Dr. Popo Molefe is the executive chairman of Lereko. He has a history of outstanding leadership and activism followed by executive responsibility serving the maximum two terms as Premier of the North West Province, and also as a member of the National Executive of the ANC.
Popo was instrumental in organising the United Democratic Front where he was general secretary from 1983 to 1991. During this time, he worked in a leadership group including Valli Moosa which brought together 600 member organisations in an extremely difficult political environment - a testament to their exceptional leadership and management skills. In 1985, together with 22 other activists, Popo was charged with high treason in the Delmas Treason Trial, one of South Africa's longest political trials. His legal representation included Paul Botha.
While a prisoner on Robben Island he was invited by Nelson Mandela to the Victor Verster Prison for consultations to discuss a negotiated settlement with FW de Klerk's apartheid government. In March 1990, Popo joined the negotiations that would ultimately usher in a new democracy in South Africa. After Mandela's release, Popo was part of the national reception committee that received him from prison, as was Valli. After the unbanning of the ANC, he was appointed to its internal leadership corps and appointed Elections Chairperson.
In the years since leaving political office, Popo has founded Lereko with Valli Moosa and supported a number of successful developing businesses. He has also taken on challenging governance roles, seeking to balance the interests of state and commercial enterprises. In addition to his responsibilities at Lereko portfolio companies, he has served as chairperson of Petro SA, Armscor, Simeka and Anooraq Resources as well as on the boards of the Central Energy Fund, the Strategic Fuel Fund, and as Chancellor of North West University.