President Jacob Zuma has surprised many with the new leaders appointed to key Department of Communications posts. The new minister is ex-Defence Force chief Siphiwe Nyanda, while deputy-minister Dina Pule was previously MEC for Culture, Sport & Recreation in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature.
The two are part of the new cabinet announced yesterday.
Siphiwe Nyanda was born on 22 May 1950 in Soweto. He attended Orlando High School and completed an economics degree at the University of South Africa (Unisa).
He was the Chief of the South African National Defence Force from 1998 to 2005, when he retired. Prior to that he was the academic registrar of the SANDF in Pretoria and general officer commanding Gauteng Command of the SANDF.
Nyanda was the chief of Defence Force Staff from 1994 to 1997, having been chief of staff at Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) from 1992.
His earlier career was with MK and the ANC.
Nyanda takes over from Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, who died in March this year.
Other key cabinet posts include Barbara Hogan as Minister of Public Enterprises and Enoch Godongwana as her deputy-minister; Naledi Pandor as Minister of Science & Technology, with Derek Hankom as her deputy-minister; and Rob Davies as Minister of Trade & Industry, with Thandi Tobias and Maria Ntuli as his deputy-ministers.