My seventh “Top Operatives of South African Socialism” profile looks at South African Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.
Fraser-Moleketi was born in 1960 and grew up in Capetown, in a family of union activists. She started teacher training, but in her second year, 1980, she left for Zimbabwe to join the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe.
Fraser-Moleketi underwent three months military training in Angola. She then received officer training at the Military Institute of the USSR and further specialized training in Cuba.
Fraser-Moleketi then returned to lead the South African Communist Party in Zimbabwe before returning to South Africa in 1990.
For the next two years Fraser-Moleketi served as personal assistant to South Africa’s two leading communists, the late Joe Slovo and the late Chris Hani.
She was elected to SACP Central Committee in 1991 and has served on that body ever since, including a stint as SACP Deputy Chair from 1998 to 2002. She also served for a time on the committees of the Lutheran World Federation and the Convention for a Democratic South Africa.
Fraser-Moleketi was elected to Parliament in 1994 on an ANC ticket. She served as deputy Minister Welfare and Population Development (’95/96) and as full Minister from 1996 until assuming her current portfolio.
Fraser-Moleketi chaired the UN “Decade of Women” conference in Beijing in 1995 and was chairman of the fourth Pan African conference of public service ministers, developing a charter for public servants in Africa.
In 1994 Fraser-Moleketi was awarded a Harvard fellowship for studies in policy analysis and national constitutions. She has also served on the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration and the Board of Commonwealth Associations of Public Administration and Management.
Gerald Fraser-Moleketi has played a major role in the establishment of “gender machinery” in South Africa and has played a key role in developing welfare policy.
She is married to Jabu Moleketi, South African Deputy Minister of finance also a senior member of the South African Communist Party.