COSATU mourns the passing of Comrade Tina Joemat-Pettersson

06 June 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) mourns the tragic passing of Comrade Tina Joemat-Pettersson.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to her two sons, her siblings, family, friends and comrades and wish them all strength during this difficult period.

Cde Tina dedicated her life to the liberation of her people since her days as a young student activist at the University of the Western Cape.  She defied the laws of apartheid which sought to define her only by her race and embraced her identity as a South African.  She was active as a young woman in the United Democratic Front in her hometown, Kimberley.  She was also amongst the founding members of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union(SADTU) as a teacher. 

Her sense of activism and service to the public continued after 1994 where she served the Northern Cape as its MEC for Education for many years and helped lead the province’s drastic improvement in its matric results.  She held office in a variety of portfolios in government in both the Northern Cape Executive Council and national Cabinet.  At the time of her passing she chaired Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police and was known for her efforts to hold government accountable on behalf of the public.

Cde Tina held many leadership posts in the African National Congress, its Women’s League and the South African Communist Party, provincially and nationally.  Yet, she always remained a humble person who was keen to make her contribution towards improving the lives of all South Africans.  She did not pretend to know all the solutions and was always keen to hear the views of ordinary members of the public.  She remained concerned by the many challenges South Africa is facing and was determined to help rebuild the nation.

She will be missed.  She played her role.  We thank her and her family for their sacrifices.  Rest in peace Cde. Tina.  Hamba kahle.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Cell: 060 975 6794