Politician | ANC member | Constitutional drafter
Born: 7 December 1953
"Whenever I reflect on those heady days, I recall excitement, dedication to the task at hand, and hard work. I also remember camaraderie, sleepless nights, and early mornings. Our Theme Committee 4 had a crucial role to play in the constitution-writing process, and we tackled the challenge with enthusiasm and commitment.”
Educator, lecturer, and minister of various portfolios in the South African government.
Member of Parliament, Deputy Chief Whip, Minister of Education, Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
Best Known For
Representing the African National Congress (ANC) in Theme 4 Committee, including as Deputy Chair of the Committee, chief presenter and Chairperson of the ANC Study Group for the Bill of Rights.
- Pandor became a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1994.
- She served as Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from 1995 to 1998, as Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces in 1998 and Chairperson from 1999 to 2004.
- Pandor served as Minister of Education from 2004 until 2009, and was appointed as Minister of Science and Technology in 2009.
- In 2012 she was appointed as Minister of Home Affairs.
- In 2014, she was reappointed as Minister of Science and Technology.
- Pandor was appointed as Minister of Higher Education and Training in 2018, and then as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation in June 2019.
- Pandor has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Stellenbosch University.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
“South Africa adopted its much admired Constitution 20 years ago. It seems surreal to recall that process today. We were so enthusiastic, so young in governance, so idealistic, so convinced our presence in Parliament would alter South Africa radically. We have altered South Africa, but not to the degree we imagined then … Whenever I reflect on those heady days, I recall excitement, dedication to the task at hand, and hard work. I also remember camaraderie, sleepless nights, and early mornings. Our Theme Committee 4 had a crucial role to play in the constitution-writing process, and we tackled the challenge with enthusiasm and commitment.”
– Naledi Pandor
IN THE WORDS OF OTHERS
“Naledi Pandor was invited to speak. She spoke with such great clarity and eloquence, embellishing the arguments I had raised most cogently, emphasising our commitment to non-sexism and non-racialism, focusing on the sensitivities of religious beliefs and the commitment to peace and the search for unity in diversity … The officials were spellbound by her eloquence and lucid presentation. I saw how they were being gently swayed by the content and the melodious voice of Naledi Pandor.”
– Enver Surty, Former Deputy Minister of Basic Education