Government leaders

Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, Mr


Date of Birth: 18 February 1953

Current Positions

Mr Jeffrey Radebe is the Minister in The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa; a position he was appointed to on 26 May 2014.

He has been a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) and a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC since 1991.

He is also the head of the ANC Policy Unit and he serves as a member of the SACP Central Committee..

Academic Qualifications

Mr Radebe obtained a B.Jur degree from the University of Zululand in 1976; , and an LLM in International Law from Leipzig University in 1981.

He also studied at the Lenin International School, in Moscow in 1985.

In 1996, Mr Radebe received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Chicago State University.

Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities

Mr Radebe became a student activist and joined the underground structures of the ANC during the student uprisings of 1976.

After serving his legal articles in Durban in 1976, he went into exile in Mozambique on instruction of the ANC.

Mr Radebe worked as a radio journalist with Radio Freedom in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for two years, after which he went to Zambia where he worked for the ANC's International Department. He subsequently created underground ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) structures inside South Africa from Lesotho, giving political direction to activists. He underwent military training with Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and was arrested in Johannesburg and convicted under the Terrorism Act. His 10-year sentence was reduced to six years on appeal in 1986.

While in Robben Island, Mr Radebe was active in the ANC's political department, and by the time he left Robben Island, he was head of the department. He was released after organising a successful 12-day hunger strike to speed up the release of political prisoners in 1990.

Between 1990 and 1991, he served as a project co-ordinator for the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) and was eventually he was elected deputy chairperson of the ANC, Southern Natal Region in 1990.

Mr Radebe served as a secretary of the SACP's Interim Leadership Core between 1990 and 1991; From 1991 to 1994, he was chairperson of the ANC's Southern Natal Region. During the same period, he also served on the Natal Regional Dispute Resolution Committee, and as a chairperson of the Regional ANC Peace Forum. In 1995 he became a member of the ex political prisoners committee.

Mr Radebe was Minister of Public Works of the Republic of South Africa from 1994 to 16 June 1999. From 1998 to 2003, he was a member of the Business Trust and in 1998, he served as chairperson of the Nelson Mandela 80th birthday Committee.

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

In 2004, Mr Radebe was deputy chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape, he was also acting provincial chairperson and a board member of the Local Organising Committee of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
He was the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development of the Republic of South Africa from 11 May 2009 till 25 May 2014.

Positions last held/Career/Memberships/Other Activities

Mr Radebe received a Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, by Chicago State University in 1996; Leucospermum flower named Radebe Sunrise on 23 October 2005 and was awarded an Honorary Colonel by SA Air Force, Mobile Deployment Wing in 2006.

Research/Presentations/Awards/Decorations/Bursaries and Publications

On 23 October 2005, Mr Radebe was honoured when a Leucospermum flower was named Radebe Sunrise.

In 2006, by the South African Air Force, Mobile Deployment Wing awarded him the title of Honorary Colonel.
Source: Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development