What does Angie know about defence? Motshekga deployment ridiculed

Newly elected South African Minister of Defence Force, Angie Motshekga Picture: Tracey Adams/Independent Newspaper

Angie Motshekga’s surprise appointment as the new Minister of Defence has ignited a fierce storm of reactions from South Africans on X, with some calling for the long-time education minister to call it a day and retire.

President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled his new inclusive Government of National Unity Cabinet. The Cabinet includes ministers from the ANC, DA, IFP, PA, FF+, PAC and Good.

Ramaphosa’s new cabinet saw Motshekga moved from the Basic Education Ministry for the first time since 2009. She replaced Thandi Modise as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans.

Motshekga is a teacher by profession, but on the political front she has been working within the education portfolio since 2000, when she was a member of the education portfolio committee in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. In 2004, she became the Gauteng Education MEC and she has no known military experience.

Motshekga possesses a Master’s degree from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), a Bachelor of Educational Science degree also from Wits, a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of the North now University of Limpopo, and a Higher Diploma in Education.

Her career includes roles as an educator at Orlando High School from 1981 to 1983, a lecturer at the Soweto College of Education from 1983 to 1985, and a lecturer at Wits from 1985 to 1994.

Social media weighs in on Motshekga in Defence

X quickly became a battlefield of opinions and emotions. While some users expressed sceptism over her qualifications for such a critical role , others praised her administrative experience and leadership skills garnered during her tenure as Minister of Basic Education.

Motshekga’s appointment as the new leader of defence and military veterans has stirred controversy on social media, with many questioning her suitability for the role due to her background as a qualified teacher.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has been appointed deputy minister, served as a General in the Transkei Defence Force during the apartheid era.

The announcement also sparked discussions on gender representation and the potential impact of Motshekga’s appointment on South Africa’s defence strategies.

A tweet by @i_r_b_r_m said if Angie could complete and pass a week’s basic training at the elite training unit of the SANDF they might be convinced she could do the job.

Many applauded the move as a step towards having a diverse portfolio as well as diverse perspectives in decision making roles.

Journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika @IamMzilikazi said he doesn’t have a problem with Mama Angie Motshekga but she feels that being a Defence Minister at her age could be discouraging to the SANDF Generals.

Another X user @RealKGeeRSA said its quite a remarkable time we living in as General Bantu Holomisa will serve as Deputy Minister under Minister Angie Motshekga.

X user @@Hasman7455 also said he respects the work Motshekga has done but feels the Department of the Defence needs young people who will bring innovative ideas on board.

On X, @Ori_RSA wrote: “What does Angie Motshekga know about ministry in defence? What qualifications does she have regarding this portfolio? ThesE people don’t take us serious 😭😭😭


@theHirohito said: “Can we talk about how Angie Angie Motshekga is always securing a ministerial position even after she killed a basic education…..President Ramaphosa is wild.”

“Angie Motshekga..Min of Defense.. Well I guess in reality we don’t actually have a force that could actually defend us..,” wrote @Brettbenraphael.

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