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President Thabo Mbeki has been, since June 1999, the head of the ANC and democratically elected ruler of The Republic of South Africa. He is the son of ANC leader Govan Mbeki.

Mr. Mbeki is widely regarded as being an exceptionally clever and pragmatic politician, though he does not have the same saintly public image enjoyed by Nelson Mandela, his predecessor as ANC leader and South African president.

Unfortunately, by 2002 his admistration has been seen as far less effective due to his inability to make effective decisions on such tough issues as the trouble in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the ongoing HIV crisis. However the South African economy has been well managed under his administration.

Mr. Mbeki will have step down as president at the end of his second 5-year term in 2009.