Thabo Mbeki urges ANC leadership to be committed to agreements of the movement

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has urged the African National Congress (ANC) leadership to be dedicated to the movement’s goals. Mbeki was born in the old Transkei homelands in the Eastern Cape in 1942.

Mbeki claims he joined the ANC at the age of 14 and has been a member ever since. He credits his father for inspiring him, saying that he taught him to be dedicated to the responsibilities he was assigned.

Mbeki’s father, a longtime leader in the Eastern Cape African National Congress (ANC), an organization dedicated to the abolition of apartheid in South Africa, who was later imprisoned (1964–87) alongside Nelson Mandela, exposed him to politics at a young age. Mbeki attended Transkei schools, including the well-known Lovedale senior school in Alice, and joined the ANC Youth League in 1956.

He was expelled from Lovedale three years later after leading a student strike. After the ANC was banned in South Africa in 1960, Mbeki resumed his studies at home and remained involved in the organization. He left South Africa illegally in 1962 and enrolled at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England, where he earned a master’s degree in economics in 1964.

Mbeki began rapidly ascending the ANC leadership in the late 1960s. He served in London for the ANC from 1967 to 1970 and received military training in the Soviet Union (1971). In 1971, he became the youngest member of the national executive (1975) and political secretary to President Oliver Tambo in Lusaka, Zambia, where he served as assistant secretary to the Revolutionary Council (1978). Mbeki went on ANC trips to Botswana, Swaziland, and Nigeria in the 1970s to deal with black youth who had fled South Africa.

On Saturday, he spoke at a gala dinner in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, to commemorate his 80th birthday. The gala event was attended by former President’s friends and family. Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Thoko Didiza argues that as a way of honoring Mbeki, Africans should unite and address the continent’s difficulties.

 

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation, according to Didiza, is also working hard to provide leadership guidance throughout the continent. South Africa’s President, Thabo Mbeki, was elected in 1999.