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The President



Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, Mr

Personal
  • Date of Birth: 18 June 1942
  • Marital Status: Married
Current Positions
  • President of the Republic of South Africa since 14 June 1999.
  • President of the African National Congress (ANC) since 1997.
  • Member of the Steering Committee of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
Academic Qualifications
  • Attended primary school at Idutywa and Butterworth and high school at Lovedale, Alice.
  • Expelled from school as a result of student strikes (1959) and forced to continue studies at home.
  • Sat for matriculation examinations at St John's High School, Umtata (1959).
  • Completed British A level examinations (1960 and 1961).
  • Undertook first year economics degree as an external student with the University of London (1961 - 1962).
  • Master of Economics degree, University of Sussex (1966).
Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities
  • Joined African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) while a student at the Lovedale Institute (1956).
  • Involved in underground activities in the Pretoria-Witwatersrand area after the African National Congress (ANC) was banned in 1960.
  • Involved in mobilising the students and youth in support of the ANC call for a stay away in protest against the creation of a Republic (1961).
  • Elected Secretary of the African Students' Association (December 1961).
  • Left South Africa together with other students on instructions of the ANC (1962). Went to the then Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, the then Tanganyika, now Tanzania and the United Kingdom (UK) to study.
  • Continued with political activities as a university student in the UK, mobilising the international student community against apartheid.
  • Worked for the ANC office in London (1967 - 1970). Underwent military training in the then Soviet Union during this period.
  • Served as Assistant Secretary to the Revolutionary Council of the ANC in Lusaka (1971).
  • Sent to Botswana (1973). He was among the first ANC leaders to have contact with exiled and visiting members of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). As a result of his contact and discussions with the BCM, some of the leading members of this organisation found their way into the ranks of the ANC.
  • The focus of his activities during this time was to consolidate the underground structures of the ANC and to mobilise the people inside South Africa.
  • Engaged the Botswana Government in discussions to open an ANC office in that country. Left Botswana in 1974.
  • Sent to Swaziland as acting representative of the ANC. Part of his task was the internal mobilisation and the creation of underground structures.
  • Became a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC (1975).
  • Sent to Nigeria (December 1976) as a representative of the ANC. Played a major role in assisting students from South Africa to relocate in an unfamiliar environment.
  • Left Nigeria and returned to Lusaka (February 1978).
  • Political Secretary in the Office of the President of the ANC (1978).
  • Director of the Department of Information and Publicity (1984 - 1989).
  • Re-elected to the NEC (1985). Served as Director of Information and as Secretary for Presidential Affairs.
  • Member of the ANC's Political and Military Council.
  • Member of the delegation that met the South African business community led by the Chairman of Anglo American, Gavin Relly, at Mfuwe, Zambia (1985).
  • Led a delegation of the ANC to Dakar, Senegal, where talks were held with a delegation from the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (IDASA) (1987).
  • Led the ANC delegation which held secret talks with the South African Government from 1989 and which led to agreements about the unbanning of the ANC and the release of political prisoners.
  • Part of the delegation which engaged the National Party Government in talks about talks. He participated in the Groote Schuur and Pretoria deliberations, which resulted in the agreements which became known as the Groote Schuur and Pretoria Minutes (1990).
  • Participated in all subsequent negotiations leading to the adoption of the interim Constitution for the new South Africa.
  • Elected Chairperson of the ANC (1993). The election to this post meant succeeding the late former President and Chairperson of the ANC, Oliver R Tambo, with whom he had a close working relationship.
  • Executive Deputy President in the South African Government (1994 - 13 June 1999).
  • Chairperson of the African Union (July 2002 - July 2003).
Awards/Decorations/Presentations/Bursaries
  • Honorary Doctorate from Rand Afrikaans University (17 September 1999).
  • Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Glasgow Caledonian University (19 May 2000).
  • Newsmaker of the Year from Pretoria Press Club (22 August 2000).
Source: The Presidency

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Last modified: 14 October 2004 10:08:18.

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