In the absence of presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj, who retired in April, Radebe has been more involved in the running of the presidency. He became the face of government when he took over communications from the near-invisible Faith Muthambi.
Together with Mantashe, Radebe also comes from a communist background. But he has managed to go a step further and establish himself as the ANC’s policy guru.
In public speeches, well-spoken Radebe has made efforts to appear statesman-like, demonstrating the skills and qualities of a respected leader. This is likely to make him more acceptable as a candidate to those in big business who are interested in the outcomes of the ANC’s succession race.