Meet Nathi Mthethwa: A Leading Figure in South African Politics

Posted By Princess Tshegofatso


Emmanuel Nkosinathi Mthethwa (born January 23, 1967), professionally recognized as Nathi Mthethwa, is a prominent South African politician. 

His illustrious career in politics has seen him hold significant positions. Notably, he served as the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture from 2019 to 2023. In 2008, he assumed the vital role of Chief Whip in the National Assembly for the African National Congress.

Nathi Mthethwa‘s earlier responsibilities included his tenure as the Minister of Safety and Security, previously known as the Minister of Police, spanning from 2008 to 2014. 

Subsequently, he took on the role of Minister of Arts and Culture, diligently serving in this capacity from 2014 to 2019. As of the present day, Nathi Mthethwa remains actively engaged in the field of politics, contributing to the governance of South Africa.

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Nathi Mthethwa: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Emmanuel Nkosinathi Mthethwa
Stage Name: Nathi Mthethwa
Born: 23 January 1967 (age 57 years old)
Place of Birth: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Education: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Rhodes University, University of Johannesburg
Height: 1.58 m
Parents: Nurse MaGumbi Mthethwa, Zanele Zondi-Mthethwa
Siblings: N/A
Spouse: Philisiwe Buthelezi (m. 2013)
Girlfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: Zolo Mthethwa, Jacob Mthethwa, Nanjabulo Mthethwa
Occupation: Politician
Net Worth: R20 million

Early Life & Education

Nathi Mthethwa, a prominent figure in South African politics, was born on January 23, 1967, in the picturesque town of Kwambonambi in the KwaZulu-Natal province. 

His upbringing was shaped by his parents, Nurse MaGumbi Mthethwa and Zanele Zondi-Mthethwa‘s unwavering love and guidance. While details regarding his siblings remain elusive, it is evident that a familial solid foundation influenced Nathi Mthethwa’s formative years.

Nathi Mthethwa received a Diploma in Community Development from the University of Natal, now known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Additionally, he has certificates from Rhodes University in communications and leadership and the University of Johannesburg in mining engineering. He has an MBA from Regent Business School as well.


Nathi Mthethwa‘s political career officially began when he joined the African National Congress (ANC) in the early 1990s. He served as the ANCYL’s regional secretary in KwaZulu-Natal from 1990 to 1992. In addition, from 1997 to 2007, Mthethwa served with dedication on the ANC’s National Executive Committee.

Mthethwa was chosen to serve in South Africa’s National Assembly in 2004. During his time in this position, he held several positions, including that of Chief Whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from 2008 to 2010 and Chairperson of the Minerals and Energy Portfolio Committee from 2004 to 2008.

In September 2008, Nathi Mthethwa was appointed Minister of Safety and Security by President Kgalema Motlanthe. He served in this position until 2014, when he was appointed Minister of Arts and Culture.

Mthethwa, who served as Minister of Police, oversaw the South African Police Service (SAPS). However, during his tenure, the tragic Marikana massacre occurred in 2012, where 34 miners lost their lives at the hands of the police. The Marikana Commission of Inquiry concluded that Mthethwa had not fulfilled his responsibilities of providing sufficient guidance and supervision to the SAPS.

After being appointed Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture in 2019, Nathi Mthethwa held this position for four years until 2023. Unfortunately, he faced demotion from the cabinet at that time.

Current & Previous Positions

Here is an overview of his political journey:

  1. Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture (2019-2023): Mthethwa’s recent role was as the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, where he played a pivotal part from 2019 to 2023.
  2. Chief Whip of the African National Congress (2008): In 2008, he held the esteemed position of Chief Whip in the National Assembly for the African National Congress.
  3. Minister of Safety and Security (2008-2014): Mthethwa served as the Minister of Safety and Security, previously referred to as the Minister of Police, for six years, spanning from 2008 to 2014.
  4. Minister of Arts and Culture (2014-2019): Following his term as Minister of Safety and Security, he transitioned into the role of Minister of Arts and Culture, where he made significant contributions from 2014 to 2019.

As of the present day, Nathi Mthethwa continues his career as a dedicated and prominent South African politician with an extensive and impactful history of service to his nation.

Awards & Nominations

  • The 2016 Business and Arts South Africa Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership
  • The 2017 South African Music Awards (SAMA) Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The 2018 African Union Special Recognition Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture
  • The 2019 International Association of Arts Critics Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: Nathi Mthethwa (@nathi7943)
  • Twitter handle: Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA)

Personal Life

Nathi Mthethwa, 57, a South African politician, held the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture position from 2019 until his removal from cabinet in 2023. 

Nathi Mthethwa is in a marital relationship with Philisiwe Buthelezi, a businesswoman. Together, they have three children named Zolo MthethwaJacob Mthethwa, and Nanjabulo Mthethwa.

Net Worth

Nathi Mthethwa, with a net worth of R20 million, which translates to 1,084,916.41 USD, has established himself as a successful individual. Given his previous role as the Minister of Police in South Africa and his numerous high-ranking positions within the government, it is highly plausible that he has amassed considerable wealth throughout his career. 

His notable achievements and extensive experience in public service indicate that he has likely garnered significant financial resources alongside his professional accomplishments.

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