Tokyo Sexwale Biography
Tokyo Sexwale whose birth name is Mosima Gabriel Sexwale was born on 5th March 1953 in Soweto, South Africa. He is a South African businessman, politician, anti-apartheid activist, and former political prisoner.
Tokyo Sexwale Education Background
He has a certificate in Business Studies from the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1975, he went to exile and underwent military officers’ training in the Soviet Union, where he specialized in military engineering.
He studied a Bachelors Degree in Business Commerce at the University of South Africa while imprisoned at Robben Island.
Tokyo Sexwale Imprisonment
In 1976 he retrurned to South Africa and was captured after a skirmish with the South African security forces and, along with 11 others, was charged and later convicted of terrorism and conspiracy to overthrow the government after an almost two-year-long trial in the Supreme Court of South Africa in Pretoria.
In 1977 he was sent to the Robben Island maximum-security prison to serve an 18-year sentence. In June 1990 he was released under the terms of the Groote Schuur Agreement between the National Party government and the African National Congress. He had spent 13 years in prison.
Tokyo Sexwale Political Career
After his released he returned to Johannersburg where he served as head of the public liaison department of the African National Congress Headquarters. He was subsequently appointed the head of special projects, reporting to the ANC’s military headquarters.
In September 1990 he was elected as a member of the executive committee of the ANC in the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (PWV) region.
In 1991 he became the chairperson of the ANC in the PWV region a position he held until his resignation in late 1997.
In April 1994 after the South African elections he was elected the first premier of the new PWV Province (renamed Gauteng Province in December 1994).He had the task to bringing peace to several politically volatile townships.
In 1998 he left politics for the corporate sector. In December 2007 he was elected to the ANC’s 80-member National Executive Committee in 10th place, with 2,198 votes.
On 10 May 2009, President Jacob Zuma appointed Sexwale as Minister of Human Settlements, a ministry which replaced the Department of Housing.
In 2013 President Jacob Zuma reshuffled the cabinet and Sexwale was left out. During an interview with the Sowetan Live he said that the president offered him a position in the National Assembly as Member of Parliament for a while and then his new position would be announced later, a position he declined.
Tokyo Sexwale said that he declined because he did not have time “for this kind of a thing” because he had his businesses that he made a lot of money in.
Tokyo Sexwale Entreprenuership- Mvelaphanda Group
Tokyo Sexwale founded Mvelaphanda Holdings which primarily focused on the mining, energy and related sectors. Some of Sexwale’s main interests are oil and diamond mining, for which he has been granted concessions across Africa and Russia; these interests are controlled by a subsidiary of Mvelaphanda Holdings called Mvelaphanda Resources, of which he is chairman.
Sexwale holds positions in many international organisations, such as President of the South African/Russian Business, Technological and Cultural Association and Vice President of the South African/Japanese Business Forum. He is also an Honorary Consul General of Finland in South Africa.
Tokyo Sexwale Honours and Awards
- He received the Légion d’honneur from France
- Honorary doctorate in technology from Nottingham Trent University.
- Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from De Montfort University.
- The Order of the Freedom of Havana (Cuba)
- The Cross of Valour (Ruby Class) from South Africa
- The Reach and Teach Leadership Award, from the United States.
Tokyo Sexwale Wife
While Tokyo Sexwale was in prison he was represented in part by a paralegal named Judy van Vuuren. They began a personal relationship while he remained in prison, and soon after his release, in 1990, they married. In 2013 they filed for divorce.