Jeff Radebe nails his colours to the ANC leadership mast

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Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe during a press conference on May 19, 2013 in Pretoria.

PRETORIA - The field of candidates who wants to lead the ANC keeps growing, with ANC policy head Jeff Radebe the latest to put his name forward.

On Monday night, Radebe confirmed for the first time that he is available to lead the party as its president come the December elective conference.

Addressing a Nelson Mandela lecture in Nellmapius in Pretoria, Radebe said he is a servant of the people.

There had long been speculation that Radebe might run, and last month, the Midvaal zone threw its weight behind him.

Radebe was not ready to answer the branch's call directly then, but is now. 

"I'm a servant of the people. I thank you for your confidence and I thank you for your trust. I'm prepared to serve the people," he told the audience.

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He believes his leadership will mark a break from business as usual, and said he will ensure the National Development Plan is implemented, corruption is nipped in the bud and integrity is restored to the party.

Radebe, however, was recently embroiled in a scandal after it was revealed he had sent explicit sexual text messages to a young government communications employee.

"I've issued an apology on that. It was in the media, especially The Independent newspapers. That's in the past, we look to the future."

Radebe joins fellow National Executive Committee member Lindiwe Sisulu and former party treasurer Mathews Phosa in openly declared his availability, even before the nominations process starts in September.

They face a tough task as the big race is still seen as being between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former AU Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 

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