About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Mbeki, Thabo

1942 -

Born in Idutywa in the Transkei, he is son of Govan Mbeki. He joined the ANCYL in 1956 and in 1961 he was instrumental in forming the African Students Organisation. He went into exile in 1962.

In 1966 he graduated with an MA in economics from Sussex University, after which he worked in the ANC's London office until 1970. He then underwent guerrilla training in the Soviet Union. He was called to the ANC's exile headquarters in Lusaka and there he was appointed assistant secretary of the Revolutionary Council.

Mbeki was appointed to the ANC's National Executive committee in 1975 and became chief adviser to Oliver Tambo. In 1989 he became the ANC's chief diplomat.

From 1985 he played a key role in opening up dialogue by meeting with South African business leaders and editors. He was also a key member of the ANC team that met with the government at Groote Schuur and Pretoria during 1990.

He became Deputy President of South Africa in 1994 under Mandela's presidency and in 1997 became President of the ANC. He succeeded Mandela as President of SA in 1999.

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