South African politician, born Idutywa (Transkei) in June 1942. Took over from Nelson Mandelaas President of the Government of South Africa and President of the African National Congress.
Belonging to the ethnic xhosa it also comes from Nelson Mandela, Mbeki had contact since childhood with the world of politics and was educated in an intellectual environment, since their parents combined teaching with political activism. His father, Govan Mbeki, was an important historical figure in the African National Congress (ANC) in the province of the Eastern Cape, party in which his son would occupy a relevant role with the passage of the years.The militancy of the Mbeki in the Organization meant them sometimes being arrested by the South African racist regime, giving rise to the small Thabo to remain in the care of friends and family for long periods of time. Since his student stage Thabo emerged as a great activist which led him to be arrested to take part in a strike in protest for racial segregation, in 1959.
It later affiliated to the Organization of African students (ASA) and continued his studies at home for fear to be arrested again. Following the advice of the ANC moved to Johannesburg where he was tutored by the activists of the party, Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe. He continued his studies in economics at the University of South Africa London, conducted by correspondence, combining it with its activity within the ANC, commitment that led to many of the members of the Organization, including the own Thabo, to be arrested.
By this time his father, Govan, was also arrested along with Nelson Mandela, accused of high treason, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the so-called Rivonia trial. In 1962 he left the country fulfilling orders from the ANC, which at that time had already passed into hiding. He came to Tanzania, where he was greeted by then President Julius Nyrere, great detractor of the system of aparteheid imposed by the South African racist regime. In 1966 he moved from Tanzania to Great Britain where he earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Sussex. In Britain, where he remained for all the years that the ANC was in hiding, consecrated his life to the Organization, welcoming to all exiled politicians and students who were coming to the country.
He worked for a time in the office had established the ANC in London, under the orders of the historical leader Oliver Tambo, who had also been sent by the Organization to lead this Department. In 1970 the ANC sent Thabo to the Soviet Union to receive military training. From this moment the role of Thabo was the open offices of the ANC abroad. So he traveled to Lusaka, capital of Zambia, where the party had established its headquarters, and he was elected Secretary of the Revolutionary Committee. In 1973, he was sent to Botswana to negotiate with the Government of that country, the creation of another party headquarters. Here he stayed for a year until its transfer to Swaziland, where she worked as a representative of the ANC. In 1975 he was elected to the National Executive Committee and sent to Nigeria, where the Organization had created an office.It remained in that country until 1978, when he returned to Lusaka, where he was Secretary of this office, headed at that time by Tambo, and which became director of information. From this position he played an important role as an activist against apartheid abroad denouncing the violations of the South African regime. His other great occupation was strengthening the ANC bases in Swaziland, as a link with the activities that the Congress developed, always clandestinely, in neighbouring South Africa.
During the 1980s, Mbeki was head of the Department of information and publicity of the Congress and also coordinated diplomatic activities from the headquarters of the Organization in Lusaka with the outside. In 1989 was located at the head of the Department of international affairs as a preliminary step to take part in an event unprecedented in South Africa: the Pretoria Government was raised for the first time put an end to apartheid through negotiations with the African National Congress.
The first steps were taken in 1990. This year Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity, at the time that the ANC was legalized, they returned political exiles to South Africa, including the own Thabo, and began talks to negotiate the future of South Africa, in which for the first time spoke of a multiracial Government. The architect of this change was the President at that time Frederick De Klerk.
Thabo represented on many occasions Nelson Mandela in the negotiations of the ANC with the Pretoria government, when he was to leave due to its multiple commitments. Its proximity to Mandela was demonstrated in April 1994, when to the be elected the first Black President of South Africa after more than 300 years of white domination, he named him Vice President first of the newly created Government of national unity. Years later the own Mandela, decided to end its task in politics for reasons of age, was gradually paving the way for Mbeki so that in the future it could happen.
Thus, on December 17, 1997, after announcing its intention to not be up for re-election at the head of the ANC, Mandela Mbeki was elected new Chairman of the party during the celebration of the 50th Conference in Mafikeng. The decision by Mandela end the legislature and after retiring from public life, made that Mbeki soon began to manage the internal affairs of the country. Although Mbeki had neither the political charisma nor the heroic biography of Mandela and was almost unknown to their own constituents, was given as secure his victory in the second democratic elections which held on June 2, 1999.Los the country were gave the ANC 66,35 percent of votes, giving him 266 of the 400 seats in Parliament. On 16 June, Mandela spent witness Thabo Mbeki, who was sworn as President of South Africa, at a crowded ceremony attended by representatives from 130 countries.
On April 14, 2004 held new elections, marked by unemployment and AIDS problems. Thabo Mbeki was able to 69,64% of the votes, which allowed his party, the African National Council, done with control of two-thirds of the parliaments. Mbeki based his campaign on the promise of ending the growth of AIDS among the South African population. At the same time, he also promised to develop an ambitious plan economic, similar to the United States in the 1920's or Europe after the second world war, intended to reduce unemployment and put an end to salary inequalities. A year later, Mbeki had to overcome a crisis of Government and dismiss his Vice President Jacob Zuma, for his alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. The decision opened a yawning gap between the bases of the ANC, where Zuma had solid backing to become the successor to Mbeki in the Presidency. His replacement, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, became the first woman to hold the Vice-Presidency of the country.