Minister of Health: Dr Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi


Dr Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi was born in Phokwane Village in Limpopo on 7 August 1958 to his school principal father Kgokolo Michael Motsoaledi and mother Sina Sekeku Maile. He was part of a large family of seven boys and two girls.

Dr Motsoaledi is married to Thelma Dikeledi (Mpyane) and has three daughters and two sons. His eldest daughter is honouring the family tradition by studying medicine (his brother is head of dermatology at Medunsa and his sister registrar of microbiology at the same institution).

Political awareness

Dr Motsoaledi`s political awareness was awakened at the age of eight when he witnessed the arrest of a neighbour for not carrying a “dompas”. This awareness evolved during his high school years and was heavily influenced by the 1976 Soweto uprisings.

While attending the University of the North at Turfloop he was often involved in student marches, demonstrations and sit-ins on campus and at the Mankweng police station.

Dr Motsoaledi`s deeper political understanding and involvement however developed while attending the University of Natal in the late 1970`s. He whole-heartedly threw himself into the liberation struggle both on and off campus. He was elected to the student representative council (SRC) in 1980, and participated in the formation of the student movement AZASO to which he was elected national correspondence secretary with Joe Phaahla as president. In 1982 he succeeded Zweli Mkhize as SRC president of the University of Natal Medical School and in 1983 was instrumental in mobilising students in Natal for the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF). He attended the launch of the UDF at Mitchell`s Plain, Cape Town in this capacity.

Whilst serving as a medical intern, working in the public and private medical sectors, Dr Motsoaledi continued to support the struggle in various ways. He was involved with the ANC`s armed wing, Umkhonto we Siswe (MK) in Sekhukhuneland under the leadership of Commander Mashegoana, and continued working with the unit after its unbanning in 1990.

In 1989 when the apartheid regime began releasing the ANC leaders arrested at Rivonia (amongst them his uncle, Elias Motsoaledi) he was elected chairperson of the Northern Transvaal Reception Committee. He became deputy chairperson of the ANC Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo) region when it was launched in 1990.

Dr Motsoaledi served on the Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC for 19 years before being elected to the ANC National Executive Committee where he serves today.

Current Positions

  • Minister of Health
  • ANC Member of Parliament
  • Member of the ANC National Executive Committee

Academic qualifications

Dr Motsoaledi matriculated at Setotolwane High School and completed his pre-medicine course at the University of the North at Turfloop. He obtained his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) from the University of Natal in 1983.

Career/Memberships/Positions/Other Activities

  • Chairperson of the Sekhukhune Advice Office (1986 – 1994)
  • Chairperson of Hlahlolanang Health and Nutrition Education Project (1989)
  • Deputy Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in the then Northern Transvaal (1991 – 1992)
  • Head of the ANC Elections Commission for Limpopo Province (1994)
  • Head of the ANC Economic and Infrastructure Desk
  • Head of the ANC Research and Briefing: Election Task Team in Limpopo (1994)
  • Member of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature (1994 – 2009)
  • Member of the Limpopo Provincial Executive Council for Education (1994 – 1997)
  • Member of the Limpopo Provincial Executive Council for Transport (1998 – 1999)
  • Member of the Limpopo Provincial Executive Council for Agriculture, Land and Environment (1999).