administration (PPDA) from Wits Graduate School and a Diploma in Social Science from the Academy of Social Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Government (Provincial and National Executive)

Most recent:

  1. Former Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, responsible for the Corrections portfolio, served from May 2014 – May 2019
  2. Mr Makwetla served as the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military from 11 May 2009 to 25 May 2014.
  3. He served as the Premier of the Mpumalanga Province from 21 April 2004 to 10 May 2009.
  4. He served as MEC for Safety and Liaison in Mpumalanga from 2001- 2004.

Political Activism

The 1970s:

Thabang Makwetla joined the South African Students Movement in 1974. He went into exile in 1976, where he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He lived in different countries in Africa including Botswana, Angola, Lesotho and Zambia. Where he carried out various duties on behalf of the African National Congress (ANC) and its military wing uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) underground until political organization were unbanned in 1990. In Angola he was based in the MK Camps in as a Camp Commisser for more than 6 years.

The 1980s:

The ANC deployed comrade Thabang in the frontline states to further its missions. During his stint as Chairperson of the ANC’s Regional Politico Military Council (RPMC), he was the overall commander of ANC’s political and military underground activities operating from Botswana. Simultaneously, he also served as Treasurer of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Botswana region from 1986 to 1988.

The 1990s and 2000s:

He returned to South Africa after political organisations were unbanned in 1990. Together with the late Jackie Selebi and Ambassador Vusi Mavimbela they were tasked by the than ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo to lead and guide the process of reviving and relaunch the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) inside the country working closely with last National Executive Committee of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO) under leadership of the late Peter Mokaba, Mpho Lekgoro and Ambassador Febe Potgieter the current ANC’s General Manager, amongst others.

He served as an executive member of the ANC Gender Commission in 1992; He was later elected into the ANCYL National Executive Committee and National Working Committee (NWC) from 1990 to 1994 after the relaunch of the ANCYL in the country under the first legal President Peter Mokaba after the unbanning. After the first democratic national elections, he became a member of the first non-racial parliament. In parliament he was assigned to being ANC’s Parliamentary Caucus Chairperson from 1996 until 2001. And he served in the below mentioned parliamentary structures


Mr Makwetla served in the following committees:

  1. The Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation from 1994 to 1996
  2. The Portfolio Committee on Tourism and Environment from 1994 to 1996
  3. The Joint Standing Committee on Defence from 1994 to 2001
  4. Chairperson of the ANC Caucus from 1996 to 2001
  5. The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence from 1998 to 2001
  6. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts from 2000 to 2001;
  7. The Finance Committee from 2000 to 2001
  8. The Ministerial Task Group on Civic Education in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Mr Makwetla was elected a member of ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in Mpumalanga Province in 2002 and he served as the Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in Mpumalanga Province from 2004 - 2008.

During the recent ANC’s 54th National Conference held in December 2017, as a member of the highest decision making body, the National Executive Committee of the ANC.

He currenlty serves in the following ANC National Executive Committee Subcommittees

  • Peace and Stability
    Political Education
  • Legislature and Governance

View profile of the previous Deputy Minister

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