Nthato Motlana’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

IntroSouth AFrican businessman, activist and physician
Was Businessperson
From South Africa
Type Business

16 February 1925


30 November 2008
(aged 83 years)

Dr. Nthato Harrison Motlana (16 Feb 1925 – 1 December 2008) was a prominent South African businessman, physician and anti-apartheid activist.

Life under Apartheid

He was tried alongside Nelson Mandela by the Apartheid regime during the Defiance Campaign of 1951–52, and played a prominent role during the Soweto uprising as one of the members of the Soweto Committee of Ten. Motlana was a founding member of the Black Community Programme, a group whose goal was to economically empower black South Africans, and he founded Phaphama Africa Commercial Enterprises, Lesedi Clinic (the first black owned, private up-market hospital in the country), and Sizwe Medical Aid (the first black owned medical aid scheme in South Africa).

Life after Apartheid

Following apartheid, Motlana took a lead role in the formation of the New African Investments Limited, or NAIL, which purchased many previously white run corporations at below market value. These included South Africa’s largest newspaper The Sowetan. Due to his huge success in business Motalana earned the nickname “Father of Black Economic Empowerment.”

Motlana served on the boards of Putco, Rand Water Board, Adcock Ingram Group and Sasol, amongst other civic and academic institutions.


He died on 1 December 2008 in a private hospital in Johannesburg.