Seven ministries and five parliaments later, Jeff Radebe bows out of Cabinet

2019-05-30 17:45
Jeff Radebe.

Jeff Radebe.

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After heading seven ministries in five democratic parliaments, Jeff Radebe said on Thursday he was ready to enjoy the routines of "normal life" and immerse himself into new possibilities.

"I wish the new cabinet well. It is indeed a new dawn for all us," he said in a statement.

Radebe last served as energy minister under Ramaphosa.

He was public works minister between 1994 and 1999, public enterprise minister between 1999 and 2004, transport minister between 2004 and 2009 as well as justice and constitutional development 2009 and 2014.

He also served as an acting health minister and was appointed as minister in the presidency for planning, monitoring and evaluation.

"… it would be an understatement to say that I have found no greater honour to have been trusted by five presidents - Presidents Mandela, Mbeki, Motlanthe, Zuma and the current President Ramaphosa - since the dawn of democracy to serve my country and the people of South Africa," he said.

"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.

"The highs and lows of political life will hold me in good stead for the road ahead."

Politics and running government have been his life, Radebe said, which meant time away from loved ones.

"The day I made a vow to serve the African National Congress was the beginning of a life long commitment to this country - sacrificially, at times, at the expense of my family.

"As the saying goes, every next level of our lives will demand a different version of ourselves."

Gwede Mantashe was on Thursday sworn in as Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, after the two portfolios combined to form one.

Radebe thanked Ramaphosa for having trusted him with the energy portfolio.

"I also thank the people of South Africa who remind government every day of the price that was paid for this democracy. May they continue to hold us, as public servants to account and to remind us of our duty to serve."

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