Professor Kader Asmal was born Stanger- KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal in 1934 to a shopkeeper and was one of seven children. At a very young age Prof. Asmal met Chief Albert Luthuli, this meeting left Prof. Asmal with a lasting impressions of the wrong doings of the Apartheid government. When Prof. Asmal was 18 he was asked to join the Defiance Campaign as the secretary of the local ratepayers association.
After a brief period of time serving as the Secretary, Prof. Asmal left for the Springfield Training College in Durban to get his diploma as an educator . In his teaching career,Asmal pusued degreen English, teacher. Asmal pursued nin English, Politics and History at UNISA.
In 1959 Prof. Asmal moved to London where he started studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science. While in London Prof. Asmal started the British Anti-Apartheid movement eventually moving to Dublin to further his studies, where he also started the Irish Anti-Apartheid movement, he eventually graduated from both the London and Dublin schools. He became a lecturer in Dublin for 27 years.
In 1994 Prof. Asmal joined the cabinet as Minister of Water Affairs. It is during this tenure that he became widely respected as one of the best Ministers in South Africa. In 1999 Thabo Mbeki chose him as the Minister of Education; it is widely known that he made the education system more accessible to everyone and lowered some of the expected promises that the ANC had at the time. Eventually, Prof. Asmal Retired from government in 2004.
He did however stay on in parliament; he was heavily set against the disbandment of the Scorpions as well as the Protection of Information Act, finally retiring in 2008. On 22 June 2011 Prof. Asmal died of a heart attack at the age of 77.