AFRICA SUCCESS STORIES: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary General, Executive Director of UN Women
Born on 03/11/1955 (format : day/month/year)
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (b. November 3, 1955),wad Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008.She was the first woman to hold the position and is the highest ranking woman in the history of South Africa. She is married to the former head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Bulelani Ngcuka.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was born in Clermont, Durban on November 3 1955 to Michael and Sabbath Mlambo.
Phumzile moved to Inanda where she attended the Ohlange High School where she matriculated. She then attended the University of Lesotho in 1980 where she obtained her BA in Social Science and Education. She then worked in KwaZulu-Natal as a teacher from 1981 to 1983. Mlambo-Ngcuka was a founder member and director of the Young Women’s International Programme at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) office in Geneva from 1984 to 1987.
Phumzile is married to former politician Bulelani Ngcuka who is also the ex-Director of the National Prosecuting Authority. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1994 where she chaired the Service Portfolio committee. In 1996 she was appointed the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and has been in the ANC’s national executive committee since 1997. In 1999 she was promoted to Minister of Minerals and Energy.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is best known for engineering a mining charter to give blacks a bigger share of an industry that had exploited them. She ensured that one of the earlier post-apartheid “black economic empowerment” charters soothed investor nerves while sticking to its purpose.
Now Mlambo-Ngcuka, , finds herself thrust into the limelight as the country’s first female deputy president. Although she does not have the same credentials as her predecessor Jacob Zuma, who was relieved of the post the week before (ironically, Mlambo-Ngcuka’s husband Bulelani Ngcuka had been instrumental in bringing the charges against Zuma).