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Wed, 01.07.1959

Peter Mokaba, Political Activist born

Peter Mokaba

*Peter Mokaba was born on this date in 1959. He was a Black African politician and activist.

Peter Ramoshoane Mokaba was born in Mankweng near Polokwane (then Pietersburg), South Africa, where he did his primary and secondary education. His mother is Priscilla Mokaba. In 1982, he was convicted for a number of his underground activities as a member of the paramilitary organization Umkhonto we Sizwe and went to Robben Island; yet, his sentence was suspended in 1984.

He renewed his anti-regime activities, especially among the youth. 1987, he was the first president of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO). One year later, he commanded Umkhonto we Sizwe in the northern Transvaal province but was acquitted when his co-accused comrades refused to testify against him. Mokaba became known in the early 1990s for his use of the slogan "Kill the farmer, kill the Boer."

He was a friend of Winnie Mandela. When the liberation movement was unbanned in February 1990, Mokaba led the SAYCO movement, together with other youth formations (Congress of South African Students, South African National Students' Congress, National Union of South African Students, Young Christian Students, etc.) to the formal establishment of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League (ANCYL) and became the first president of this united organization. Mokaba was on the ANC National Executive Committee in 1991. After the end of the apartheid era in 1994, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Tourism in the first democratically elected South African Parliament.

Apartheid spy accusation:

In the book Askari by Jacob Dlamini, it is asserted that Mokaba was an apartheid spy at one point. Seeing that the Youth League, greatly influenced by Mokaba, would be significantly demoralized, the Lusaka ANC leadership decided to spare his life. According to the book, that was only after serious deals were reached with him, known only to the current ANC leadership. Other accounts claim that he was an apartheid spy.

He died on June 9, 2002. He was appointed to head the ANC electoral campaign at his death in 2004.  The Peter Mokaba Stadium, a Polokwane stadium used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was named after him.

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