Lekota celebrates his 71st birthday today. Briefly.co.za gathered 6 facts to celebrate the political icon's birthday.
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1. Early life
He was born in Kroonstad and matriculated from St. Francis College in Mariannhill in 1969.
Lekota was expelled from University of the North due to his Student Representative Council- and Black Consciousness Movement-aligned South African Students' Organisation (SASO) activities in 1972.
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3. Early Career
Lekota became a permanent organiser for SASO in 1974, but was imprisoned at Robben Island Prison during the same year. He had organised victory rallies to celebrate the independence of Mozambique.
5. Personal life
Lekota is married and has four children - two daughters and two sons. His wife Cynthia is a former mathematics teacher. He also has a child with former Cape Nature deputy chairwoman, Yasmina Pandy.
4. Departure from ANC
Following the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki in September 2008, Lekota submitted his resignation as well.
5. Formation of COPE
On 8 October, 2008, Lekota announced that the faction of the party that was loyal to Mbeki would leave the ANC. The ruling party responded by suspending both Lekota's and Mluleki George's memberships leading to the formation of the Congress of the People party.
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6. HIV/AIDS controversy
On 25 February, 2009, with the elections just two months away, Lekota told a journalist that he was uncertain whether HIV causes AIDS. He said he is not a doctor and could not comment on the issue. His approach to the global crisis was widely-criticised. He finally succumbed to pressure and told the BBC that the virus does in fact cause AIDS.
"I accept that."
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