Hon. Minister Pholile Shakantu Profile

Senator Pholile Shakantu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is another returnee to Cabinet, having previously served as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs between 2018 and 2023.

Before her foray into politics, Senator Shakantu had a distinguished legal career spanning over two decades. Her expertise, honed in both corporate and private spheres, encompasses a wide array of legal competencies, including proficiency in commercial law, negotiation and structuring of business transactions. Minister Shakantu’s knowledge and experience in the telecommunications sector, cultivated over a span of 12 years, encompassed executive roles in legal, regulatory, corporate affairs, as well as sales and distribution.

Her multifaceted career also includes a tenure as a member of the Judicial Service Commission and as the Deputy Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. In 2018, His Majesty King Mswati III appointed Minister Shakantu as a Member of Parliament, before appointing her as Minister of Justice. Notably, as the Justice Minister, she spearheaded the advocacy for the digitisation of the justice sector, a ground-breaking initiative that resulted in the successful introduction of the Electronic Case Management System. During her tenure in the Ministry of Justice, Minister Shakantu further championed initiatives aimed at extending legal support to vulnerable groups within the Kingdom, through launching programmes such as the Small Claims Courts and the implementation of Legal Aid services in Eswatini.

Beyond her professional work, Minister Shakantu is also a businesswoman and philanthropist. She strongly advocates for the empowerment of women and youth, and is the founder of Eswatini Network of Women, an organisation focused on empowering women in sports, politics, and the arts. Additionally, she is involved in media and film production.

Minister Shakantu is an admitted attorney, conveyancer, and notary public. She holds a BA in Law and LLB degrees from the University of Eswatini and an MSc in Leadership and Change Management from Leeds Beckett University. Additionally, she has received training in various areas including Advanced Ministry Training, telecoms law and regulation, corporate governance, military justice, communication and business administration.

His Majesty King Mswati III appointed Minister Shakantu as Senator on 5 November 2023, before appointing her as Minister of Foreign Affairs on the 13th of the same month.

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