Thabo Mvuyelwa MBEKI (Chairman, 2018 – present)

Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, South Africa, is a former President of the Republic of South Africa (1999-2008) and is the current Chairperson of the South Centre Board.

President Mbeki was born on June 18, 1942 in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) Youth league in 1956 at the age of 14 and left South Africa for exile in 1962.

Mr. Mbeki read Economics at Sussex University in England up to master’s level. Thereafter, he underwent military training in the then Soviet Union. On completion, he joined the ANC Headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia where he remained until 1990 when the ANC was unbanned. Mr. Mbeki has been a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) since 1975.

He was appointed Deputy President of South Africa in 1994 and twice elected President in 1999 and 2004. On September 23, 2008, Mr. Mbeki resigned as President of South Africa after being asked to do so by the ANC NEC. He is currently the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan, which is charged with the task of facilitating the end of conflict in the Republic of Sudan and also heads the AU-United Nations (UN) High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.

Mr. Mbeki has previously facilitated peace negotiations in various African countries, including Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2010, he established the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, of which he is a Patron. One of the Foundation’s flagship projects is the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), a partnership with the University of South Africa. Mr. Mbeki is also Chancellor of the University of South Africa (UNISA), a position to which he was inaugurated in February 2017. He is married to Mrs. Zanele Mbeki.


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