Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dr. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki was born in Idutywa in Transkei n June 18 1942.  After his schooling at Lovedale Academy was interrupted by a strike in 1959, he completed his studies at home. He moved to Johannesburg where he came under the guidance of Walter Sisulu and was elected secretary of the African Students' Association (ASA). The ASA collapsed following the arrest of many of its members at a time when political movements were folding under increasingly severe attacks from the state and Mbeki went on to study economics via correspondence with London University. Mbeki left South Africa for Tanzania in 1962 under orders from the ANC, after his father was arrested at Rivonia and sentenced to life imprisonment. From Tanzania he moved to Britain where he completed a Masters degree in economics at Sussex University in 1966. He Remained active in student politics and played a prominent role in building the youth and student sections of the ANC in exile. He worked at the ANC's London office with the late Oliver Thambo before being sent to the Soviet Union for military training in 1970. Later in 1970 Mbeki went to Lusaka to become the assistant secretary of the Revolutionary Council. Over the next five years Mbeki was active in Botswana. In 1973 and 1974 he was in Botswana holding discussions with the their government about opening an ANC office there. By 1975 Mbeki was acting ANC representative in Swaziland. Appointed to the ANC's national executive committee in 1975, he served as ANC representative to Nigeria until 1978. On his return to Lusaka, he became political secretary in the office of Oliver Tambo, and then director of information. From this position he played a major role in turning the international media against apartheid. His other role in the 1970s was in building both the ANC in Swaziland and underground structures inside the country.

His father, Govan Mbeki, alongside his mother were activists. Govan was leading in the ANC. He was in prison with Mandela for over 20 years. 

During the 1980s Mbeki rose to head the department of information and publicity and coordinated diplomatic campaigns to involve more white South Africans in anti-apartheid activities. In 1989 Mbeki headed the ANC's department of international affairs and was involved in the ANC's negotiations with the former government. After South Africa's first democratic election in April 1994, Mandela chose Mbeki to be the first deputy president in the new Government of National Unity. The National Party withdrew from the Government of National Unity in June 1996 and Mbeki then became the sole deputy president. At the 50th Conference of the ANC at Mafikeng, from 16-20 1997, Thabo Mbeki was elected as the new President of the African National Congress.Thabo Mbeki was elected President of South Africa on 14 June 1999 and was inaugurated as President on 16 June 1999.

Zuma took over from Mbeki.

In 2005 Mbeki removed Zuma from his post as his deputy after Zuma was implicated in a corruption scandal. In October 2005, some supporters of Zuma burned tshirts portraying Mbeki's picture at a protest. In late 2005, Zuma faced new rape charges, which dimmed his political prospects. There was visible split between Zuma's supporters and Mbeki's allies in the ANC.

In February 2006, Mbeki told the SABC that he and the ANC had no intention to change the Constitution of the country in order to permit him a third term in office. He stated, "By the end of 2009, I will have been in a senior position in government for 15 years. I think that's too long. He, although barred by the Constitution of South Africa from seeking a third term as president of the country, in 2007 entered the race to be President of the ANC (no term limit exists for the position of ANC president), for a third term, in a close battle with Jacob Zuma.He lost this vote against Jacob Zuma on the 18 December 2007. Zuma went on to be the ANC's presidential candidate. Having made it a point not to contest this decision" of the ANC NEC that Mbeki was no longer fit to lead South Africa he formally announced his resignation on 21 September 2008 as a result of the ANC decision no longer to support him in parliament. This came a few days after the dismissal of a trial against ANC President Zuma on charges of corruption due to procedural errors. Allusions were made in the ruling to possible political interference by Mbeki and others in his prosecution. Parliament convened on 22 September and accepted his resignation with effect from 25 September; however, because an MP for the Freedom Front opposition party declared his objection to the resignation, a debate was set to take place the following day. In cases of such a void in the presidency, the constitution regulates the replacement to serve as the interim president: either the deputy president, the speaker of parliament or any MP (Member of Parliament), as chosen by parliament, can take the role of president of the country until the next election. ANC president Jacob Zuma, who was elected president after the next general election, was not eligible as he was at the time none of these

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