Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served nine years as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. He was born 18 June 1942.

Here top 10 things you probably didn’t know about him.

10. Mbeki joined the ANC youth league in 1956 after a brief period with the Trotskyist Unity Movement’s Society of Young Africans(SOYA). Although only 14 years of age at the time, he became active in student politics.

9. During his final year in high school, Mbeki was expelled for leading a class boycott against the expulsion of a fellow student.

8. In 1962, Mbeki and a group of comrades left South Africa and went into exile disguised as football team.

7. Mbeki joined the ANC full time in October 1966 when he moved to London.

6. In June 1969, Mbeki was chosen to be secretary of a high level SACP delegation to the International Conference of Communist and workers parties in Moscow.

5. In 1978, Mbeki became political secretary in the office of Oliver Tambo. He became a close confidant of Tambo, advising him on all matters and writing many of his speeches.

4. From 1979 with Mbeki as his right hand man, Tambo began building up the Guerrilla movement into an internally recognized guardian of South Africa freedom.

3. During the 1980s, Mbeki became a leading figure in the SACP, rising to the party’s central committee by the mid-1980s. The SACP was a vital part of the ANC alliance.

2. In February 1982, Mbeki’s brother Jama disappeared. He was later presumed dead.

1. In 1985, Mbeki became the ANC’s director of the Department of Information and Publicity and coordinated diplomatic campaigns to involve more white South Africans in anti-apartheid activities.

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