Mbeki turns 77: 5 Facts about the former president on his birthday

Mbeki turns 77: 5 Facts about the former president on his birthday

On this day in 1942, former South African president Thabo Mbeki was born. In honour of his birthday we took a look at his life and career.

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On Tuesday, 18 June, former SA head of state Thabo Mbeki turned 77 years old. Briefly.co.za decided to honour Mbeki by taking a quick look at his life and career.

Here are five quick facts about the former president:

1. Early life

On 18 June, 1942, Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki was born in Mbewuleni - which was also where he grew up. Mbeki is one of four kids of Epainette and Govan Mbeki.

Briefly.co.za previously reported on Govan Mbeki - an ANC stalwart who was sentenced to Robben Island in 1963.

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2. Education

Mbeki obtained a secondary education at Lovedale, Alice. In 1959, Mbeki participated in student strikes which resulted in his expulsion. However, in the same year he matriculated from the St. John's High School.

The former president went on to study towards an economics degree as an external student with the University of London, Wikipedia reported. He later obtained his master's degree in economics from Sussex University.

3. Family

At the age of 16, Mbeki had a child with Olive Mpahlwa named Monwabise Kwanda - who disappeared in 1981.

4. Exile

Mbeki and several others went into exile after the ANC was banned. The former SA president and a group of comrades travelled by bus to Botswana, disguised as a football team.

From there they flew to Tanzania. Mbeki then travelled to London where he worked part-time with Oliver Tambo and Yusuf Dadoo while studying economics at Sussex University.

5. President of South Africa

In 1999, Thabo Mbeki was elected president - making him only the second democratic head of state following Nelson Mandela.

Mbeki held the office from 14 June, 1999 to 24 September, 2008; however, four days before his second term would have ended, he stepped down as the president.

He resigned after the ANC NEC recalled him over a ruling by judge C. R. Nicholson stating he interfered with the NPA's prosecution of Jacob Zuma - who had been charged with corruption.

Nicholson's judgement was overturned but Mbeki did not return as president.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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