About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Zuma, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa

Click here for list of interviews

Zuma was born in Zululand on 12 April 1942. He had no formal schooling and was taught to read by cousins, and thereafter borrowed books in order to educate himself.

His current positions are: -

Ø. Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa since 17 June 1999.

Ø. Leader of government business in the National Assembly since June 1997.

Ø. Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC) since December 1997.

Ø. Chairperson of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC).

Ø. Chancellor of the University of Zululand.

Ø. Patron of the Jacob Zuma Bursary Fund (since 1998).

Ø. Patron of the Peace and Reconstruction Foundation.

Ø. Patron of the Albert Luthuli Education and Development Foundation.

Ø. Patron of the Moral Regeneration Movement.

Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities : -

Ø. He was heavily influenced by a family member who was a trade unionist,

Ø. He became involved in politics at an early age.

Ø. Joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1958.

Ø. Became an active member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) (1962).

Ø. Whilst on his way out of the country, he was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near Zeerust in the North West Province (1963).

Ø. Convicted of conspiring to overthrow the Government, he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Robben Island (1963).

Ø. After his release in December 1973, he worked to mobilise internal resistance and was instrumental in the re-establishment of the

Ø. ANC's underground structures in the then Natal, now KwaZulu-Natal (1974 - 1975).

Ø. Left South Africa in 1975 and for the next 12 years was based in Swaziland and later in Mozambique. During this period he was involved in underground work with President Mbeki and the others providing leadership to the ANC structures operating inside South Africa. He also dealt with the thousands of young exiles that poured out of South Africa in the wake of the Soweto uprising in June 1976.

Ø. Lived in several African countries working for the ANC and rose rapidly through the ranks to become a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC in 1977.

Ø. Served as Deputy Chief Representative and later Chief Representative of the ANC in Mozambique until 1984, the year of the signing of the Nkomati Accord between the Mozambican and South African Governments.

Ø. Served on the ANC's Military Committee and Political Committee when it was formed in the mid eighties.

Ø. Appointed Head of the ANC underground structures and shortly thereafter, Chief of the Intelligence Department at the ANC Head Office in Lusaka, Zambia (1987).

Ø. Was one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiation, following the unbanning of the ANC (1990).

Ø. Instrumental in organising the Groote Schuur Minute between the FW de Klerk Government and the ANC that reached important decisions about the return of exiles and the release of political prisoners (1990).

Ø. Elected Chairperson of the ANC Southern Natal and took a leading role in fighting violence in the region. This resulted in a number of Peace Accords involving the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) (1990).

Ø. Elected the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC during the National Conference held in South Africa after the unbanning of the organisation (1994).

Ø. Deployed in KwaZulu-Natal because he felt that he had a role to play in bringing about peace and stability in the then highly volatile region (1994).

Ø. Nominated as the ANC candidate for the Premiership of KwaZulu-Natal Province (1994).

Ø. Appointed Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government (1994).

Ø. Elected National Chairperson of the ANC and Chairperson of the ANC in KZN. (December 1994).

Awards/Decorations/Presentations/Bursaries : -

Ø. Honoured with the Nelson Mandela Award for Outstanding Leadership in Washington DC, United States of America (1998).

Ø. Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of Fort Hare (2001).

Ø. Honorary Doctorate of Administration from the University of Zululand (2001).

Ø. Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the Medical University of Southern Africa (2001).

Ø. Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of the North (2001).

Source: The Presidency

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to theThis resource is hosted by the site.