Mbeki’s old friends – where are they now?

Five years after Thabo Mbeki’s forced resignation from the presidency, most of his former allies have gone into academia or business. CARIEN DU PLESSIS tracks their whereabouts
Minister of defence Mosiuoa Lekota Resigned when Mbeki was fired and soon after became the first to serve “divorce papers” on the ANC. He co-founded Cope later in 2008 and since then has been largely involved in a tussle with former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa over who should head the party. He currently leads Cope in Parliament Minister in the presidency Essop Pahad Left politics after resigning from Cabinet in 2008. He was a member of the local organising committee of the 2010 soccer World Cup. Soon after leaving government, he launched a monthly journal named The Thinker. He went on to chair the board of the SA-Mali Timbuktu Manuscripts Trust and the board of trustees of the SA Democracy Education Trust

Deputy president Phumzile MlamboNgcuka

Resigned when Mbeki was fired, and went on to become a trustee for the Umlambo Foundation, which focuses on education. She joined the Congress of the People (Cope) in February 2009, but later resigned. She was appointed executive director of the UN’s Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in July

Minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils

Mbeki’s former executive Other Mbeki allies

Retired from government after he resigned in 2008 and has become one of the ANC’s and government’s fiercest critics. In 2010, he published a book about his deceased former wife Eleanor’s part in the struggle, titled The Unlikely Secret Agent. Since 2011, he has been on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine Minister of public works Thoko Didiza Was one of eight ministers who stayed on after resigning in 2008, but was dumped from Zuma’s Cabinet in 2009. She is project consultant for the Archie Mafeje Research Institute at Unisa and has recently made a comeback to politics by being elected a member of the ANC’s national executive committee in Mangaung Minister of provincial and local government Sydney Mufamadi Also agreed to stay on after initially resigning in 2008. He obtained a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2009. He is director at the School of Leadership at the University of Johannesburg, and was outspoken in branch-level debates about the ANC’s 2007 conference in the run-up to the ANC’s Mangaung conference last year Frank Chikane Was director-general in Thabo Mbeki’s office and continued serving Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma for a short while before leaving the job. He went on to write two tell-all books about Mbeki’s time in office, which ruffled feathers in the ANC. He also continued his work as a pastor and serves on various bodies

Minister of public service and administration Geraldine FraserMoleketi Resigned in 2008 and went to work for the UN Development Programme as democratic governance director in the programme’s Bureau for Development Policy. She has recently been named special envoy on gender for the African Development Bank Deputy minister of foreign affairs Aziz Pahad Resigned as deputy minister in 2008, but was persuaded to stay on until 2008. Sat on the local organising committee for the 2010 soccer World Cup

Deputy minister of finance Jabu Moleketi Resigned as deputy minister in 2008 and, although he was persuaded to stay on, then president Kgalema Motlanthe replaced him in November of that year. He currently chairs the Development Bank of Southern Africa

Mbhazima Shilowa Resigned as Gauteng premier in 2008, shortly after Mbeki’s sacking, to co-found Cope. He became an MP and whip for the party the next year, but subsequently left as he’s been involved in leadership squabbles with Lekota

Jackie Selebi Was national commissioner of police from 2000, but was placed on special leave because of corruption charges in 2008. He was eventually sacked in 2009 and given a 15-year jail sentence in 2010. Two years later he was released on medical parole
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