Thabo Mbeki Is Worth R177.5m With No One to Leave His Fortune to: The Luxury Life of the Former SA President

Thabo Mbeki Is Worth R177.5m With No One to Leave His Fortune to: The Luxury Life of the Former SA President

Thabo Mbeki ranks amongst the top 10 richest politicians in South Africa. The former head of state generated hi wealth over a lengthy and successful political career.

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As of 2021, Thabo Mbeki is said to be worth around $11 million - which more or less R177.5 million depending on the exchange rate. Briefly News decided to take a look at the life and career of Thabo Mbeki and how he became one of the richest politicians in the country.

Thabo Mbeki Is Worth R177.5m With No One to Leave His Fortune to: The Luxury Life of the Former SA President
Thabo Mbeki meets with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (unseen) at the Presidential palace in Khartoum on August 3, 2015. Photo credit: EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP via Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Early life and childhood

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.

His father, Govan Mbeki, was an ANC stalwart who was sentenced to Robben Island in 1963.

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Briefly News previously reported his dad named him after a close friend, Thabo Mofutsanyana. Govan and his wife, Nomaka Epainette Mbeki, were both teachers and political activists affiliated with the ANC.


A young Thabo Mbeki attended primary school in Butterworth and Idutywa. Read more:

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. He later obtained his master's degree in economics from Sussex University.

In 1999, former South African president, Thabo Mbeki received his Honorary Doctorate from The Rand Afrikaans University only three months after he was inaugurated as the country's president.

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In 2017 he became a recipient of an Honorary Degree from Kenya’s Dedan Kimathi University for his role in the liberation of South Africa as well the African Renaissance.

Career and how Thabo Mbeki generated his impressive nett worth

The majority of Thabo Mbeki’s nett worth comes from the various roles he filled in the ruling party. Even before the ANC came into rule, Mbeki played an integral part in generating support for the party, within the country and abroad.

According to AnswersAfrica, Mbeki excelled as a diplomat in African countries and he played an important role in turning the world against apartheid.

Thabo Mbeki went on to hold several positions in the ruling party, including deputy president and head of state. He became the second president of South Africa, serving from 16 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. He succeeded Nelson Mandela, under whom he served as the first Deputy President. Even though he ended up resigning from office only months before the end of his second term, Mbeki’s tenure did wonders for the economy.

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During his nine years in office, Mbeki expanded the Black middle-class through the implementation of the Black Economic Empowerment, and with this, the economy of South Africa grew at a steady rate of 4.5% per annum.

In addition to this, he solidified the economic bridges between Brazil, India, and China. A development commonly referred to as BRIC. This partnership birthed the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum that focused on strengthening the co-operation between their various sectors as well as push for political consultation.

Through him, South Africa became the apple of many international investors' eyes who contributed significantly to the country's economic development by establishing companies under foreign direct investment.

Thabo Mbeki Is Worth R177.5m With No One to Leave His Fortune to: The Luxury Life of the Former SA President
Nelson Mandela shakes hands with future president Thabo Mbeki after the opening of Parliament in Cape Town. Photo credit: Louise Gubb/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Becoming the deputy president and president of South Africa certainly helped fatten Mbeki’s bank account. AnswersAfrica reported Mbeki earned a whopping R3.9 million annually as the head of state and around R2.8 million as the deputy president.

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During his time as president, Mbeki reportedly cost South Africans more than Jacob Zuma when he was in office.

According to The South African, Mbeki was the second most expensive head of state, following Kgalema Motlanthe. He and his wife cost Saffas about R1.6 million. Over R700 000 was splashed on hotel accommodation, another R450 000 on flight tickets and nearly R600k vehicle rentals.

Luxury life of Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki isn’t particularly flashy when it comes to his lifestyle. That being said, while he was still president of the country, Mbeki got heat for buying a mansion in Johannesburg.

According to a report by The Guardian in 2006, Mbeki splashed a staggering R22 million on a home for him and his wife, Zanele, in the posh suburb of Houghton. The DA and journalist got on Mrs Mbeki’s bad side when they showed up to inspect the then-president’s new crib.

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Douglas Gibson, who was the DA‘s chief whip at the time, raised questions over how Mbeki bought the expensive home. Shortly afterwards, it was revealed that some expensive security upgrades would be made to Mbeki’s retirement home.

Mail and Guardian reported in September, 2006, that R3,5 million was spent to improve the security at Mbeki’s home.

Although it isn’t known what types of cars Mbeki owns, News24 did previously report that the former president prefers BMW.

During his tenure, R25 million was spent over three years on a total of 24 new BMW's for the police force's presidential protection unit.

Who will inherit Mbeki’s fortune one day

Thabo Mbeki had a son when he was just 16 years old with a woman named Olive Mpahlwa.

Olive allegedly ran off with his brother, Jama, in 1981. In 1976, Mbeki’s son, Monwabise Kwanda, heard his father was in exile in Swaziland. Monwabise was planning on joining Mbeki in exile, however, he never made it there.

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Till this day, Monwabise’s disappearance and presumed death at the hands of the apartheid forces remain an unsolved mystery. Mbeki went on to marry Zanele Mbeki on 23 November, 1974. They couple has been married ever since but they have no children.

Mbeki has no heirs and will probably leave his fortune to his wife should he pass before her.

Source: Briefly News

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