Professor Shepherd Malusi Mayatula (‘Prof’) is a retired member of the South African Parliament and retired Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education in the National Assembly. Prof. Mayatula holds numerous qualifications including B.Comm; B.Comm Honours (Economics); M.Comm (Economics) and M.A (Economics). In addition, Prof holds a Teachers Diploma (South Africa) and is a former winner of the Fulbright Scholarship and Research Fellowship for the North Eastern University in Boston.
Prof taught economics at the University of Fort Hare from 1975 to 1994 and held positions including Head of the Economics department, Member of Senate, Associate Professor and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Commerce. In 1994, after the first democratic elections in South Africa, Prof was elected as a senior MP and was deployed as the first Provincial Minister of Finance in the Eastern Cape Province, and from February 1998 to June 1999 he was the Provincial Minister of Education in the same province, as well as Acting Premier on various occasions. In 1999, Prof was redeployed to National Parliament as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education, a position he held until his retirement. The responsibilities of the committee included processing all education bills, as well as oversight and monitoring over the Department of Education nationally. Prof. Mayatula retired from active politics in 2009, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of the University of Fort Hare.