ANC MOURNS THE UNTIMELY PASSING OF COMRADE TINA JOEMAT-PETTERSSON
The African National Congress (ANC) is devastated by the untimely passing of Comrade Tina Joemat-Pettersson, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC. Death has robbed our movement and the people of South Africa of a humble, dependable and dedicated servant.
The ANC pays tribute to this extraordinary freedom fighter whose sacrifices and commitment to the liberation of her people remain a source of inspiration to many young cadres of our movement. All those who love justice, freedom and democracy will sorely miss her intellectual sharpness, political maturity and passion for defending those who are vulnerable in our society, especially women. In this regard, Comrade Tina was unrelenting in her gender activism.
Comrade Tina has a rich history of struggle and service to the people of South Africa. She was a leader who had a calling to serve the people of South Africa, and who chose to surrender her own life to the service of the people. Her life was a living example that revolutionary leaders are not born, but emerge from experience. They are shaped and nurtured by the daily struggles of the people and the values of the freedom struggle.
Born in the Northern Cape, comrade Tina was an active member of the Azanian Students Organisation between 1985 and 1986. She was a teacher at Pescodia Secondary School in 1987 and at Homevale Senior Secondary School between 1992 and 1993. During the period 1989 to 1991, she was a tutor in 2
History; and from 1992 to 1993, she was a tutor in English for the National Education Coordinating Committee, as well as for the Education Development Trust. She was also a research assistant to the Head of the English Department at the UWC in 1990 and a member of the National People’s Education Panellist in 1992.
In 1992 Comrade Tina was a national representative of the South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU) for the Northern Cape. From 1992 to 1993 she served as a member of the Union of Democratic University Staff Association and a Northern Cape regional delegate to the ANC National Education and Cultural Desk. She was a lecturer in the English Department at the University of the Free State between 1993 and 1994.
Comrade Tina held a BA degree in Executive Management in Education from the University of Cape Town; a BA degree in English and History from the University of the Western Cape (UWC); and a Higher Diploma in Education from the UWC.
Following the 1994 democratic breakthrough, Cde Tina served as a member of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. She served as the MEC for Education, Arts and Culture and later as MEC for Agriculture. At the national level, she served as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from 2009 until 2014, and was later appointed as Minister of Energy. At the time of her passing, Comrade Tina was Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police.
A teacher by profession, Comrade Tina continued to be a well of wisdom to those who are pursuing the goal of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. She stood firm on her beliefs, even when her stance attracted criticism or personal attacks.
The ANC urges its members and activists to emulate the example of dedication, discipline and loyalty that Cde Tina displayed. Even in death, her voice will continue to speak in defence of ordinary people. In her memory and in carrying forward the legacy she leaves behind, we must recommit ourselves towork towards a better life, anchored around the clause in the Freedom Charter that says: “All national groups shall have equal rights”. 3
To the family, the ANC is with you in this hour of pain. We pray for strength and fortitude during this moment of grief.
Eternal rest unto you Comrade Tina.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
ANC NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON
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