Nozizwe has a long and distinguished history of campaigning for human rights and supporting civil society organisations that deepen and advance democratic participation. She served as a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2009 during which time she was promoted to Deputy Speaker, Deputy Minister of Health and Deputy Minister of Defence.
In the struggle years, Nozizwe was Chairperson of the Natal Organisation of Women and served on the Regional Executive Committee of the United Democratic Front. She later served on the executive of the Women’s National Coalition as well as the Transitional Executive Council (TEC) as managing secretary for the Sub-Council on the Status of Women. Nozizwe was one of the four-strong South African Communist Party (SACP) delegation to the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) that negotiated the transition from apartheid. She also served with Cyril Ramaphosa in the Constituent Assembly that drew up South Africa’s Constitution.
Before joining Inyathelo, Nozizwe helped establish the African Women’s Peace Table, a partnership forum for integrating women’s perspectives on issues of peace and security in Africa. She set up the women’s human rights organisation ‘Embrace Dignity’ as well as ‘Democracy from Below’, a grassroots movement to strengthen participation in our democracy. Nozizwe also served as Non-Executive Director of the ‘Coalition Against Trafficking in Women’ (CATW International) as well as ‘Right to Care’ and ‘Right to Care Health Services’, a section 21 company providing treatment and care for people living with HIV/Aids.
Nozizwe is a recipient of the Tanenbaum Peacemakers Award, an honorary doctorate from Haverford College, Pennsylvania and a human rights award from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She holds an Honours Degree from the University of Cape Town.