President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa has lost a dedicated leader with the death of former cabinet Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
Joemat-Pettersson passed away on Monday in Cape Town at the age of 59.
Presidential Spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya says Ramaphosa has joined other leaders in offering condolences to her family and colleagues.
“President Ramaphosa offers his sincere condolences to the family of the former minister and especially her sons, Austin and Terrance. The president extends his sympathy to the friends, comrades and parliamentary colleagues of the late leader who was born in Kimberly and served as MEC for Education from 1994.”
‘Shocking and unexpected’
First African National Congress (ANC) Deputy Secretary General Nomvula Mokonyane says Joemat-Pettersson.’s death is shocking and unexpected.
“Comrade Tina is a child of the ANC, we have grown up together in the movement, she is now a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC and together with the officials we have just been reflecting.”
VIDEO: Full interview with Nomvula Mokonyane:
ANC Member of Parliament and former cabinet Minister, Joemat-Pettersson enjoyed a long career in politics, occupying several Ministerial positions, including that of Energy Minister and Forestries and Fisheries under former President, Jacob Zuma’s tenure.
At the time of her death, she was serving as a Member of Parliament and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police.
Prior to her national roles, Joemat-Pettersson served as the MEC of Education in the Northern Cape province and later the MEC of Agriculture until 2009.
Born in 1963 in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, Tina Monica Joemat-Pettersson cut her teeth into politics at an early age and also served as a labour activist when she was still a student.
Her name started being popular when she campaigned for her political home the ANC in her home province and ensured that it won the first democratic elections in 1994.
During that time Joemat-Pettersson was elected to the Northern Cape provincial legislature at the age of 30. She also served as an MEC for Education, Arts and Culture for a decade.
In 2009 Joemat-Pettersson was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. She also served as a Minister of energy in 2014, a position she held for three years. She resigned from Parliament in 2017. But two years later – after the local government election, she returned to parliament where she served as a Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police.
She was also ANC NEC member and was elected to the party’s National Working Committee in 2018. Her life was not without controversy.
In 2012, former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela made adverse findings against her for handing control of South Africa’s fisheries research and patrol fleet to the SA Navy at the end of March 2012 while she was still Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.