Kgalema Motlanthe Quote

I have a political attitude, but I'm certainly not a politician.

Kgalema Motlanthe

I have a political attitude, but I'm certainly not a politician.

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About Kgalema Motlanthe

Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe (Sotho pronunciation: [ˈkxɑ.le.mɑ mʊ.ˈtɬʼɑ.n.tʰɛ]; born 19 July 1949) is a South African politician who served as the third president of South Africa from 25 September 2008 to 9 May 2009, following the resignation of Thabo Mbeki. Thereafter, he was deputy president under Jacob Zuma from 9 May 2009 to 26 May 2014.
Raised in Soweto in the former Transvaal after his family was forcibly removed from Alexandra, Motlanthe was recruited into UMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), after he finished high school. Between 1977 and 1987, he was imprisoned on Robben Island under the Terrorism Act for his anti-apartheid activism. Upon his release, he joined the influential National Union of Mineworkers, where he was general secretary between 1992 and early 1998. After the end of apartheid, he ascended from the trade union movement to the national leadership of the ruling ANC, serving as ANC secretary general from late 1997 to late 2007. He was elected ANC deputy president, on a slate aligned to Zuma, by the ANC's 2007 Polokwane conference. In mid-2008, he was sworn in as a Member of Parliament and as Mbeki's second Minister in the Presidency – his first job in government.
Only weeks later, on 25 September 2008, Parliament elected him national president after Mbeki resigned at the ANC's request. Motlanthe was widely understood to be a compromise candidate and to be leading a caretaker administration until the 2009 national election. During his seven and a half months as president, he appeared to prioritise stability and continuity with the policies of the previous administration. However, on his first day in office, he replaced Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang with Barbara Hogan, effecting a break with Mbeki's HIV/AIDS policy, which had been criticised as ineffective and driven by denialism. He also made controversial changes at the National Prosecuting Authority, dismissing the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Vusi Pikoli, and assenting to legislation which disbanded the Scorpions, an elite anti-corruption unit.
Zuma was elected president in May 2009, and Motlanthe was appointed his deputy. In December 2012, under pressure from Zuma's opponents, he contested the ANC presidential elections at the party's Mangaung conference. Zuma, the incumbent, won in a landslide. Motlanthe declined to seek re-election to the ANC National Executive Committee, and had already declined a nomination for re-election as ANC deputy president. Having thus vacated the party leadership, he resigned from government and from Parliament in May 2014, at the end of his term as national deputy president.
Variously and at various times perceived as an ally of each of the other living presidents – Mbeki, Zuma, and his trade union colleague Cyril Ramaphosa – Motlanthe was reputed to be "a highly skilled political operator" by the time he became president. However, he has always kept a low public and political profile. He is seen as holding broad respect in the ANC, and is frequently characterised as one of its preeminent "left-leaning intellectual[s]."