Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane
BornRefilwe Maria Mtsweni
(1973-08-03) August 3, 1973 (age 47)
EducationUniversity of the Witwatersrand School of Business
  • Mpumalanga Premier
Spouse(s)Lawrence Tsipane

Refilwe Maria Mtshweni-Tsipane is the current premier of Mpumalanga. She succeeded former Premier David Mabuza after he was appointed Deputy President of South Africa.



Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane was born on 3 September 1973 in Emalahleni in the Mpumalanga Province.[1]


She is married to Lawrence Tsipane and has two children.


Mtshweni matriculated at the Hlabirwa Commercial School in Limpopo in 1990. Following matriculation, she enrolled for a National Diploma in Human Resources Management at the Tshwane University of Technology, graduating in 1993.

She completed a Management Development Programme from the University of Pretoria as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Governance from the University of the Witwatersrand School of Business.[1]


Mpumalanga Premier

She was appointed Mpumalanga Premier on 14 March 2018. Before her appointment, Mtsweni had previously served as Acting Mpumalanga Premier in July 2017, February 2018 to 14 March 2018.

Mtsweni has also held the following positions:

  • Member of the Executive Council: Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs 2014- 2018;
  • Deputy Chief Whip of the majority party;
  • Deputy Chairperson of Committees ;
  • Member of Select Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA);
  • Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Human Settlements;
  • Chairperson of Select Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities;
  • Member of the Provincial Legislature (2014-to date)[1]

ANC Positions Held

  • Regional Treasurer of the African National Congress Women’s League (Nkangala Region), 2012-2017;
  • Branch Secretary, 2012-2016;
  • Local Election Team (LET) Co-ordinator, 2014;
  • Regional Executive Committee Member (Nkangala Region), 2012-2013;
  • Member of Regional Task Team (Nkangala Region), 2013-2014;
  • Member of the African National Youth League Provincial Executive Committee, 20017-2010;
  • Branch Chairperson,2006-2008;
  • Ward Committee Representative, 2005-2007;
  • Treasurer of the South African Youth Council in the Nkangala Region, 2003-2005;
  • Shop steward, National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa,1997-1999;
  • Branch Chairperson of the African National Congress Women’s League, 1993-1996.[1]


In January 2021, Bheki Cele called for an investigation into Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, who was captured on TV not wearing a mask at the funeral of Jackson Mthembu, who died of Covid-19 complications.

Mtsweni-Tsipane apologised for not wearing a mask in public. According to the premier's office, Mtsweni'Tsipane's mask was damaged and she was oblivious to the fact that it had fallen off.

Her aides found a replacement mask, which Mtsweni-Tsipane used for the rest of the proceedings.[2]


Tsipane tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday 30 September 2020. She exhibited mild symptoms.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Profile of Mpumalanga Premier, Mpumalanga Province, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 25, 2021
  2. Cebelihle Mthethwa, Cele wants probe into Mpumalanga premier for not wearing mask at Jackson Mthembu funeral, News24, Published: January 24, 2021, Retrieved: January 25, 2021
  3. Refilwe Tsipane is Covid-19 positive, 013, Published: October 1, 2020, Retrieved: January 25, 2021