All nine provinces have now appointed their health MECs. Some of the appointees appear to be unknown outside of their province with very little or no information available on their political careers. Others are senior office bearers in the ANC and its alliance partners.
Eastern Cape Phumulo Godfrey Masualle
National treasurer of the SA Communist Party, Masualle has been MEC for roads and public works in the province and finance MEC before being appointed to the health portfolio. Widely touted to be a candidate for premier of the province, Masualle’s name was surprisingly omitted from the ANC’s final list of three nominees to lead the province. Speculation was rife that he had been sidelined by Mbeki loyalists who still had a firm foothold in the province. It is expected that Masualle will be elected provincial ANC chairperson in July.
Gauteng Dorothy Qedani Mahlangu
Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu was born in Bethal in 1968. She is a qualified teacher and has an advanced diploma in Economics from the University of the Western Cape. She was active in the anti-apartheid South African Youth Congress and later in the ANC Youth League. From 1997 to 1998 she served as a member of the Gauteng Legislature, including as a member of the Public Accounts and Finance Committee.
In 1998 she became a member of parliament, where she served as a Gauteng whip in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). From 1999 to 2004 she served as the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Finance in the NCOP. She was also a member of the Audit Commission and was instrumental in establishing the Joint Budget Committee in which she served.
She has served in ANC structures in various capacities and is currently serving member of the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee in Gauteng. From 2003 until April 2004 she was deployed as part of the election machinery of the ANC. Mahlangu has one child.
Free State Sisi Mabe
Mabe takes over the reins at of a department in serious financial trouble with the province hitting the headlines this year for being unable to offer many health services due to financial constraints. She is a former member of the NCOP and more recently served in the provincial legislature.
KwaZulu-Natal Dr Sbongiseni Dlomo
A former political prisoner on Robben Island, fellow inmate Sipho Msomi shared his memories of the doctor:
‘Sbongiseni Dlomo was a qualified Doctor when he was sent to serve on Robben Island. They arrived with much fanfare as a big group mainly consisting of ‘resistance fighters’ who had been based internally (in SA).
Sbongiseni is soft-spoken and a compassionate man whose image is that of a soft guy, but beneath that is a fiery strong character with lots of abilities. He derived lots of pleasure in dishing-out basic lessons to prisoners on diet, hygiene, diseases, physical training etc. A true Doctor indeed.’
The Durban Chamber of Commerce also welcomed his appointment: ‘We gladly accept the appointment of new MECs like Health MEC Sbongiseni Dlomo, a former mayor of Newcastle who also recently served as the Deputy City Manager in the eThekwini Municipality. Not only has Dr Dlomo been a stalwart who worked hard for democracy in this country, but he has also been an asset to the province at large and is a respected Medical Doctor.’
Limpopo Miriam Segabutle
A member of the SA Communist Party executive committee, Segabutle was number 24 on the ANC’s provincial list.
Northwest Rebecca Kasienyane
Kasienyane served as chairperson for the portfolio Committee on Labour in the national parliament before her latest appointment. She is also the ANC’s provincial treasurer and a member of the ANC Womens’ League National Executive Committee.
Northern Cape Mxolisi Sokatsha
He served as chief whip in the provincial legislature.
Mpumalanga Kedibone Mahlangu
No information available
Western Cape Theuns Botha
Leader of the Democratic Alliance in the province, Botha was expected to be part of the executive committee, but his appointment to health was a surprise.
His political career started in 1995 as councilor of the then Riversdale Municipality. In 2000 he became mayor of Langeberg, which was made up of Riversdale, Stilbaai, Heidelberg and Albertinia. In 2002 he became provincial leader of the DA and in 2004 member of the provincial legislature.