This is Mathabatha’s second tenure as Limpopo premier. He first held the position in 2013. The Limpopo ANC provincial chairperson has a bachelor of arts degree and a masters degree in development. He became actively involved in politics at an early age and at 20 – he joined the ANC liberation army, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a year after the Soweto 1976 uprising.

He was also one of the leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the 80’s. After the unbanning of political parties in 1990, Mathabatha became one of the key activists to rebuild the structure of the ANC internally and the treasurer of the Northern Transvaal Region of the party in 1992.

The 62-year-old has since served the ANC and government in Limpopo in various capacities and is hailed as a seasoned administrator. Mathabatha is one of those credited with having played a pivotal role in the consolidation and transformation of the then Bantustans administrations of Lebowa, Venda and Gazankulu and the Transvaal Provincial Administration (TPA) into the Northern Province Provincial Administration and later Limpopo.

Mathabatha led the Ramaphosa campaign in Limpopo ahead of the contentious ANC elective conference, which was held in Nasrec, Johannesburg, in 2017. ANC NEC announces party premier candidates

Watch Mathabatha speaking to Lukhanyo Calata during the ANC’s 2017 policy conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg: