Jeff Radebe: ‘Leave no stone unturned for RET’

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 10: Head of ANC policy development Jeff Radebe during a discussion about the African National Congress (ANC) policy document at Luthuli House on March 10, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Radebe said the ANC is planning to ditch the secrecy around its leadership races and allow candidates to campaign openly for presidency. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times/ Masi Losi)

NAME: Jeff Radebe

AGE: 64

IN GOVERNMENT: Jeff Radebe first served in late president Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet in 1994 when he was appointed Minister of Public Works. He is the longest serving minister to date, a fact that he has used in his campaign for the ANC presidency.

During former president Thabo Mbeki’s two terms he served as Minister of Public Enterprise from 1999 until 2004. Thereafter he was appointed as Minister of Transport until 2009 when Jacob Zuma became the president. He now serves as the Minister in the Presidency.

He was involved in the Codesa talks for a democratic dispensation and was part of Mandela’s Reconstruction and Development Programme. He is currently spearheading Zuma’s National Development Plan.

UPSIDE: Radebe has served in the ANC national executive committee since 1997 and remains as a member 20 years later. He heads the ANC policy committee, a role he has been at the helm of since 1997. He has been known to tow the party line. Radebe has remained neutral in issues surrounding corruption in the party and state capture. Until recently he has remained scandal free.

DOWNSIDE: Radebe has been known to tow the party line to his detriment. He has failed to articulate clearly his own his views on policy matters, including the economy. Radebe has been known to sit on the fence on issues affecting the country and the ANC, making him seem weak next to his contenders.

He was recently embroiled in a sexting scandal with a young employee at the Unions Buildings in Pretoria, asking for nude pictures of herself. The SMSes threatened his chances of taking over Zuma’s role as president of the party. He has since apologised to the country.

ON RET: Radebe believes in the radical economic transformation programme. Speaking to ANC cadres in Port Shepstone in August, he warned that the prosperous path that the ANC seeks to achieve “has not been realised, not fully, and not yet”.

“And this is precisely what the National Democratic Revolution now must seek to yield. To succeed in this colossal effort, we must leave no stone unturned. To this commitment we must remain unflinching, undeterred and unyielding – it is about radical-socio economic transformation,” he said.

SUPPORT BASE: To date only the Umdoni sub-region in the lower south coast of KwaZulu-Natal has nominated him to become president of the party.

Radebe is expected to get pockets of support across the country, however, the two main players remain his brother-in-law by marriage, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Radebe is at a disadvantage having begun his campaign tour late in the game, making him the least likely to receive nominations from branches.

SLATE: While he has made himself available to lead he has remained mum on his running mates.

(Photo credit: Gallo Images / Sunday Times/ Masi Losi)