Thandi Modise, South Africa’s current Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, has recently been in the spotlight. She addressed the media on border control and various issues impacting the country’s defense force.
In addition, there are reports of the financially strained South African National Defence Force (SANDF) facing lawsuits totaling millions due to alleged misconduct by soldiers.
Thandi Modise assumed the role of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans on August 5, 2021. Before that, she held positions such as the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the Premier of the North West province.
Early Life and Background
Thandi Ruth Modise, born on December 25, 1959, in Vryburg, Cape Province, South Africa, emerged from humble beginnings.
Raised in Huhudi, a township near Vryburg, she faced the challenges of the Soweto uprising, leading her to drop out of Barolong High School in July 1976.
Motivated by the fervor of the anti-apartheid movement, Thandi, along with former classmates, fled to Botswana, joining the ANC in exile.
Her journey continued with political education in Tanzania and military training in Angola and Maputo, Mozambique. Notably, she became one of the few women in MK’s renowned “June 16” detachment.
Thandi’s commitment deepened as she worked in MK camps, holding roles from political commissar to commander. With a false passport, she infiltrated South Africa in 1978, conducting reconnaissance for guerrilla attacks and sabotage.
Arrest and Imprisonment
Her dedication led to her arrest in Eldorado Park in 1979, where she was involved in political mobilization. Despite adversity, Thandi Modise’s resilience stood tall.
Born into a family of ANC allegiance, Thandi’s father, Frans Modise, a railway worker and ANC member, influenced her early activism.
She joined the ANC in 1976 and became an MK operative upon her return to South Africa in 1978.
Imprisonment and Beyond
Enduring imprisonment under the Terrorism Act from 1980 to 1988, Thandi Modise’s commitment persisted.
Elected to the South African Parliament in 1994, she served in various capacities, including Premier of the North West and Speaker of the National Assembly.
Thandi’s influence extended to the ANC, where she held key positions, such as Deputy President of the ANC Women’s League and Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC.
While happily married, Thandi Modise keeps her husband’s identity private. With four children, including daughters Boingotlo and Mandisa, she balances her political career with family responsibilities.
Thandi Modise Net Worth
Thandi Modise’s estimated net worth of $2 million reflects her success as a politician. With a monthly salary exceeding $101,000, she enjoys a luxurious lifestyle and indulges in fancy car trips.
In August 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Thandi Modise as the Minister of Defence, showcasing her continued impact on South African politics.
Thandi Modise’s journey is a testament to her resilience, dedication, and leadership, shaping the narrative of South Africa’s political landscape.
|Thandi Ruth Modise
|Date of Birth
|25 December 1959
|Age (as of 2024)
|65 years old
|Number of Children
|First Daughter’s Name
|Second Daughter’s Name
|African National Congress (ANC)
|Roles in ANC
|Deputy President of the ANC Women’s League (1993-2003)
Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC (2007-2012)
Member of the National Executive Committee (2017-present)
|1980 to 1988
|Main Source of Income
Read next post on: Get to Know Mike Freer: Biography