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Former Minister Jeff Radebe: Profile

Mr Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe  
• Born 18 February 1953
• Married to Mrs Bridgette Radebe

Current Positions
• Minister of Energy
• Chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee 
• Member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991
• Member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC since 1991
• Member of the SACP Central Committee
• Head of the ANC Policy Unit
• Chairperson of the ANC National Disciplinary Committee 
• Chairperson of the ANC Drafting Committee
• Chairperson of the ANC Political Committee

Academic qualifications
Mr Radebe holds a B.Juris degree from the University of Zululand obtained in 1976; LLM in International Law from Leipzig University obtained in 1981 and studied at the Lenin International School, Moscow in 1985.

Career/political activities
Mr Radebe became a student activist and joined the underground structures of the African National Congress (ANC) during the student uprisings of 1976. In 1976 he served his articles to become a lawyer in Durban and in 1977 he left the country for Mozambique on instruction of the ANC.

He worked for the ANC's International Department in Zambia. He created underground ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) structures inside South Africa from Lesotho, giving political direction to activists. Mr Radebe was as a Radio journalist with Radio Freedom in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for two years.

He further underwent military training with Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was arrested in Johannesburg and convicted under the Terrorism Act. His 10 year sentence, on Robben Island, was reduced to six years on appeal in 1986.

While on Robben Island, he was active in the ANC's political department, and by the time he left the prison, he was head of the department. Mr Radebe was released after organising a successful 12-day hunger strike to speed up the release of political prisoners in 1990. He also served as a project co-ordinator for the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) between 1990 and 1991. In 1990 he was elected deputy chairperson of the ANC, Southern Natal Region.

Mr Radebe served as a Secretary of the SACP's interim Leadership Core between 1990 and 1991 and subsequently became the chairperson of ANC's Southern Natal Region from 1991 to 1994. He also served on the Natal Regional Dispute Resolution Committee and as the chairperson of the Regional ANC Peace Forum during the same period. In 1995, he became a member of the Ex Political Prisoners Committee.

Positions held post 1994
After the historic democratic elections on 27 April 1994, Mr Radebe served as the Minister of Public Works of the Republic of South Africa until June 1999. He also became a member of the Business Trust from 1998 to 2003 and as a Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela 80th birthday Committee in 1998.

Prior to his appointment as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development in 2009, Mr Radebe served as Minister of Public Enterprises from 17 June 1999 to 28 April 2004 and as Minister of Transport from 29 April 2004 to 10 May 2009.

He was also a Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape, and later acting Provincial Chairperson in 2004 and a Board member of the Local Organising Committee of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

Mr Radebe served as Minister in The Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation from 2014 - 2018.

Among other achievements, Mr Radebe received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters by the Chicago State University in 1996, and Leucospermum flower named Radebe Sunrise was bestowed in him on 23 October 2005. He was awarded Honorary Colonel by the South African Air Force, Mobile Deployment Wing in 2006.