The Presidential Years

Politician and anti-apartheid activist. President of South Africa, 1999–2008. Deputy President, 1994–99. Son of Govan Mbeki. Joined the ANCYL in 1956 at the age of fourteen. Left South Africa with other students in 1962. He quickly rose through the ranks of the ANC in exile, and underwent military training in the Soviet Union. He worked closely with OR Tambo and led the ANC delegation that held secret talks with the South African government, participating in all subsequent interactions with the South African government. He served as president of the ANC, 1997–2007.