Ebrahim Rasool

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Template:TOCnestleft Ebrahim Rasool is former South African Ambassador to United States (2010-2015). He was replaced by H.E. Ambassador Mninwa Mahlangu who presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on Monday, 23 February 2015.

Ebrahim Rasool was the Premier of the Western Cape province from 2004 to 2008. He is a member of the African National Congress.

On 14 July 2008, Rasool was recalled from the position of premier by the National Executive Committee of the ANC, as the ANC leadership had grown tired of giving preference to the large Muslim and Cape Coloured populations in the Western Cape. His successor was Economic Development and Tourism MEC Lynne Brown.

Radical life

Rasool matriculated from Livingstone High in Claremont in 1980. The school played an important role in his political development because the principal, RO Dudley, was inclined towards the New Unity Movement and active in political struggles. In his matric year, Rasool was secretary of the SRC and on the Committee of 81 that co-ordinated the 1980 school boycott in the Western Cape.

While Rasool retained a ‘deep respect for the essential ideas within the [Unity] movement’ he drifted ideologically towards the ANC. He enrolled for a BA degree at UCT in 1981. He joined AZASO and the Muslim Student Association as he sought to reconcile his secular and religious worlds. He found AZASO politics ‘more colourful, less cerebral and more broadly inclusive’ while the Islam of the MSA provided a religion that was ‘related to the political struggle in which I was engaged.’ This allowed him to synergise his ‘religious and political personae', with Farid Esack playing a significant role in this quest.

As a member of the AZASO executive he attended the launch of the United Democratic Front in August 1983 and was elected to the regional executive. In 1984, he was a founding member of the Call of Islam, which attempted to involve Muslims formally in the political struggle. In 1985 Rasool took up a teaching position at Spine Road High in Mitchell’s Plain. The school was involved in the education boycott and Rasool was detained for three months and served with a banning order upon his release. He was arrested again in June 1987. This time he was imprisoned for thirteen months. After the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, Rasool was elected treasurer of the ANC in the Western Cape in 1991. He was also a member of the executive council of the Western Cape legislature. He subsequently became leader of the ANC in the Western Cape and was named the province’s premier in 2004. He held this position until July 2008 when he was caught in the power struggles within the ANC and replaced as Premier.[1]

Call of Islam

Farid Easack returned to South Africa in 1982 and became involved in the MYM. He established Muslims Against Oppression (MAO) in 1983, along with Ebrahim Rasool, and they changed the organisation’s name to Call of Islam in 1984. They affiliated to the United Democratic Front.[2]

Communist connection


Ebrahim Rasool and Max Ozinsky contributed an article to the African Communist, 1993.

Nelson Mandela's Birthday

The South African Embassy, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and TransAfrica Forum — the Washington-based human rights organization that helped compel the U.S. government to act against apartheid in South Africa nearly 30 years ago – co-hosted a teleconference on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 facilitated by Brand South Africa to outline the nationwide events to honor and celebrate “Mandela Day.”

Coordinated by the embassy, TransAfrica Forum and CBTU, events in Washington DC and 17 cities around the United States celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on Thursday, July 18 with members of the original anti-apartheid and Free South Africa Movement, special guests and performances.

Teleconference to discuss “Mandela Day” events, with

Phillips meeting


Steve Phillips January 14, 2014 near Washington ·

In the 1980s I spent many years helping build the Free South Africa Movement and supporting the African National Congress when it was considered a terrorist org. Ebrahim Rasool was an ANC leader and went to prison as part of the liberation struggle. Today he is the South African Ambassador to the US, and I was inspired by a stimulating dinner at his residence tonight.


In 2018, Ebrahim Rasool, Former South African Ambassador to the United States, served on the Advisory Council of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Election campaign chief

Despite his chequered history as premier of the Western Cape, the ANC this week appointed Ebrahim Rasool as the party’s 2019 election campaign chief in the province.

Rasool, who was recalled as premier because of the “brown envelope” saga linked to the payment of journalists at The Argus for favourable reporting and sent to the United States as South Africa’s ambassador, apparently remains popular in the province.

Rasool’s appointment as the province’s elections head follows a campaign to have him elected chairperson of the ANC in the Western Cape. Acting chairperson Khaya Magaxa has already publicly indicated his desire to return to his position as secretary of the South African Communist Party in the province.[4]