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Biography

People like to identify Thabo Mbeki as an independent and original thinker, but one who remains close to the more visible leadership. His profile as a policy shaper and mediator in the movement has been built up over a lifetime of involvement. "I was born into the struggle," he says.

His birth took place in Idutywa, Transkei, on the 18th of June, 1942. Both his parents were teachers and activists. His father is a university graduate and there were many books in his home which Thabo read at an early age. Govan Mbeki was a leading figure in ANC activities in the Eastern Cape. Believing that sooner or later they would be arrested, Mbeki's parents decided that family and friends would also be responsible for bringing up the children. Mbeki therefore spent long periods away from home. He joined the Youth League at 14 and quickly became active in student politics. After his schooling at Lovedale was interrupted by a strike in 1959, he completed his studies at home. Thereafter he moved to Johannesburg where he came under the guidance of Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe.

While studying for his British A-levels he was elected secretary of the African Students' Association (ASA). He went on to study economics as a correspondence student with London University. The ASA collapsed following the arrest of many of its members, at a time when political movements were coming under increasingly severe attack from the state. Mbeki's father was arrested at Rivonia and sentenced to life imprisonment. He left the country in 1962 under orders from the ANC. From Tanzania he moved to Britain where he completed a Masters degree in economics at Sussex University in 1966. Remaining active in student politics, he played a prominent role in building the youth and student sections of the ANC in exile. Following his studies he worked at the London office with the late Oliver Tambo and Yusuf Dadoo before being sent to the Soviet Union in 1970 for military training.

Later that year he arrived in Lusaka where he was soon appointed assistant secretary of the Revolutionary Council. In 1973-74 he was in Botswana holding discussions with the Botswana government about opening an ANC office there. In 1975 he was acting ANC representative in Swaziland. Appointed to the NEC 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 '70s was in building the ANC in Swaziland and underground structures inside the country. During the '80s Mbeki rose to head the department of information and publicity and co-ordinated diplomatic campaigns to involve more white South Africans in anti-apartheid activities.

When delegations of sports, business and cultural representatives visited Lusaka for talks they all expressed surprise to meet a man deeply engaged in the issues they brought to the table. From 1989 Mbeki headed the ANC Department of International Affairs, and was a key figure in the ANC's negotiations with the former government. Mbeki was hand-picked by Nelson Mandela after the April 1994 general election to be the first Deputy President of the new Government of National Unity. 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. He resigned as President of South Africa on 24 September 2008.

Document written by Thabo Mbeki

Letters

24 September 2008 President Thabo Mbeki`s letter of resignation to Cabinet
8 March 2004 Thabo Mbeki`s call to all South Africans
25 January 1999 Letter to Judge Kriegler on receiving his resignation
18 January 1993 Thabo Mbeki, Secretary for International Affairs, ANC: Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Speeches

21 September 2008 Address to the nation by South African President Thabo Mbeki
5 September 2008 Address of the President of South Africa and Commander-in-Chief of the SANDF, Thabo Mbeki, on the occasion of the Presidential Fleet Review
22 August 2008 First Raymond Mhlaba Annual Memorial Lecture delivered by the President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki
19 August 2008 Address of the President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki at the Women`s Parliament
17 August 2008 Statement of the chairperson of SADC and president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki on the occasion of the launch of the SADC FTA
16 August 2008 Statement of the chairpeson of SADC and the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, to the 28th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government
7 August 2008 Address of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the opening of the Timbuktu Script and Scholarship Manuscripts
1 August 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy
29 July 2008 Toast remarks by President Thabo Mbeki and President Hosni Mubarak at the luncheon in honour of President Mubarak
19 July 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the celebration of Nelson Mandela`s 90th Birthday
16 July 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the Youth Day celebrations
12 June 2008 Response by President Thabo Mbeki to the debate on The Presidency Budget Vote
11 June 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics
11 June 2008 The Presidency budget vote address by President Thabo Mbeki
11 June 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of the 100th Thusong Service Centre
28 May 2008 Address of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the International Conference on African Development (Ticad) Summit
25 May 2008 Radio and television address to the nation by President Thabo Mbeki , on the occasion of Africa Day
24 May 2008 Closing address by President Thabo Mbeki to the fifth CISSA Conference
7 May 2008 Remarks by President Thabo Mbeki at the opening of the South Africa - Qatar Business Forum
27 April 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the Freedom Day Celebrations
23 April 2008 Reply to the toast remarks of King Mswati III by President Thabo Mbeki, at the state banquet in is honour
16 April 2008 Remarks by President Thabo Mbeki at the UNSC Press Conference
13 April 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki to the 118th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly
2 April 2008 Response by President Thabo Mbeki to the debate of the National House of Traditional Leaders
14 March 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki to the Community Development Indaba
11 March 2008 Toast remarks by President Thabo Mbeki on the occasion of the special visit to the Republic of Mauritius
7 March 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the gala dinner of The Association of South African Black Actuarial Professionals
28 February 2008 Toast remarks by President Thabo Mbeki in Honour of the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy
22 February 2008 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the annual opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders
14 February 2008 Response by President Thabo Mbeki to the debate of the State of the Nation Address
8 February 2008 State of the Nation Address by President Thabo Mbeki
25 January 2008 Remarks by President Thabo Mbeki to welcome four new ambassadors to the country
16 December 2007 Opening address and political report of President Thabo Mbeki, to The 52nd National Conference
21 November 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki to the joint sitting of Parliament to report on the processing of some Presidential Pardons
18 November 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the G20 Finance Ministerial Conference
4 November 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the 40th anniversary of Inkosi Albert Luthuli`s passing away
2 November 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)
12 October 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the opening of the Mata Mata Access Facility to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
5 October 2007 Press comments made by President Thabo Mbeki and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
25 September 2007 UN speech address by President Thabo Mbeki at the 62nd session of the United Nations` General Assembly
21 September 2007 Ceremonial Oration of the Grand Patron of the National Orders
14 September 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the 66th annivesary and 2007 national conference gala dinner and award ceremony of the Food and Allied Workers` Union
12 September 2007 Lecture by President Thabo Mbeki delivered on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the death of Stephen Bantu Biko
6 September 2007 Remarks by President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of the Daimler Chrysler South Africa - Mercedes Benz - W 204 C-Class Model
9 August 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the Women`s Day Celebrations
29 July 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of the movie, Gandhi, My Father
27 July 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the 38th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association - Africa Region Conference
20 July 2007 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of SABC News International
4 July 2007 A lecture by President Thabo Mbeki delivered at the University of Cape Coast
3 July 2005 National General Council 2005: Closing statement by President Thabo Mbeki
30 June 2005 National General Council 2005: Opening address by President Thabo Mbeki
7 December 2004 ANC President Thabo Mbeki to address the ANC Gauteng 9th Provincial Conference
16 December 2002 51st National Conference: Opening address by President Thabo Mbeki
27 September 2002 2002 National Policy Conference: Opening statement by ANC President Thabo Mbeki
4 April 2002 2002 Tripartite Alliance Summit: Opening Remarks by President Thabo Mbeki
12 July 2000 National General Council 2000: Keynote address by President Thabo Mbeki
10 October 1999 Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the opening of the 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference
16 January 1999 Speech by the Deputy President Thabo Mbeki at the Opening of Kwa-Ndebele Water Supply Project
20 December 1997 50th National Conference: Closing statement by ANC President Thabo Mbeki
20 December 1997 50th National Conference: address by ANC President Thabo Mbeki, at the Mafikeng stadium
25 April 1997 Women`s League Third National Conference: Opening Address by Thabo Mbeki
8 May 1996 I am an African - Thabo Mbeki`s speech at the adoption of the The Republic of South Africa Constitution Bill
18 July 2008 Happy birthday Madiba, the revolutionary!
31 December 2007 New Year Message
25 October 2004 President Mbeki's message of condolences following death of Dumisani Makhaye
18 January 1999 ANC best wishes to Muslims for Eid
13 December 1993 Statement by Thabo Mbeki, Representative of the ANC of South Africa, at the General Assembly of the United Nations
5 December 1990 Statement at the General Assembly of the United Nations by Thabo Mbeki

Reports

16 December 2007 52nd National Conference: Opening address and political report of ANC President Thabo Mbeki
9 September 2005 Report on discussion in the ANC National Executive Committee by Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma

Media Statements

22 June 2005 ANC statement on changes to National Executive by Thabo Mbeki
9 February 2004 ANC statement on election date by Thabo Mbeki
22 May 2003 We are the soldiers of Sisulu by Thabo Mbeki
6 May 2003 Thabo Mbeki: SA lost greatest son
6 May 2003 Mbeki`s statement on the death of Walter Sisulu
9 June 2002 Statement by President Thabo Mbeki on the death of Peter Mokaba
2 February 2001 Mbeki outlines key elements of Millennium Africa Recovery Plan
18 November 1992 Statement by Thabo Mbeki, Representative of the ANC of South Africa, in the General Assembly of the United Nations
8 November 1989 Statement by Thabo Mbeki at the General Assembly of the United Nations
10 October 1980 Statement at the meeting of the Special Committee against Apartheid on the Day of Solidarity with South African Political Prisoners by Thomas Nkobi, Treasure of the ANC
21 March 1979 Statement by Thabo Mbeki, representative of the ANC at the meeting of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid on (Sharpeville Day)