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Indian-origin in Zuma cabinet

world Updated: May 12, 2009 17:14 IST

Indian-origin anti-apartheid activist Maggie Govender has been inducted into South African President Jacob Zuma's cabinet, taking the number of people from the community in the government to seven.

50-year-old Govender of Durban has been appointed as the Minister of Human Settlement (formerly housing) to the provincial cabinet in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Govender joins a fellow former activist, Pravin Gordhan, and five other Indian-origin activists who were inducted into to the national cabinet by President Jacob Zuma.

"I am elated that the ANC has shown confidence in me to manage the important portfolio of human settlement," she told PTI.

Govender, an educationist by profession, is a former official of the Natal Indian Congress, the United Democratic Front and several local anti-apartheid organisations during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

When the ban on ANC was revoked in 1990, she was one of the first Indian-origin activists to formally join the organisation and establish a branch in her home town of Chatsworth in Durban.

"I will work tirelessly to ensure that the lives of all people are improved. This is the vision of the ANC and I am totally committed to this," she said.

Govender was nominated by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal as a candidate for the provincial legislature during the just-completed general election on April 22.