POLITICS

Mbete For President? Here Are Five Things About Her You Might Not Know.

There's probably one of these things you didn't know.

10/07/2017 11:50 SAST | Updated 10/07/2017 11:50 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters

With 40 years as a member of the ANC and previous experience as the country's deputy president, current national Speaker Baleka Mbete has raised her hand for South Africa's presidential post.

In an interview with City Press this weekend, Mbete said she was available for the top job.

Mbete is now the third woman candidate in the running for the top job, along with former African Union commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and human settlements minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.

This is everything you need to know about her:

  • She was a teacher: Mbete matriculated from the Inanda Seminary in Durban in 1968 and thereafter obtained a Teacher's Certificate from the Lovedale Teachers' College in 1973. She taught at the Isibonelo High School in KwaMashu from 1974 to 1975 before she went into exile.
  • Women are always in focus: Mbete joined the ANC in 1976 and worked in the ANC's Department of Information and Publicity (Radio Freedom) and Women's Section in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She also served as a member of the ANC's Regional Secretary of Women's Section and as a member of the ANC's regional women's committee. She also served as a member of the Task Force within the ANC's Women's League between 1990 and 1991.
  • Mbete once served as South Africa's deputy president: from September 25 2008 to May 9 2009 after the resignation of Thabo Mbeki as president. She also served as a chairperson of the African National Congress' (ANC) Parliamentary caucus from 1995.
  • She's a big hitter: She was a Member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) from 1997 and national working committee from 1998 and she was elected national chairperson of ANC in Polokwane in December 2007.
  • She's a poet: On her profile on the Parliamentary site, Mbete is said to enjoy the arts, "particularly music and writing poetry".