Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa

Profile: Dr Naledi Pandor


Naledi Pandor (born 7 December 1953) is South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

She became a Member of Parliament in 1994 and has amassed impressive experience in positions of public office, including Deputy Chief Whip of the African National Congress (ANC) in the National Assembly from 1995 to 1998, Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces in 1998 and its Chairperson from 1999 to 2004.

Her experience in education policy planning made her a welcome appointment as South Africa’s Minister of Education in 2004. She has been a member of Cabinet ever since, serving as Minister of Education (2004 – 2009), Minister of Science and Technology (2009 –2012), Minister of Home Affairs (2012 – 2014), Minister of Science and Technology (2014 – 2018) and Minister of Higher Education and Training (2018 – 2019).

Minister Pandor has a Phd from the University of Pretoria (2019) and honorary doctorates from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology; University of Stellenbosch; the University of Lisbon, Portugal; and the University College Dublin, Ireland.

On awarding her Germany's highest federal award, the Grand Cross of Merit, the German Ambassador to South Africa, Walter Lindner, said: "Pandor is for us a symbol of the new South Africa: modern, innovative, dedicated to scientific progress and also outstanding female leadership".

She is married to Sharif Pandor and they have four children and two grandchildren.



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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa