South African presidents since 1994

As South Africa celebrates 21 years of its democracy on April 27, it provides the public with an opportunity to learn more about the country’s presidents since 1994.

Nelson Mandela

MandelaNelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa. He began being actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s before joining the African National Congress in 1942.

For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, non-violent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies.

In 1993, Mandela and South African President FW de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country’s apartheid system.

In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president. In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18) was declared ‘Mandela Day’ to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy.

Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013, at age 95.


Thabo Mbeki

MbekiThabo Mbeki was born June, 18 1942. He served nine years as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from June 14, 1999 to September 25, 2008.

On September 20, 2008, with about nine months left in his second term, Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the National Executive Committee of the ANC, following a conclusion by judge CR Nicholson of improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.

On January 12, 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously overturned judge Nicholson’s judgment but the resignation stood.

During his time in office the economy grew at an average rate of 4.5 percent each year. Mbeki created employment in the middle sectors of the economy and oversaw a fast-growing black middle class with the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).

This growth exacerbated the demand for trained professionals strained by emigration due to violent crime, but failed to address unemployment amongst the unskilled bulk of the population. He attracted the bulk of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and made South Africa the focal point of African growth.

He was the architect of NEPAD whose aim is to develop an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa.

He also oversaw the successful building of economic bridges to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations with the eventual formation of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum to ‘further political consultation and co-ordination as well as strengthening sectoral co-operation, and economic relations’.


Kgalema Motlanthe

MotlantheKgalema Motlanthe was born July 19, 1949 is a South African politician who served as President of South Africa between September 25, 2008 and May 9, 2009, following the resignation of Thabo Mbeki.

After the end of his presidency, Motlanthe was appointed as the Deputy President of South Africa by his successor, current South African president Jacob Zuma.

Motlanthe served as Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), a position he held from 2007 until 2012, when he declined to run for a second term.

At the 53rd ANC National Conference in Mangaung, Free State, Motlanthe ran for the position of President of the ANC, but was soundly defeated by Zuma, who won re-election.

He was succeeded as deputy president by Cyril Ramaphosa, but remained Deputy President of South Africa until he was once again succeeded by Ramaphosa in 2014.


Jacob Zuma

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma, GCB was born April 12, 1942 was elected President of South Africa by parliament following his party’s victory in the 2009 general election. He was re-elected in the 2014 election.

Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC), the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. He became the President of the ANC on December 18, 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane.

He was re-elected as ANC leader at the ANC conference in Manguang on 18 December 2012, defeating challenger Kgalema Motlanthe by a large majority.] Zuma was also a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP),briefly serving on the party’s Politburo until he left the party in 1990.

September 20, 2008; Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee.

The recall came after South African High Court Judge Christopher Nicholson ruled that Mbeki had improperly interfered with the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.

Source: Wikipedia

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