'I am also Tintswalo,' says justice minister Lamola in Sona debate

'Many people were lifted out of poverty by the ANC-led government'

14 February 2024 - 19:03
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Minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola. File photo.
Minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day

Tintswalo’s future remains in competent hands under the government of the ANC, despite fierce criticism from opposition parties.

This is according to justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola, who maintained that the ANC government was the only one that could protect and uplift the future of Tintswalo.

Tintswalo is a fictional character born in 1994 who grew up enjoying the fruits of the ANC government. She was introduced by President Cyril Ramaphosa into the political lexicon during his Sona last week as he tried to demonstrate the successes of his party in its 30-year rule.

“House chairperson, Tintswalo’s future is in capable hands with the ANC-led government after this year’s elections,” said Lamola.

Lamola was speaking on the second day of the Sona debate in parliament, where he told the joint house sitting that, like him, there were many Tintswalos who had been lifted out of poverty by the ANC-led government.

“I am Tintswalo. Like many South Africans who started high school after 1994, Honourable President, both my parents were farm workers who could not afford my tertiary education,” said Lamola. 

“Luckily for my generation, the democratic breakthrough with its promise for a better life for all, changed our trajectory.”

Lamola used his own life to paint a picture of the strides the ANC government had taken since taking over 30 years ago. He told the house how his life had been predestined as a farmworker by design by the apartheid government. 

In his village of Cunningmore B in Mpumalanga, Lamola grew up without electricity, running water or tarred roads. All of these have now been realised under the ANC government.

“I would not be standing in front of you as an MP, an attorney of the high court of South Africa having appeared in the highest court, the ICJ, on global affairs,” said Lamola.

It is the DA and others, Lamola said, whose mission was solely destroying the future of Tintswalo, as evidenced in the Western Cape.

“Like the president said, Tintswalo went through challenges, it was not perfect, it is in the context that the Honourable President had to lead the rebuilding of state institutions to protect the future of Tintswalo,” said Lamola. “There is no denial that had it not been for the counterrevolution that was embedded in state capture, the national democratic revolution would be on track.”

The global pandemic of Covid-19 also contributed to the challenges faced by Tintswalo, affecting the growth of the economy and leading to job losses, Lamola said.

“However, Stats SA confirms that our economy is back to pre-Covid levels. This means we’ve reawakened the sleeping giant South Africa Incorporated. We’ve overcome Covid, the July unrest and the worst natural disaster in our country. Just like Bafana Bafana, the nation is emerging out of the doldrums,” he said.

To back his say, Lamola mentioned the growth of organised crime verdicts (in courts) by 21% at a conviction rate of more than 80%.

Gang leaders including the likes of Jerome Booysen, Nafik Modak, Ralph Stanfield, Mark Lifman and Vusi Khekhe were either convicted or in court, he said. 

The conviction rates for gender-based violence and femicide cases were at 74.6%, claimed Lamola.

Lamola claimed the NPA had exceeded some of its targets on successful prosecutions, with a conviction rate of more than 85%.

As of December, the police had arrested nearly 3,000 illegal miners.

It was for these reasons that Lamola said the future of Tintswalo remains safe in the ANC government.

“The ANC government has successfully crafted a society that embraces the principles of our constitution. The next phase of our constitutional democracy is the creation of an equal society for all.”


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