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Jacob Zuma Birthday Wishes

11 April 2008

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the President of the ANC turns 66 years old on the 12 th of April. Jacob Zuma was elected as ANC President at its 52nd National Conference in 2007. He was born at Inkandla, KwaZulu Natal. After the death of his father, his mother who was a domestic worker in Durban was the breadwinner in the family. By the age of 15 JZ was taking on odd jobs to supplement the family income. He was influenced by a family member who was a trade unionist and in 1959;at an early age he joined the ANC. He became an active member of Umkhonto We Sizwe in 1962. He was arrested in Zeerust on his way out of the country with 45 MK recruits and spent 10 years on Robben Island.

After his release he helped to mobilise the internal underground structures of the ANC particularly in the Natal Province between 1973 and 1975.

JZ left the country in 1975 lived in Swaziland, Mozambique, and several other African countries. He was first elected to the NEC of the ANC in 1977 and served on the ANC`s Political Military Committee.

Following the unbanning of the ANC JZ was one of the first leaders to return to South Africa and was instrumental in organising the Groote Schuur meeting, which resulted in the Groote Schuur Minute and the decision regarding the return of all exiles back to South Africa.

He played a key role in negotiating the release of all political prisoners. In 1990 he was elected as the Chairperson of ANC in the Kwa Zulu Natal region and took a leading role in curbing the violence that gripped KwaZulu Natal in the early 1990s. He actively participated in the negotiations for peace with the IFP.

In 1991, he was elected as the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC.
In 1994 he was appointed as the MEC for Economic Affairs in KZN.
In December 1994 he was elected as the National Chairperson of the ANC and also served as the Chairperson of the ANC in the Kwa Zulu Natal.
He was elected as the Deputy President of the ANC at its conference held in Mafikeng in December 1997.
In June 1999 he was appointed as the Deputy President of South Africa and served as the leader of Government Business.
JZ is the Chancellor of the University of Zululand.
We celebrate his birthday with him and wish him a peaceful day at home with his family.

Issued by: Jessie Duarte
African National Congress