Thabo Mbeki was born into a political family driven by the struggle for independence via the African National Congress (ANC). His father was a staunch communist and a leading member of the ANC who edited its editorial mouthpiece the 'New Age'. At the start of a crackdown by the authorities they banned the New Age and its editorial staff were blacklisted in a precursor to the upper echelons of the ANC being arrested. In 1964 Thabo's father Govan Mbeki was imprisoned with the other leaders (Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba, etc..) on charges of terrorism and treason. The young Mbeki was advised by the ANC to leave the country and go into exile. He spent the next 28 years in exile mainly in the U.K. where he passed his masters degree in economics and only returned to South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela. During his exile he organised numerous campaigns and petitions against the apartheid regime and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the plight of the political prisoners in his native country. He succeeded Nelson Mandela in 1999 to become the second president of South Africa, a position which he held for nine years. It was always going to be a hard act to follow in Nelson Mandela's foot prints into the presidency but during his tenure the economy grew by 4.5 per cent and the ranks of the black middle class rose considerably. Statesmen like Mbeki always makes research interesting when sifting through his speeches and press statements, so here is my list of the 12 best Thabo Mbeki quotes.
- Mini Bio
- Name: Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki
- Born: 18th June 1942, Idutywa, Eastern Cape, South Africa
- Alma mater: University of London and University of Sussex
- Occupation: Politician and second president of South Africa
- Presidential term: 14 June 1999 – 24 September 2008
- Political party: African National Congress
- Exile: After the arrest of his father and Nelson Mandela he spent 28 years in exile, mostly in the U.K. where he studied at university
- Trivia: His only son Monwabisi Kwanda Mbeki disappeared in suspicious circumstances in 1976 with speculation rife that he was killed by the South African authorities because of his association with the ANC
"Gloom and despondency have never defeated adversity. Trying times need courage and resilience"
"We should never become despondent because the weather is bad, nor should we turn triumphalist because the sun shines"
"We do not accept that human society should be constructed on the basis of a savage principle of the survival of the fittest"
"As Africans, we need to share common recognition that all of us stand to lose if we fail to transform our continent"
"South Africa now needs skilled and educated people to say 'How do we manage and develop this democratic country?"
"None dare challenge me when i say i am an Afrikan"
"A global human society, characterised by islands of wealth, surrounded by a sea of poverty, is unsustainable"
"The issue of racism and racial prejudice is very, very difficult to discuss. It is difficult to discuss the history of apartheid"
"For the first time in human history, society has the capacity, the knowledge and the resources to eradicate poverty"
"South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white"