Nomvula Mokonyane Biography: Age, Husband, Children, Ben 10s Allegations, Qualifications

Nomvula Mokonyane in 2015
Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Nomvula Mokonyane as the Minister of Environmental Affairs in South Africa on November 22, 2018.


Nomvula Mokonyane (born June 28, 1963) is a South African politician and the former Premier of Gauteng. She has held other notable positions in the presidency.

Ms Mokonyane was the Minister of Communications and Water and Sanitation. She also served as the Minister of Environmental Affairs. She has also served as a lawmaker in the Gauteng Legislature and contributed to various portfolio committees.

In 1996, Nomvula became the MEC for Agriculture, Conservation, and Environment.

Later in 1999, the president appointed her MEC for Safety and Liaison. She left the position in 2004 to become Housing MEC until 2009. Nomvula Mokonyane became the Premier of Gauteng Province in 2009

Nomvula Mokonyane
Nomvula Mokonyane biography
Nomvula Mokonyane is a Former Premier of Gauteng.
Quick Facts
Full Name:Nomvula Paula Mokonyane
Born:June 28, 1963 (age 59 years old)
Place of Birth:Kagiso
Nationality:South African
Education:Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School
Spouse:Serge Mokonyane (died 2019)
Children:Retlabusa Mokonyane, Katleho
Former positions:Minister of Water and Sanitation of South Africa (2014–2018), Premier of Gauteng (2009–2014)

Early life

Nomvula Paula Mokonyane was born on June 28, 1963, in Kagiso on the West Rand, South Africa. Her parents had twelve children, of which she is the last-born child. She has six sisters and five brothers.

As a teenager of fifteen, she was active in the struggle against the Apartheid government.


Mokonyane attended and matriculated at Masupatsela High School. She trained in Local Government and Planning Management and Community Development in Sweden. 

She did a certificate course in Emerging Economics at Wharton Business School at Pennsylvania University, USA. She studied leadership and governance at Harvard University in the United States. 

Political Career

As early as fifteen years, Mokonyane was already active in the struggle against apartheid. She joined the Young Christian Students and was a founding member of the Congress of South African Students.

The former premier of Gauteng is also a former activist and leader of the Kagiso Residents Organisation. She is a former leader of the Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union of South Africa.

Mokonyane is a member of the African National Congress and has served in many leadership capacities in the party. She has served as a lawmaker in the Gauteng Legislature in various portfolio committees.

She served as the publicity secretary of the Krugersdorp branch of the United Democratic Front. She was an organizer of the Federation of Transvaal Women. 

Ms Mokonyane served as the deputy chairperson of the ANCWL, a member of the SACP Central Committee, and a member of the ANCWL NEC. She also served as the chairperson of the Housing Sub-Committee.

In 1996, she became a Member of the Executive Council of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment. She left the position in 1999.

From 1999 to 2004, she served as a Member of the Executive Council of Safety and Liaison. After leaving office in 2004, she became MEC of Housing until 2009.

On May 6, 2009, Mokonyane became the premier of Gauteng and served until May 20, 2014.

Premier of Gauteng

After the May 2009 general elections, she became the Premier of Gauteng. She was the first female premier of the province. She took over from Premier Paul Mashatile.


On May 25, 2014, Mokonyane became the Minister of Water and Sanitation. The ministry’s primary objective is to fight water and other chronic sanitation problems in South Africa.

Though she wasn’t then a Member of the Parliament, the SA constitution allows the appointment of two ministers outside the National Legislature.

Personal Life


Nomvula Mokonyane was married to Serge Mokonyane, who passed away at a Johannesburg hospital. He was reportedly hospitalized in March and passed in April 2019.


In November 2010, her son Retlabusa Mokonyane committed suicide in Johannesburg at twenty-three. He made headlines a week earlier for alleged drunk driving and crashing into a police car in Kagiso, west of Johannesburg.

The police arrested Retlabusa, under normal circumstances, he was to spend a night in the cells. But he was ‘quickly’ released after an unexplained phone call to the police.

Nomvula has a daughter Katleho, who scored an R2.7 million PPE contract from the Gauteng health department through Tuwo Rhodesia.

Ben 10 Allegations

Many have accused the former Premier of Gauteng of having several young lovers (informally called Ben 10s). She allegedly rewards these lovers with financial favors.

Some newspapers mentioned Reggie Nkabinde, Jimmy Tau, and Luvo Makasi as recipients of these favors. 

In February 2017, Democratic Alliance announced that it would request that Auditor-General‚ Thembekile Makwetu‚ carry out an independent investigation into the gross mismanagement of funds by the Minister.

Earlier, City Press newspaper reported that her department is over R4.3bn in debt. The department was also unable to complete several important projects and owed contractors.

Ms Mokonyane told Sowetan LIVE that these allegations hurt her but won’t deter her from doing her job.