As it stands, you cannot mention high profile personalities with humble backgrounds in South African without mentioning Derek Hanekom. Despite all that he faced while growing up, his resolve to achieve greatness, no doubt, has taken him thus far and made him become one of the forces of influence that anyone wants to reckon with. A one-time prisoner, Derek has written his name as a national hero in the hall of fame as far as South Africa is concerned. Details about how he started and became prominent in the country are shared in this article.
As the immediate past Minister of Tourism, Hanekom is also a member of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the ANC party. Apart from those, he serves as the NEC Convener of the Western Cape and chairs the National Disciplinary Committee while deputising the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's Board chairperson. More so, he has been a member of several other committees in his party and at the national level.
Derek Hanekom biography
The South African politician, cabinet minister, and activist Derek Andre Hanekom served as the Minister of Tourism South Africa between the 27th of February, 2018 and the 29th of May, 2019. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, he attended the German Primary School and then, he matriculated from Jan van Riebeeck Secondary, a prominent Afrikaans school, in 1970. Then, between 1971 and 1973, he was at the South African Defence Force to complete conscription that was mandated for him.
The moment he finished that, he traveled overseas to work with different organisations, including building sites, factories, and farms. Being in his early twenties, he returned to South Africa where he continued farming, and between 1978 and 1983, he worked as a vegetable, poultry, and dairy farmer. Unfortunately for him, in 1976 at the time he was only 23 years old, he got arrested on the basis that he participated in a peaceful candlelight demonstration which held at John Vorster Square in Johannesburg's Police Headquarters.
After four years, Andre Hanekom joined the ANC party with his wife Patricia in 1980 where he started to conduct underground activities as he continued his farming in Magaliesburg. The two of them fed the parent body ANC with vital information like the attempt made by the apartheid Defence Force to overthrow the Mozambican government with the help of the rebel movement, Renamo. In 1983, both of them got arrested and were charged with high treason initially before it was later reduced because of the sensitivity of the case at the international level.
While Hanekom got released after three years, in Johannesburg, he worked with the trade union movement. A year after the release of Derek, his wife's release was also ordered, even though they later deported them to Zimbabwe. Within the three years that they spent there, Hanekom worked for the Popular History Trust as the coordinator in the capital Harare. He then worked at the ANC headquarters after they returned to South Africa in 1990 following the unbanning of political organisations and served in the capacity of formulating policies on land and agricultural matters.
Tourism profile of Derek Hanekom
Based on his tourist profile while serving at the National Department of Tourism as the Minister of Tourism, he was in charge of the South African government's official national marketing agency. The agency's goal has been to promote tourism in South Africa at the local and global levels.
With this assignment, he had the opportunity of travelling extensively and at the same time attended various conferences while promoting South African cultural heritage. He also attracted tourists into the country.
Derek Hanekom age
The Cape Town-born Derek Hanekom came to the world on the 13th of January, 1953 which means that he is presently 66 years of age.
Derek Hanekom wife
Derek is married to the Zimbabwe-born Patricia Murray.
Derek Hanekom EFF saga
Recently, Derek Hanekom was alleged to have connived with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) against a sitting President of the ANC, an act that is regarded as treacherous and a breach of the constitution of the ANC. This was based on the leader of EFF Julius Malema's confession where he said that Derek Hanekom conspired with their party to ensure that former president Jacob Zuma is ousted in the National Assembly through a motion of no confidence. The leader also told about a list of ANC MPs that was ready to vote against Zuma was handed over.
In the accusation, Malema claimed that if President Cyril Ramaphosa had not defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during the national elective conference of the party that held in 2017, Hanekom was ready to form a splinter party. But while reacting to the allegations, Hanekom confessed that he had the "meetings because there is nothing secret about it". Consequently, Ace Magashule, the Party secretary-general issued a statement where Hanekom was referred to as an "EFF sleeper". In the statement, the ANC said:
Indeed this charlatan is making his mark through his ownership of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. Hanekom does not have the capacity to form a new political party, but he has shown remarkable agility in his efforts to divide the ANC.
Reading through the life and political career of Derek Hanekom unveils his passion for service as well as his determination to achieve greatness despite his humble beginning. These are part of what granted him the opportunity to serve in various capacities in his party and the country as a whole, no doubt. However, the outcome of the meetings with the EFF and the impact of this saga on his political career are a few things that cannot be hastily concluded on about him.