4 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Minister Gwede Mantashe As the “Tiger” Celebrates 67th Birthday

4 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Minister Gwede Mantashe As the “Tiger” Celebrates 67th Birthday

South Africa’s Energy Minister and the African National Congress Chairperson Samson Gwede Mantashe turns 67 years old today. With his roots firmly planted in the mining sector and activism, the politician combined his love for both aspects. The minister is famously known for starting every answer with a "no, no, no". Love him or hate him, one thing is for certain, Mantashe is undoubtedly an interesting character.

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Briefly News compiled a list of some fascinating facts about him that you might not have known.

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Minister Gwede Mantashe started off his political career at a young age. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Source: Getty Images

1. The minister is a true family man

Mantashe was born on 21 June 1955 at Lower Cala village in the Eastern Cape. He is married to Nolwandle who is the Chief Operating Officer at Cornlands Piggery. The pair have four children together, Chuma, Mbasa, Buyambo and Kamva. According to News24, his youngest son, Kamva, described his father as down-to-earth and present.

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2. Mantashe believes education is key

The ANC chair holds a Master’s Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. Mantashe also obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and Honours from the University of South Africa. Earlier this year, he bagged a Master of Business Administration degree from Mancosa.

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Speaking to SowetanLIVE, Mantashe said although it was a lengthy journey, he did not feel it because he enjoyed what he was doing. He added that it took courage for him to go after the qualification.

3. ANC chairperson's push into politics

The minister started his political career as an activist in the Student Christian Movement. At the age of 20, he was employed as a recreation officer at the Western Deep Levels Mine and soon moved to Prieska Copper Mines. Here he worked as a welfare officer until 1982.

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Thereafter, he co-founded the National Union of Mine Workers. Mantashe was elected councillor in the Ekurhuleni Municipality, where he proudly served from 1995 to 1999.

According to the People’s Assembly, he was then elected chairperson of the South African Communist Party. Towards the end of 2007, Mantashe was elected ANC secretary-general, which he served as until 2017 when he was elected national chairperson.

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ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe during a press conference in Johannesburg in 2009. Image: Alexander Joe/AFP
Source: Getty Images

4. Is Mantashe a tiger or minister?

Mantashe is definitely not free from controversy and in 2019 he admitted to paying journalists to cover up a story about his apparent relationship with “aspiring actress” Lerato Makgatho. She detailed their affair and said the minister was a “tiger in bed”. He apparently paid off journalists R70 000 to kill the story, according to SowetanLIVE. Matashe later claimed that he lied about paying a bribe.

ANC National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe claims the governing party is under siege due to factionalism

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In a related matter, Briefly News also reported, National Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) Gwede Mantashe believes that the ruling party is under siege. He addressed members of the party at a meeting in Welkom, Free State and said urgent measures are needed to improve declining membership numbers. Mantashe cautioned party members that the ANC could lose leadership of the province in the next election.

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Source: Briefly News

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