Peter Mokaba

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Peter Mokaba
Born(1959-01-07)January 7, 1959
DiedJune 9, 2002(2002-06-09) (aged 43)

Peter Mokaba, OLG (7 January 1959 – 9 June 2002) was a member of the South African parliament, deputy minister in the government of Nelson Mandela and president of the South African governing party's youth wing, the ANC Youth League.[1] The Peter Mokaba Stadium, a Polokwane stadium used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was named after him.[2]

Kill the Farmer, kill the Boer[edit]

Mokaba became known in the early 1990s for his use of the slogan "Kill the farmer, kill the Boer". The chant was ruled as hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission in 2003.[3][4] Opponents of the song argue that it bears a literal interpretation, inciting racial violence against whites;[5] defenders claim that its value is purely as a reminder of South Africa's history and that it does not incite violence.[6]

Apartheid spy[edit]

In the book Askari, by Jacob Dlamini, it is asserted that Mokaba was an apartheid spy at one point. He was turned from insurgent to counter-insurgent by the apartheid government. Seeing that the Youth League, greatly influenced by Mokaba, would be greatly demoralised, the Lusaka ANC leadership decided to spare his life. According to the book, that was only after serious deals were reached with him that are known only to the current ANC leadership. There are a number of other accounts that claim that he was an apartheid spy.[7][8]

Aids denialist'[edit]

It is unclear if Mokaba, himself, had HIV; nevertheless he was as an Aids Denialist.[9][10] He died in 2002 of pneumonia. He claimed that drugs had no benefits "beyond profits for the pharmaceutical industry". The fight against the companies, he said, should be waged with the same intensity as the struggle against apartheid. Privately, he assured supporters that HIV and AIDS were part of an "international Western plot" to decimate blacks and "regain colonial control" in Africa.[11]


He was a friend of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Mandela.[12] At the time of his death, he had been appointed to head the ANC electoral campaign in 2004,[13] and his funeral was attended by former Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, and former South African President Jacob Zuma.[14] Julius Malema has described Mokaba as a personal hero.[15]

Early Life[edit]

Peter Ramoshoane Mokaba was born on 7 January 1959 in Mankweng, Polokwane, where he did both his primary and secondary education.

During the 1976 student uprisings, Peter Mokaba became a leader of student school boycotts, when the apartheid regime declared Afrikaans as a compulsory media of instruction in schools. That led to his expulsion and banishment from schools. He, nevertheless, managed to complete his Matric through self-study in 1978. As a Matric pupil, Mokaba participated in the student uprisings that marked a critical turning point in the tempo of the anti-apartheid struggle and then went on to enrol at the University of the North (Turfloop) in 1980.[16]


Mokaba was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee in 1991. After the dawn of democracy in 1994, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Tourism in the first democratically elected South African Parliament in the Cabinet led by President Nelson Mandela. By the time of his death, Peter Mokaba had been appointed by the ANC to head the preparations for the 2004 election campaign.[17]


He was honoured when the Polokwane Stadium, which hosted some of the games of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, was named after him. Peter Mokaba was a firebrand, militant and radical youth leader who led and inspired South African youth to play a leading role in the struggle waged against the apartheid regime. He was an excellent, relentless organiser, a disciplined cadre of the ANC and an inspiring leader. He died in Johannesburg on 9 June 2002.[18]


  1. ^ jonas (2011-12-21). "African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) Timeline 1944-2011". South African History Online. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  2. ^ "Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane: World Cup 2010 stadium guide". The Daily Telegraph. 2009-11-19. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  3. ^ "Parties unite against Mokaba 'hate speech'". IOL. 2002-06-17. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  4. ^ "South Africa Panel Reverses Its Ruling On 'Hate Speech'". The New York Times. 2003-07-18. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  5. ^ Sapa (2010-03-11). "ANC OK with Malema singing "shoot the boer"". Politicsweb. Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  6. ^ Govender, Peroshni (2010-03-30). "South Africa's ANC defends "Kill the Boer" song". Reuters. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  7. ^ Two faces of Mokaba, Gavin Evans, Mail & Guardian, 14 June 2002/
  8. ^ The Drak Side of Journalusm, Franz Kruger, 'WITS Journalism, 2006
  9. ^ Two faces of Mokaba, Gavin Evans, Mail & Guardian, 14 June 2002
  10. ^ Hambe Kahle Peter Mokaba, Mail & Guardian, 2002
  11. ^ "Peter Mokaba". The Daily Telegraph. 2002-06-10. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  12. ^ "Winnie Saves Face at ANC Conference". South African Press Association. 1997-12-17.
  13. ^ "The death of Peter Mokaba". African National Congress. 2002-06-09. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  14. ^ Reporter, Staff (2002-01-01). "Hambe Kahle Peter Mokaba". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  15. ^ Malema defends 'his hero' Mokaba, Gugu Mbonambi, Yusuf Moolia and Sapa, IOL, 2010
  16. ^ Makena, Abijah. "Achieve1". South african history online. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  17. ^ Makena, Abijah. "Peter Ramoshoane Mokaba (Posthumous)". thepresidency. Retrieved 23 November 2018. External link in |website= (help)
  18. ^ Makena, Abijah. "Peter Ramoshoane Mokaba (Posthumous)". thepresidency. Retrieved 23 November 2018. External link in |website= (help)

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