Deputy Minister of Correctional Services


Mr. Thabang Makwetla (Hon), South Africa’s current Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, responsible for the Corrections portfolio, was born in Bochabelo (Middelburg) in the Province of Mpumalanga.

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:

Mr Makwetla served as the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans of the Republic of South Africa from 11 May 2009 to 25 May 2014. Prior to this, he held the position of Premier of the Mpumalanga Province from 21 April 2004 to 10 May 2009. From 2001- 2004 he served as MEC for Safety and Liaison in Mpumalanga.

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 MK underground until 1990. He was based in MK Camps in Angola as a Camp Commisser for more than 6 years.

The 1980s:

The ANC further deployed Thabang in the frontline states to further its missions. Whilst serving as Chairperson of the ANC’s Regional Politico Military Council (RPMC), he was the overall commander of ANC’s military and political 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 and served as an executive member of the ANC Gender Commission in 1992; a member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) National Executive Committee and National Working Committee (NWC) from 1990 to 1994. He was a member of Parliament from 1994 to 2001 and became ANC Parliamentary Caucus Chairperson from 1996 until 2001.


Mr Makwetla served in the following committees:

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

Makwetla was elected to the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in Mpumalanga Province in 2002 and has been the Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in Mpumalanga Province from 2004 – 2008.

During the recent ANC’s 54th Conference held in December 2017, he was elected onto the National Executive Committee.


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