Dr Zweli Mkhize – Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Dr Zweli Mkhize, the former Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, was installed as the second Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal at a special inauguration ceremony held on 19 August 2009. He succeeded Dr Frene Ginwala.
As chancellor, Dr Mkhize is the titular head of the university and presides over all University congregations. He confers and awards all degrees, diplomas and certificates in the name of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Described by the community of Willowfontein in Pietermaritzburg where he grew up as ‘open-minded and very humble’, Dr Mkhize obtained his medical degree from the former University of Natal’s Medical School where he played a leading role in student governance and served on the Medical Students Representative Council as President.
His illustrious political career spans nearly 25 years and his prominent role in the promotion of peace and stability in the province of KwaZulu-Natal is well known. He played an integral and major role in the country’s democracy and went into exile in 1986. He returned to South Africa in 1991. He served as a member of the ANC’s National Health Secretariat responsible for the development of the country’s health policy. Dr Mkhize served as MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) for 10 years, making him the longest serving Provincial Health MEC in the country. In 2004, he was appointed MEC for Finance and Economic Development in KZN. He was chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and a member of the ANC National Executive Committee and currently the Treasurer-General of African National Congress.
He is married to Dr May Mashego with whom he has three children.