Former Premier of Mpumalanga

Former Mpumalanga Premier: Mr Thabang Makwetla
Mr Thabang Sampson
Phathakge Makwetla



Born on 18 May 1957 in Middelburg, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Left South Africa in the wake of the June 1976 students uprising. Lived as an exiled person in Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Angola. Returned to South Africa after the unbanning of political organizations in 1990.

Current Positions:

  • Premier of Mpumalanga Province since 21 April 2004.
  • Member of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature (2001 to date).

Academic Qualifications:

  • Fled South Africa in the middle of his matriculation examinations in 1976 and matriculated from Mmabathoana High School, Maseru, Lesotho in 1977.
  • Received a Diploma in Political Sciences from Sofia Academy of Social Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria 1982.
  • Upon return from exile, received a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy and Development Administration (PPDA) from Witwatersrand University, South Africa 1993.

Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities:

  • Joined South African Student Movement (SASM), as a high school student in 1974.
  • Went into exile and joined the ANC and its military wing in Lesotho in 1977. Functioned as an instructor and Political Commissar in ANC Camps in Angola. Underwent military training in USSR in 1979. Later (1984) became a front commander and head of the ANC underground structures in Botswana.
  • Chair and Secretary of the Regional Political Military Committee (RPMC) in Botswana in 1984 - 1989.
  • Served as treasurer of the South African Communist Party (SACP-Regional Executive Committee) in Botswana, from 1981 - 1990.
  • Post 1990 became a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League. Served as Head of Student Affairs; Peace Desk and the Religious Front until January 1994.
  • After the elections of April 1994, which ushered in a democratically elected government, he served as a duly elected Member of Parliament and participated in the following portfolios:
    • The Joint Standing Committee on Defence.
    •  The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.
    • Standing Committee on Public Accounts
    •  Portfolio Committee on Finance
    •  Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism until 1995.
    •  Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation.
    •  Adhoc Committee on the Youth Commission Bill.
    •  Alternate member of the Finance Committee.
    •  Member of the Ministerial Task Group on Civic Education in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)
  • Elected Chairperson of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus from 1996 – 2001
  • Appointed as the MEC for Safety and Security in Mpumalanga Province in July 2001.
  • Member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC from 2001 - 2007
  • Elected to the ANC's Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), Mpumalanga Province from 2002 - 2007

Constituency Area:

Middelburg, Steve Tshwete Local Municipality

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