|Name Popo Molefe|
Role South African Politician
|Party African National Congress|
|Similar People Brian Molefe, Sol Plaatje, Dipuo Peters, Oliver Tambo, Edna Molewa|
Down the udf memory lane popo molefe
Popo Simon Molefe (born 1952 in the Sophiatown district of Johannesburg) is a South African politician, and the former Premier of the North West Province.
One of eight children, Molefe was the son of a laborer and a domestic worker, though he was raised largely by one of his aunts. He attended Naledi High School in Soweto. He became involved in political activism as a student, joining the Black People's Convention in 1973, and the South African Students' Movement in 1974. While a member of the latter organization, he participated in the Soweto Uprising of 1976.
Molefe was one of the founding members of the Azanian People's Organization at its formation in 1978. He left the group in 1981 as a result of a dispute over the role of white Africans in the anti-apartheid movement, and the following year he became one of the "Council of Ten" within the Soweto Civic Organization, serving in that capacity until 1984. He also was involved with the founding of the United Democratic Front in 1983.
Molefe was arrested on several occasions as a result of his political activities. A 1985 arrest resulted in three years of detention without bail, followed by court proceedings in the Delmas Treason Trial. At the end of that trial, Molefe was one of eleven men convicted of anti-apartheid activities, and he drew a prison sentence of ten years from judge Kees van Dijkhorst, the second-longest sentence among the men convicted. His sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1989. Following his release from prison, Molefe became a member of the newly-legalized African National Congress. He advanced through various party offices, and then in 1994 he achieved the office of Premier of the North West Province, an office he held until April 2004. At the time of his resignation, he cited a desire to tend to his "personal health and family" as a motivation for leaving politics. That July, he joined the Anooraq Resources Corporation, a platinum mining and exploration company, as co-nonexecutive chairperson. In August 2004, Molefe accepted a position as Chancellor of North-West University.
Molefe was married to Boitumelo "Tumi" Plaatje, with whom he had four children. The couple divorced in 2003, after she alleged that he had molested his ten-year-old daughter. Molefe denied the accusations, and attributed them to what he termed Plaatje's "unstable history of making false allegations". Police investigated Plaatje's claim but declined to prosecute, citing a lack of sufficient evidence.
Molefe is a member of the Methodist Church of South Africa.