Kgalema Motlanthe

His Excellency Mr Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe is a former President of South Africa.

Born in July 1949 in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, Mr Motlanthe was elected by parliament in September 2008 as President of South Africa. He served until May 2009.

Mr Motlanthe was then appointed by President Jacob Zuma to serve as the Deputy President. He served in that position until May 2014.

As Deputy President, Mr Motlathe served as the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, Leader of the Anti-Poverty Programme, Chairperson of the Energy Advisory Council, Chairperson of the Human Resource Development Council, Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council and Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mr Motlanthe was politically active from an early age. He worked for the Johannesburg City Council when he was in his early 20s, and it was there that he was recruited into Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the militant wing of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1976 he was jailed for 11 months for furthering the aims of the ANC and was found guilty of terrorism the following year. He was sentenced to a term of 10 years on Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela had been incarcerated since 1964.

In 1990, when the ban was lifted on the ANC and other political organizations, Mr Motlanthe was tasked with re-establishing ANC structures in Gauteng Province. In 1992, he was elected Secretary-General of the National Union of Mineworkers, succeeding Cyril Ramaphosa, who had been elected Secretary-General of the ANC. Mr Motlanthe also served two five-year terms as Secretary-General of the ANC, from December 1997 to December 2007. Mr Motlanthe was the Deputy President of the ANC from December 2007 to December 2012.