Minister Dikobe Ben Martins



Date of Birth: 2 September 1956
Other: Born at Alexandra Township in Johannesburg

Current Positions

  • Minister of Transport of the Republic of South Africa with effect from 12 June 2012
  • Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises from 1 November 2010 to 12 June 2012
  • Member of Parliament since 1994
  • Member of the Political Bureau and Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP)
  • Deputy Chairperson of the Robben Island Museum
  • Executive Committee Member of the Caversham Centre for writers and artists

Academic qualifications

  • Attended school at St. Joseph's College in Durban and Coronationville High School in Johannesburg
  • Holds a Master of Law (LLM) degree in International law from the University of Cape Town
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal),
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice (PGD Dip. Man. Prac.) from the University of Cape Town.

Positions last held/Career Memberships/Other Activities

  • Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
  • Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises
  • Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry,
  • Member of the Black Consciousness Movement in 1970
  • Worked for the Community Care Centre and Edenvale Ecumenical Centre in Pietermaritzburg from 1977 to 1983
  • Was employed by the African National Congress (ANC)
  • Was employed by the South African Communist Party (SACP)
  • Charged and acquitted for producing banned Steve Biko T-shirts in 1978
  • In 1979 joined the ANC and later became a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK)
  • Travelled to Botswana between 1979 and 1983 where he met with Wally Serote, Tim Williams and others who were in exile
  • Charged and imprisoned for eight years at Robben Island and Johannesburg prison where he served eight years as a political prisoner (1983-1991)
  • Kept in solitary confinement and tortured for seven months in 1993
  • Chief Coordinator of the Visual Arts Committee in South Africa
  • Is a patron of Congress of South African Writers (COSAW)

and Publications

  • Contributions in poetry, graphics and essays on art and culture to the Staff Rider publications in the 1970s
  • Has published two poetry anthologies baptism of fire (1984) and prison poems (1992) with AD Donker publisher.
  • A practicing artist whose work forms part of the permanent Art collection of the Killie Campbell Collection of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Pretoria and Johannesburg Art Galleries, as well as that of numerous private collections nationally 
    and internationally