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Kgalema Motlanthe's Biography

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On 25 September 2008, Kgalema Motlanthe became South Africa's president, replacing Thabo Mbeki.

Motlanthe was elected by parliament, gaining 269 votes to 50 for Joe Seremane of the opposition Democratic Alliance. There were 41 abstentions.

Motlanthe became the third black president of South African, following in the footsteps of Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.

Kgalema Motlanthe was elected as a caretaker or interim president following the resignation of Thabo Mbeki.

Kgalema Motlanthe's nickname is Mkhulu, which means grandfather in Zulu.

Kgalema Motlanthe was born on 19 July 1949 in Alexandra township in Johannesburg.

In the 1970s, while working for the Johannesburg City Council, Kgalema Motlanthe joined the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.

In April 1976 he was arrested for furthering the aims of the ANC and a year later he was found guilty of three charges under the Terrorism Act and then spent 10 years imprisoned on Robben Island.

From 1987, Motlanthe rose up the ranks of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) until in 1992 he was elected to the post of NUM General Secretary.

Motlanthe was elected unopposed to the post of Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1997 and was re-elected in 2002.

In December 2007 Motlanthe was elected ANC Deputy President and in July 2008 he was appointed Minister in The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa.


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