Baleka Mbete (born 24 September 1949) is a South African politician who has been Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa since 21 May 2014. Previously she was Speaker of the National Assembly from 2004 to 2008 and Deputy President of South Africa from 2008 to 2009 under Kgalema Motlanthe. She was elected National Chairperson of the African National Congress in 2007 and re-elected in 2012.
(10) Her ex-husband is an exile writer and activist Ke orapetse Kgositsle.
(9) As a young girl she moved with her father who was a member of the South African Communist Party to Fort Hare University where he had been appointed as a librarian, but later lost his job when the government imposed a crackdown on all political activities in the campus.
(8) She left Tanzania in 1977, where she became the first secretary of regional women’s section for the ANC.
(7) Baleka Mbete also serves as a member of paliament and is a member of the Constitutional Assembly.
(6) She was elected as an MP for the ANC in 1994 and was also appointed chair of the ANC parliamentary caucus in 1995.
(5) She was elected secretary general of the ANC’s women section in 1990 when she returned to South Africa.
(4) In 2006, she chartered a jet at a cost of R471,900 (roughly $60.000) to fly to Liberia for the Presidential Inauguration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
(3) Baleka was arrested, along with her brother for establishing contact with the African National Congress’s underground structure.
(2) Mbete went into exile for 14 years
(1) As a student Baleka was expelled from College for challenging the College Authorities