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Andrek "Panyaza" Lesufi (born 4 September 1968) is a South African politician. He has been serving as the Gauteng MEC for Education since 31 May 2019, having previously held the position from May 2014 to May 2019. He briefly served as the Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government in May 2019. Lesufi is also a Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for the African National Congress (ANC) and the Deputy Chairperson of the party in the province.[1][2][3][4][5]


Panyaza Lesufi

Andrek "Panyaza" Lesufi.jpg
Lesufi in 2014
Gauteng MEC for Education
Assumed office
31 May 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byNomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
In office
23 May 2014 – 29 May 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byBarbara Creecy
Succeeded byNomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
Gauteng MEC for Social Development
Acting
Assumed office
5 November 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byThuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe
Succeeded byTBD
Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government
In office
30 May 2019 – 31 May 2019
PremierDavid Makhura
Preceded byBarbara Creecy
Succeeded byNomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko
Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Assumed office
21 May 2014
Personal details
Born
Andrek Lesufi

(1968-09-04) 4 September 1968 (age 51)
Edenvale, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Political partyAfrican National Congress
Alma materUniversity of Natal
OccupationPolitician

Lesufi has been serving as the acting MEC for Social Development following the death of Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe in November 2019.[6]

Early life and educationEdit

Andrek Lesufi was born on 4 September 1968 in Edenvale, then part of South Africa's Transvaal Province. He and his parents were forcefully evicted from Edenvale due to the Apartheid-era Group Areas Act. They relocated to Tembisa. He was given the nickname "Panyaza" because of his love of football.[7]

Lesufi attended Tlamatlama Lower Primary School and soon started schooling at Tshepisa Higher Primary School. He matriculated from Boitumelong Senior Secondary School. He completed his tertiary education at the University of Natal and obtained a Master's degree in Business Administration from the university.[8]

Political careerEdit

Lesufi had been involved in the Mass Democratic Movement while he was still in his youth. He started his political activism in Tembisa. While attending the Boitumelong Secondary School, student activist Kennedy Nkoane recruited Lesufi to become involved in anti-apartheid activities. Lesufi's older brother and student leader at the University of the North, Nikisi Lesufi, had by that time escaped from prison and left South Africa to become a member of the ANC.[9]

Lesufi was a member and leader of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and soon became involved in the Tembisa Student Congress (TESO) when COSAS was banned. He was also active in the National Education Crisis Committee. He was briefly sentenced to the Modderbee Prison in 1989 and 1995, he served a short prison sentence at the Durban City Prison.[10]

Lesufi was involved in the South African Student Congress (SASCO) while a student at the University of Natal, and would eventually be elected the president of the university's SRC. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki later on awarded him the University of Natal’s Chief Albert Luthuli Award.[11]

After the unbanning of the African National Congress, Lesufi became involved in the party's structures and served as Chairperson of the party's now-defunct Tembisa branch for three terms. He soon became Deputy Regional Secretary of the party's Kyalami Region. He was the inaugural Deputy Regional Secretary of the party's Ekurhuleni Region. He has served on the ANC's Provincial Executive Committee since 2007. In June 2018, Lesufi was elected Deputy Provincial Chairperson of the party.[12][13]

Lesufi was the spokesperson of the inaugural Ekurhuleni Mayor Bavumile Vilakazi. He was at a time part of a task team assembled by the then-Minister of Social Development Zola Skweyiya to establish the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). He also worked for the then-Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and soon became involved in the newly-established Department of Basic Education in 2014.[14]

Following Lesufi's election to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 2014, Lesufi was named Gauteng MEC for Education. He held the post until May 2019 when Premier David Makhura appointed him to the position of Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government. Due to public outcry, Lesufi was reinstated as Gauteng MEC for Education.[15][16][17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Andrek Lesufi, People's Assembly. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  2. ^ Krige, Nick. Panyaza Lesufi back in education: The people have spoken, The South African, 31 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  3. ^ Lesufi emerges victorious as deputy chairperson in Gauteng, The Citizen, 21 July 2018. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  4. ^ Panyaza Lesufi new finance MEC as Gauteng cabinet announced, BusinessDay, 29 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  5. ^ New Gauteng premier appoints executive council, News24, 23 May 2014. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  6. ^ Jordaan, Nomahlubi (5 November 2019). "'It's an honour', says Lesufi after being named acting social development MEC". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ Early life. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  8. ^ Panyaza Lesufi: Is he qualified to be Gauteng’s new finance MEC?,The South African, 29 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  9. ^ Lesufi appointed MEC, The Tembisan, 10 June 2019. Retrieved on 28 July 2019.
  10. ^ Political Activism. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  11. ^ Andrek Panyaza Lesufi, Millennium@EDU SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION. Retrieved on 28 July 2019.
  12. ^ Panyaza Lesufi: My future is in the ANC. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  13. ^ Panyaza Lesufi wins Gauteng ANC deputy chair position. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  14. ^ Minister Bathabile Dlamini: Social Development Dept Budget Vote Speech 2016/17. Retrieved on 28 July 2019.
  15. ^ Panyaza Lesufi back as MEC for education in Gauteng, TimesLIVE, 31 May 2019. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.
  16. ^ Panyaza Lesufi back as Gauteng education MEC after public demand, BusinessDay, 31 May 2019.
  17. ^ Lesufi back as education MEC. Retrieved on 6 July 2019.