The Passing of Essop Pahad at age 84: A Life in Politics

The Passing of Essop Pahad at age 84: A Life in Politics

…By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media. Pahad’s career spanned several decades, during which he worked closely with former President Thabo Mbeki.


His involvement in politics began in the late 1950s and continued until his resignation in 2008.

Pahad’s contributions to the anti-apartheid movement and his subsequent role in the post-apartheid government are notable aspects of his legacy.

A Minister in the Presidency and Collaborator of Thabo Mbeki

Essop Pahad served as a minister in the presidency from 1999 until his resignation in 2008.


His decision to step down came following the removal of former President Thabo Mbeki.

Pahad and Mbeki worked closely together, and their collaboration played a significant role in shaping South African politics during that period.

Former Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad

A Political Journey Spanning 40 Years

Pahad’s political career spans four decades, beginning in 1958 when he joined the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress.

His activism led to his arrest in 1962 for organizing a strike in response to the banning of the African National Congress (ANC).

In 1964, he was banned and forced into exile. After the 1994 elections, Pahad entered government and became a parliamentary counsellor to then Deputy President Mbeki.


When Mbeki assumed the presidency, Pahad became a minister in his administration.

Education and Academic Achievements

Essop Pahad possessed a strong educational background.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of the Witwatersrand.

He furthered his studies at the University of Sussex in England, obtaining a Master’s degree in African politics and a PhD.

Reflecting on a Life of Political Dedication

The passing of Essop Pahad marks the end of a chapter in South African politics.


Pahad’s involvement in the anti-apartheid movement, his service in the post-apartheid government, and his collaboration with Thabo Mbeki have left a lasting impact.

As we remember his contributions, it is essential to reflect on his dedication to political activism and his significant role in shaping the course of South African history.

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