Jacob Koti Dikobo was born on 22 April 1962 in the village of Bataung (Makgophong) in Zebediela, Limpopo, where he also grew up. He went to Khureng Primary School and then moved to Batung (Ramasondi) Primary School where he completed his primary school education.

He then attended Tubake Secondary School until Standard 8 (Grade 10). During this period,  he participated in debating and also served as a member of the Student Representative Council. Dikobo then went to Setototlwane College of Education where he completed his matric.  He then enrolled for his tertiary education at the University of the North and graduated with the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and a Bachelor of Education in Pedagogy (B.A. (Paed). While he was at university, Dikobo became an active member of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and served in its leadership structures. He served as secretary and later chairman of the Turfloop Branch of the Azanian Students Movement (AZASM).  

Dikobo was also involved in a number of youth related religious organisations. He served as Secretary and later as Chairman of the Students Inter-Denominational Organisation (SIDO) at the University of the North. Then he became Youth Director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) Northern Diocese and Chairperson of the Lutheran Students Christian Fellowship. He also served as Youth Chairman of the Northern Transvaal Council of Churches (NTCC) and  Youth Committee Secretary of the Southern African Council of Churches (SACC).

Through these positions he represented the Lutheran church in the Exchange Programme with the Church of Swedish Mission, a programme at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem, Israel, Global Mission Event of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Washington DC, USA and the Multi-Cultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) of ELCA in Atlanta, Georgia.He travelled around the North Eastern Ohio Synod talking to various groups about the situation in South Africa. He also served as Chairperson for the Youth of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA), which is an Organisation of Lutheran Churches from Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Upon completion of his studies he went to work at Ramahlokolo High School as a teacher, later he moved to Bokamoso Senior Secondary School where he became Head of Department rising to become Deputy Principal and Principal. Dikobo then moved to Florapark Comprehensive High School where he became the school’s Principal.

After the formation of the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO), Dikobo served as the party’s Secretary of the Seshego Branch rising through the ranks to the position of Secretary of the Northern Transvaal Region. Around the same time, he became Secretary of the Seshego Education Watchdog Committee (SEWACO). Dikobo later became AZAPO’s Vice Chairman and served as a member of the party’s Central Committee.

He became actively involved in the underground structures of AZAPO, the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA) and later joined the Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA). He was part of AZAPO’s delegation to a tri-lateral meeting between AZAPO, BCMA and the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) in Kadoma, Zimbabwe. 

Dikobo also became an active trade unionist. He served as Vice- President of the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) and as a Central Committee member of the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU).

After the Professional Educators Union (PEU) was launched in 1998, Dikobo served as Vice-chairman of the Pietersburg District and later as the union’s President. He also served as Vice President of the Confederation of South African Workers Union (CONSAWU) after its launch in 2003. He was also elected President of the Association of Non-Aligned Teacher Unions in Southern Africa (ANTUSA) at its founding in December 2007 in Kabwe, Zambia, a position he held until he relinquished it on his election as AZAPO President.

Dikobo is also a member of various institutions. He served as a member of the National Board for Further Education and Training (NBFET), the NEDLAC Development Chamber, and ETDP-SETA. He served as a Chairman of the College Council of the Capricorn College for Further Education and Training and Secretary of the College Council of Kwena Moloto College.

In March 2010, Dikobo was elected as the President of AZAPO succeeding Mosibudi Mangena. He is also the party’s sole Member of Parliament. 

Dikobo is married to his wife Mildred, and they have two daughters and a son.


 ‘National President  Jacob Koti Dikobo’, from the Azanian Peoples’ Organisation, [online], Available at www.azapo.org.za [Accessed 25 October 2012]|

‘National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU’ [online] Available at www.nactu.org.za [Accessed 25 October 2012]|

‘Southern African Council of Churches (SACC)’, [online] Available at www.sacc.org.za  [Accessed 25 October 2012]|

‘Confederation of Southern African Workers Union (CONSAWU)’, [online] Available at https://consawu.co.za  [Accessed 25 October 2012] 

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