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com Profiles
PostPosted: Mon 17:44, 26 Aug 2013

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com Profiles
After South African President Nelson Mandela won the April 1994 general election, he chose Mbeki -- an economist and a longtime pillar of the African National Congress -- to be deputy president.
Mandela soon eased into a ceremonial role and handed the reins of power to Mbeki, allowing him the experience a chief executive needs for the job he would later run to secure.
Mbeki managed the nation's daily agenda, focusing on the bread-and-butter issues of nation-building, improving the quality of life for working people and shaping the nation's foreign policy.
He helped spearhead efforts to generate economic investment, rebuild the nation's infrastructure, battle the vestiges of apartheid and establish a new constitution.
Mbeki is the "real ruler of South Africa, the de facto ruler," Mandela had said.
Few African leaders had groomed their successors as Mandela did with Mbeki,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych].
Still, questions both large and small loomed about a South Africa after Mandela, the man most credited with ushering in the country's first era of peace and reconciliation.
And while Mbeki insisted, with humor, that he did not want to step into Mandela's shoes ("because he wears ugly shoes"),[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], he could not escape the biggest question of all: If he wanted to, could Mbeki fill Mandela's shoes?
Once sworn in as president,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], Mbeki was quick to start putting down his handprints. And they were everywhere, beginning with his opening address to Parliament.
Wearing a conservative blue suit and blue-and-white dotted tie, the gray in his hair slightly more pronounced, the new 57-year-old president began confidently, and, as is his style, poetically.
"Steadily the dark clouds of despair are lifting, giving way to our season of hope. Our country, which for centuries has bled from a thousand wounds, is progressing towards its healing," he said.
Mbeki then went on to commit his government to steering a course away from a country "brutal and brutish in the extreme," toward a "caring society" that would be "people-centered."
With lightning speed, Mbeki and his ministers announced new initiatives and plans of action, consolidating and integrating government departments and setting goals and timetables that he told his ministers must be met.
Mbeki came into the world with a solid anti-apartheid pedigree. Born on June 18, 1942, in the former Transkei, his parents were teachers and activists. His father,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], Govan,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], was a leading figure in ANC activities in the Eastern Cape and was imprisoned with Mandela in 1964 for his political activity.
Mbeki joined the ANC Youth League at 14 and graduated from high school in 1959,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych]. He later moved to Johannesburg and became involved in anti-apartheid work. He enrolled at the University of London as a correspondence student in economics.
After the banning of the ANC, Mbeki went underground in South Africa, and he went into exile at the instruction of the ANC in 1962.
He had been arrested and imprisoned in Zimbabwe -- then Rhodesia -- for six weeks. He later moved from Tanzania to Britain, where he earned a master's degree in economics at Sussex University in 1966.
He worked at the ANC London office before being sent to the Soviet Union in 1970 for military training. He then began his rise through the ANC ranks, serving in a series of positions in Swaziland,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], Nigeria and Zambia before returning from his nearly 30-year exile in 1990.
In those ANC posts, he promoted anti-apartheid ideas to the international media and coordinated efforts to gain white South African backing for the anti-apartheid movement.
Mbeki also helped pave the way for reconciliation between the races in South Africa,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], helping the government realize that a bloodbath could be averted.
He arranged meetings in Africa,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], the United States and Britain with members of the South African white business community and the Broederbond, the secret society of Afrikaners that ran the country.
When he returned to South Africa,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], he was appointed ANC national chairman. He became deputy president in 1994 and was declared head of the ANC in 1997.
Investment, he believes, creates jobs, which in turn improves the lives of the workers. In the ANC's election manifesto, he touted the development of the nation's infrastructure -- bringing water, housing, electricity, telephone service and better health care and education to millions.
His address about the development of a new prison that created 7,500 jobs reflects his economic stance.
"I visited the new Kokstad Prison facility ?and could not help but reflect on the irony of the potential of a prison to unleash such an abundance of opportunities for so many sectors of our society.
"Our experience over the past five years has taught us that it is decisive interventions at the local level such as this that is required to accelerate the pace of change in our country," Mbeki said.
He has pursued privatization policies when necessary. Using his diplomatic skills, honed over his years in exile, he has convinced unionists that it is in their interests to back private ownership.



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