Mr Radebe holds a B.Juris degree from the University of Zululand obtained in 1976; LLM in International Law from Leipzig University obtained in 1981 and studied at the Lenin International School, Moscow in 1985.
Mr Radebe became a student activist and joined the underground structures of the African National Congress (ANC) during the student uprisings of 1976. In 1976 he served his articles to become a lawyer in Durban and in 1977 he left the country for Mozambique on instruction of the ANC.
After the historic democratic elections on 27 April 1994, Mr Radebe served as the Minister of Public Works of the Republic of South Africa until June 1999. He also became a member of the Business Trust from 1998 to 2003 and as a Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela 80th birthday Committee in 1998.
Prior to his appointment as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development in 2009, Mr Radebe served as Minister of Public Enterprises from 17 June 1999 to 28 April 2004 and as Minister of Transport from 29 April 2004 to 10 May 2009. He was also a Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape, and later acting Provincial Chairperson in 2004 and a Board member of the Local Organising Committee of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
Among other achievements, Mr Radebe received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters by the Chicago State University in 1996, and Leucospermum flower named Radebe Sunrise was bestowed in him on 23 October 2005. He was awarded Honorary Colonel by the South African Air Force, Mobile Deployment Wing in 2006.