Mr Derek Andre Hanekom is the Minister of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa; a position he has held from 26 May 2014. He has served as a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) since 1994. Mr Hanekom completed his schooling in Cape Town, where he matriculated at Jan van Riebeeck High School in 1970.
He became involved in politics and was first arrested with his wife, Dr. Trish Hanekom, at a candlelight demonstration at John Vorster Square in 1976, and served a prison sentence for his political activities from 1983 to 1986. Mr Hanekom provided the ANC with information about the apartheid defence force’s attempts to overthrow the Mozambican Government through the rebel movement, Renamo. This led to their arrest in 1983, initially charged with high treason, but subsequently reduced to lesser charges because of the international sensitivity of the case. After his release from prison, Mr Hanekom worked with the trade union movement in Johannesburg, until his wife’s release from prison in 1987, and subsequent deportation to Zimbabwe. He spent three years in exile in Zimbabwe, during which time he served as the coordinator of the Popular History Trust in Harare.
He returned to South Africa after the unbanning of political organisations in 1990, to work at the ANC headquarters, where he was responsible for policy formulation on land and agricultural matters during the period of negotiations prior to the first democratic elections in 1994.