Minister's Profile

Ms Thandi Ruth Modise

Personal Information

Ms Thandi Modise was appointed as the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans on 5 August 2021. She was the Speaker of National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa from 22 May 2019 to 5 August 2021.

She was the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) during the fifth democratic Parliament. She is currently the Chancellor of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Ms Modise was first elected to Parliament in 1994 and served as the chairperson of several parliamentary committees, such as, the Portfolio Committee on Defence, the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Ad Hoc Committee for ratification of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

She has also been a Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature (from 2004 to 2009) and Premier of the North West (from 2010 to 2014).

She has a long history of participation in the struggle for freedom from apartheid, starting with the 1976 student uprising. It included exile in Botswana and Angola and military training while in exile, as one of a tiny minority of women undergoing such training for the African National Congress (ANC).

Ms Modise serves as a member of the ANC National Executive Committee. She also served as Deputy President and Acting President of the ANC Women’s League. She was also Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC from 2007 to 2012, among other positions.

Positions last held in government

Ms Thandi Modise was the Premier of North West province from 19 November 2010 until 20 May 2014.

Academic qualifications

  • Ms Modise holds a B. Comm degree in Industrial Psychology and Economics from Unisa (1989).
  • She has also attended a special leadership course from the University of United Nations University in Jordan (2000).
  • She holds Certificates in Security
  • Studies from the Naval University in Montreal (1998/1999).

Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities

  • Ms Modise was jailed for ten years for fighting the Apartheid regime in 1980.
  • She was elected as a Member of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa in 1994-2004.
  • Chaired the Ad Hoc Committee for the ratification of the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination against Women in the National Assembly(1995-1996)
  • Served as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence from 1998 to 2004.
  • Served as speaker of North West Provincial Legislature( 2004- 2009).
  • Served a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress Women?s League from 1991-2004.
  • Elected Deputy President of the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) from 1994 to 2004;
  • President of ANC Women's League in 2004.
  • Member of the ANC National Executive Committee from 1994-2012.
  • She was Deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress from 2007-2012.
  • She participated in the Peace-building Activities such as Peace Mission to stabilise regions such as East Timor, Civil- military roundtables in Nigeria and Ghana.
  • Contribution to International Conferences, highlighting women's roles in negotiations and conflict resolution in Rwanda and Burundi.
  • Campaign for the adoption and implementation of Affirmative Action programmes to combat Gender and Race Discrimination in South Africa.
  • She also participated in leading debates in the National Assembly on investigation into controversial multi-billion-rands arms deal with Yemen and led South Africa's parliamentary fact-finding mission to the Middle East, which recommended South Africa's position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • She was a member of the inclusive Security: Women Waging Peace Policy Commission; a member of the Board of Ilitha la Bathu and a member of the Board of International Security Studies.
  • She is a former councillor and Chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council (1994-2010) and serves as a member of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.

Research, Presentations, Awards, Decorations, Bursaries and Publications

Ms Modise has amongst others presented papers titled:

  • Sustaining Democracy in post-Apartheid South Africa; the role of gender in the DDR in Sudan;
  • the role of NGOs in the struggle against HIV and AIDS amongst women in South Africa;
  • Conceptualising moral regeneration with specific reference to sexual harassment
  • Effects of women's involvement in conflict resolution processes
  • Elements of post-conflict recovery and reconstruction; Engineering Security Sector Reform; Civil-military relations;
  • Women's contribution to Peace and NEPAD: women in South Africa's struggle for Liberation.

Premier Modise was presented with a Special Recognition for her role in the Advancement of Peace and Women in Africa at the 2013 inaugural African Diaspora Awards.

Follow our social media accounts: @VeteransZA

The National Development Plan logo

What is the NDP?

Covid-19 info

All the official information you need to know about the Coronavirus Covid-19.
Go to: