Daily Dispatch

Radebe ready for ‘new possibilit­ies’

‘I am proud of the gains I have achieved as a servant leader’


Former energy minister Jeff Radebe says he and his family are ready to enter a “a new era of life” following his exclusion from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

In a statement on Thursday‚ Radebe said the 25 years he had spent in government in various capacities meant a lot of time away from his family – and he was now looking forward to enjoying the “routines of normal life”.

Radebe‚ who first became a minister in the public works portfolio under Nelson Mandela in 1994‚ was among those dropped by Ramaphosa on Wednesday when he announced his reconfigur­ed cabinet following the May 8 elections.

The longest-serving cabinet minister in the democratic era‚ Radebe has been the political head of various department­s including public enterprise­s‚ transport‚ justice and performanc­e monitoring & evaluation.

He served under former presidents Thabo Mbeki‚ Kgalema Motlanthe‚ Jacob Zuma and‚ most recently‚ as energy minister under Ramaphosa at the tail end of the fifth administra­tion.

His departure from public office came while he was at the centre of a controvers­y over a R14.4bn oil deal in South Sudan‚ which Radebe rushed to sign against the advice of the Central Energy Fund‚ according to reports in the Sunday Times.

It’s unclear if this is the reason why Ramaphosa decided not to reappoint him.

In his statement‚ issued via a public relations agency‚ Radebe said he was proud of the quarter century he spent in government‚ and his achievemen­ts during that period. “I am proud of the gains I have achieved as a servant leader and the contributi­ons I have made throughout my years in government. I have crisscross­ed the length and breadth of this country and the world‚ with barely a sphere of government I have not participat­ed in.

“Politics and running the government have been my life. Twenty-five years in government has meant time away from loved ones and a busy schedule.

“The day I made a vow to serve the African National Congress was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to this country – sacrificia­lly‚ at times‚ and at the expense of my family.

“Considerin­g new options marks a new era for me and my family. I look forward to being able to enjoy the routines of normal life as well as immersing myself into new possibilit­ies.

“As the saying goes‚ every next level of our lives will demand a different version of ourselves.”

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