Mr Makhenkesi Stofile

Mr Makhenkesi Stofile
Portfolio History: 
  • Premier of the Eastern Cape Province (1997-2004)
  • Minister of Sport and Recreation (2004-2010)


Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile, the son of Simon Stofile and Miriam Ngcongcobela, was born on 27 December 1944 in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape, and matriculated from Newell High School in Port Elizabeth. For a number of years he worked in a textile factory before he obtained a BA degree from the University of Fort Hare in 1971. While lecturing in theology at the same institution, he completed a Masters degree in Theology in 1979. He further obtained a postgraduate diploma in technology from the University of Tubingen in Germany and an MA degree from Princeton University in the USA. In 2000 he was awarded a DPhil by the University of Port Elizabeth. Since 1975 he has been a minister of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa

Since 1965, Stofile has been involved in the administration of sport, especially rugby, cricket and netball. He also coached junior and club rugby, being a former player in the Border rugby team. He was the vice-president of SARFU from 1990 to 1992.

He joined the ANC as early as 1963, but only came to the fore on the political front by becoming the regional secretary and a member of the National Executive Committee of the United Democratic Front (UDF) between 1983 and 1986. In the following year he was convicted under the Ciskeian Internal Security Act for housing terrrorists, and subsequently sentenced to eleven years imprisonment, of which he only had to serve three. He became regional chairperson of the ANC in 1990, leaving this post in 1991 to serve as a member of the Governing Council of the University of Fort Hare. In 1994 he became a member of Parliament, as well as the chief whip of the ANC in Parliament. He was also appointed as treasurer general of the ANC in 1995, a post he held until 1997, when he became premier of the Eastern Cape. In 2004 he entered cabinet again as the minister of sport and recreation, a post which he held until 2010.