BIRTH NAME: Tshililo Michael Masutha
DATE OF BIRTH: 18 November 1965
PLACE OF BIRTH: Valdezia, Limpopo
OCCUPATION: Politician and Advocate
Michael Masutha is the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services of the Republic of South Africa; a position he held since 2014.
Early Life, Background And Childhood
Tshililo Michael Masutha was born on the 18th November 1965 in Valdezia, a small village in northern Limpopo and he grew up in Shayandima. He was born with a visual impairment, and went to Siloe School for the Blind where he matriculated in 1984. He uses Braille and large print for reading.
Michael Masutha is married with three children.
Michael Masutha studied law at the University of Limpopo (B Juris) from 1985 to 1988, and obtained an LLB Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1989.
Adv. Michael Masutha was the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology from 09 July 2013 to 25 May 2014.
He has been a Member of Parliament for the African National Congress since 1999.
He was a founding member of the Northern Transvaal Association for the Blind in 1986. For seven years (1989 to 1996) he served on the Executive Committee of the National Council for the Blind during which time he advocated for the removal of discriminatory laws against blind people. He has also represented the disability rights movement in policy and legislative reform processes at regional and international levels.
Minister Masutha’s activism extended beyond the borders of South Africa and he became co-founder of the Equileg Programme of the Southern African Federation of People with Disabilities, aimed at promoting equal opportunities legislation in Southern Africa.
In August 1991 he participated in a delegation of the Human Rights committee of Disabled Peoples’ International-DPI (a global Human Rights movement of disabled persons) to the United Nations in Geneva to lobby for the inclusion of disability as a human rights issue under the UN system (and not just as a health and welfare issue as has been traditionally perceived).
In 1995, Minister Masutha was admitted to practice as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa.
From 1991 to 1996 he was Director of the Disability Rights Unit at Lawyers for Human Rights – a project (which was a joint initiative with Disabled People South Africa) providing legal assistance to persons who were unfairly discriminated against on disability grounds.