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Thoko Didiza

Thoko Didiza

Visiting Senior Research Fellow


Angela Thokozile (Thoko) Didiza was appointed Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the African Leadership Centre in 2017. She is a leading practitioner on the Centre's Practice of Leadership programme.

She is an elected Member in the 5th Parliament of the Republic of South Africa from the ruling party, the African National Congress. She first became a Member of Parliament in 1994 and served as the first women Deputy Minister of Agriculture in the first Cabinet under the President Mandela’s tenure from 1994-1999.

In 1999-2004, Thoko was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs. She continued from her position as the Minister of Land Affairs and Agriculture 2004-2006. It was during this term of Office that she convened the National Land Summit in 2005 involving a range of stakeholders to reflect on South Africa’s Land Reform. In 2006-2008, she was appointed as the Minister of Public Works.

Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, she worked in a number of organisations various in capacities, including Mafika Mbuli and Co, as legal secretary and Diakonia as Programme Officer. She is the former Secretary General of the Women's National Coalition from 1992-1994 that produced the Women’s Charter for Effective Equality and was tabled in the first Parliament of South Africa. 

Thoko was active in the women and youth movements prior and post 1994. She was the Youth Coordinator of S A Council of Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) from 1989-1994.

She served as the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee Member of the African National Congress from 1997-2007 and was re-elected in 2012 to date. In 2005, she was named the young Global leader by the World Economic Foundation. In 2011-2014, she was the Project Consultant at the University of South Africa responsible for the establishment of the Archie Mafeje Research Institute on Applied Social Policy.

Thoko holds a BA (Hons) from the University of South Africa and in 2015, she obtained a MSc in Tertiary Education Management from the University of Melbourne. She is currently the House Chairperson responsible for internal arrangements in the Parliament of RSA and as the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Africa Region.