7 January 1959
Peter Mokaba, a notable freedom fighter and patriot, was born on 7 January 1959. Mokoba played a significant role in the struggle for freedom especially amongst the youth, and this determination was clearly seen in his various occupations and activities regarding the youth. His childhood can be seen as motivation for his later involvement in youth movements. He was born under the cruel injustices and violence of the Apartheid system. His parents, Albert and Priscilla, were forcibly removed from their home to reside as squatters in Mankweng, where they survived living as migrant workers. While attending Hwiti High School in Mankweng, he became a leader of the school boycotts in the northern parts of South Africa. After his capture in 1977, which was preceded by his attempt to evade arrest, Mokoba was banned from attending school by authorities. Nevertheless, he completed his Matric in 1978, and enrolled for tertiary study at The University of the North (University of Limpopo) in 1980. Interruptions through state harassment and various arrests did not stop him from completing his Masters in Development Management at the University of Witwatersrand. He later initiated his second at the University of Stellenbosch in Economics, but was unable to complete it due to his untimely death. Mokaba served as an Educational Officer for the Northern Transvaal UDF Regional Youth Coordinating Committee. He was one of the founding members of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO), which led to him being appointed as the congress’ first president in 1987. Since Mokaba was seen as a freedom fighter amongst and for the youth, he became the president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and occupied this position during the period of 1991 and 1994 after various assassination attempts. Mokaba then served as a Member of Parliament in 1994 as well as in 1999. After his time in parliament, Mokoba was then elected to serve as the deputy minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism under the government of the Nelson Mandela. His legacy is honoured by a stadium in Polokwane that was named after him for the 2010 World Cup, as well as the current emphasis of South African government on youth issues today.

eThekwini Municipality, (2011), Peter Mokaba Road Formerly North Ridge and Ridge roads, from eThekwini Municipality, [online], Available at www.durban.gov.za [Accessed: 05 January 2015]|ANC, (2009), The Death of Peter Mokoba, from The African National Congress, 09 June [online], Available at www.anc.org.za [Accessed: 05 January 2015]