Remembering Govan Mbeki: 5 Facts about Thabo Mbeki's dad

Remembering Govan Mbeki: 5 Facts about Thabo Mbeki's dad

Monday, 5 October, marked the day in history the late Govan Mbeki was released from Robben Island after spending 24 years behind bars.

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In 1963, the then ANC leader, Govan Archibald Mvuyelwa Mbeki, was sentenced to jail on several charges, including terrorism and treason.

Mbeki spent more than two decades before he was released from prison on 5 October 1987. So, decided to take a look at his life and career.

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1. Early life

Mbeki was born on 9 July 1910 in the Nqamakwe district of the Transkei region. He was the son of Xhosa parents Johanna Mahala and Sikelewu Mbeki, who was a Chief.

2. Education

Mbeki realised from a young age he wanted to fight the apartheid-system. But, before starting his activism in politics, he went on to study towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and psychology.

He then also obtained a diploma in teaching.

3. Family

The former late ANC leader married Epainette Mbeki, with whom he had four children. Perhaps his most famous child is Thabo Mbeki, who served as the South African president.

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4. Career before Politics

Mbeki worked as a newsboy and messenger, where he had first hand experience of the poverty amongst black people. It was during the time he became inspired to fight the apartheid oppression.

The father of Thabo Mbeki also worked as a teacher but he was fired because of his politician activities.

5. Robben Island

In 1963, Mbeki was sentenced to Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Ahmed Kathrada, to name only a few.

The group of ANC members were found guilty of terrorism and treason, Wikipedia reported.

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