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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Sexwale, Mosima Gabriel (Tokyo)

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Tokyo Sexwale was born in Johannesburg on 5 March 1953. He was educated in Johannesburg, matriculating from Orlando West High School in 1972.

During the 1970s he was a staunch Black Conciousness supporter and a member and leader of the South African Student's Movement. He became involved in underground structures of the ANC in 1971.

At the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, Sexwale completed a diploma in business studies and registered for a BCom. During this time he worked with ANC members in Swaziland and South Africa. His activities were detected by the Swazi authorities who attempted to arrest him in 1975. He left for Moscow where he underwent political and military training. Sexwale and his colleagues then stayed in Swaziland and later returned to South Africa. He worked underground, giving political instruction to cell members, and offering military training throughout the Transvaal. Sexwale was arrested and charged in the 'Pretoria Twelve' trial. He was convicted in 1978 and was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.

Sexwale was jailed on Robben Island where he served on the prisoner's recreation committee. He continued studying and when he left prison he had almost completed his BCom degree. Sexwale was released on 9 June 1990 under political amnesty following the unbanning of the ANC and the Groote Schuur agreement. In September 1990 he was elected to the ANC's executive committee in the PWV area. In September 1991 he was elected chair of the ANC's PWV region and became an ex-officio member of the organisation's national executive committee. In the April 1994 general election, Sexwale headed the ANC's PWV list, becoming provincial premier after the organisation won 58% of the vote in the region.

He resigned from the premiership in 1997 to enter the business world in which he has become a success story of black economic empowerment in the new South Africa.

Source: Who's who in South African Politics, Number 5, Shelagh Gastrow, 1995, Ravan Press (Pty) Ltd, Randburg

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.