Essop Pahad

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Essop Pahad
Essop Pahad (1985).jpg
Essop Pahad (1985)
Minister in the Presidency
In office
14 June 1999 – 24 September 2008
Member of Parliament
Assumed office
10 May 1994
Parliamentary Counsellor
In office
10 May 1994 – 14 June 1999
Personal details
Born (1939-06-21) 21 June 1939 (age 79)
Schweizer-Reneke, North West, South Africa
Political partyAfrican National Congress
Alma materUniversity of the Witwatersrand
University of Sussex

Essop Goolam Pahad (born 21 June 1939) is a South African politician. He served as South African Ministry in the Presidency from 1999 to 2008.

Early life[edit]

Pahad was born in Schweizer-Reneke in the former Transvaal province.[1] He is an alumnus of both the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Sussex. He started his academic career with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Wits. At the University of Sussex, he completed a Master of Arts in African Politics as well as his PhD in History. The title of his thesis was "The Development of Indian Political Movements in South Africa 1924 - 1946." He is the brother of Aziz Pahad.

Political career[edit]

His political career began in 1958 when he became a member of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress. In 1962 Pahad was arrested for organising an illegal strike, following the banning of the African National Congress. In December 1964, Pahad was banned for five years and went into exile. While in exile, Pahad became more actively involved with the ANC and the SACP. He represented the SACP on the editorial council for the World Marxist Review.[2]

Career in government[edit]

After the 1994 democratic election, Pahad served as the Parliamentary Counsellor to then-Deputy President Thabo Mbeki. He was appointed as the Minister in the Presidency after the 1999 general election. In 2000 it was reported that at a closed session of the ANC's governance committee Pahad tried to quash an inquiry into corruption in the Arms Deal, an accusation that Pahad denies despite numerous reports to the contrary.[3]

Pahad was also involved in raising R1.55 million from corporate sponsors to hire Ronald Suresh Roberts to write a biography of then President Mbeki.[3]

After Mbeki's resignation as President of South Africa in September 2008, Pahad submitted his resignation as Minister.[4]


Pahad was a member of the Organising Committee of the 2010 World Cup, to be held in South Africa, and claimed in 2008 that South African whites wanted the event to be a failure. An independent survey by Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) reported in January 2010 that South African whites in fact generally support the event.[5]

Pahad currently is the Chairman of the Board of the South Africa/Mali Timbuktu Manuscripts Trust as well as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the South African Democracy Education Trust, a Member of Parliament, and sits on the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress.[1] Since leaving government in 2008 Pahad has launched a South African monthly journal named The Thinker.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Essop Goolam Pahad". Who's Who South Africa. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  2. ^ Our leaders - Ministers
  3. ^ a b Myburgh, James (November 7, 2007). "Feinstein on Essop Pahad". Politics Web. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  4. ^ "Confusion rattles markets", Sapa (IOL), September 23, 2008.
  5. ^ Independent on Sunday, 2 January 2010, "Whites also want 2010 to be a success - study"
  6. ^ "Are you or have you ever been an HIV-denialist?". Politics Web. March 30, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2011.