His Excellency Membathisi Mdladlana
South African High Commissioner to Canada
High Commissioner Membathisi (Mphumzi Shepherd) Mdladlana was born in Keiskammahoek, South Africa on 12 May 1952.
Before being appointed as High Commissioner to Canada, he served as the South African Minister of Labour from July 1998 –
30 October 2010. Thereby, forming part of former presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, as well as current President Jacob Zuma’s cabinets.
His professional career began as a teacher at Vukukhanye Primary School, in Gugulethu, Cape Town in 1972. Upon which he then accepted the position of principal at Andile Primary School in Crossroads, Cape Town from 1982-1994. During this period, he also served as a Regional Organiser for the South Western African Teachers Association (SWATA), which later became Peninsula African Teachers Association (PENATA) (1980 – 1983), as Deputy Secretary of Cape African Teachers Union (CATU) (1984 - 1985), and as a founding Member and later Chairperson of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) (1985 – 1990).
In 1994, he was elected as a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly (Portfolio Committees on Education and Home Affairs) and Whip of the Parliamentary Programming Committee. In 1998, as the Minister of the Labour. In 2010, as the South African Ambassador to Burundi, and in September 2012 as High Commissioner to Canada.