Friday Briefing: Ronald Lamola says he has what it takes
Lamola says he has what it takes
Newly-appointed Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola has been described as the ANC’s favourite comeback kid.
The qualified and accomplished lawyer is described by his peers as highly intelligent, humble, yet stubborn at times. Lamola’s failed attempt to secure the leadership of the ANC Youth League in 2015 following its disbandment resulted in the attorney going to ground. He resurfaced as one of the very few voices in the ANC calling for then-president Jacob Zuma to step down, following the Constitutional Court judgment which found Zuma had violated the Constitution in the Nkandla saga.
Fast forward four years and Lamola heads up arguably one of the most important portfolios in Cabinet. At 35 years old, does he have the necessary experience to turn the ailing criminal justice system around? Specialist reporter Mandy Wiener sat him down to ask him the hard questions.
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Alet Janse van Rensburg
News24 Opinions Editor
It is the early 1990s and Ronald Lamola is barely 10 years old. He listens to the jingle announcing the news broadcast and hears reports about peace talks at Codesa, the potential of hope from meetings between Cyril Ramaphosa and Roelf Meyer and how people were massacred far away at Boipatong in the Vaal.Listening to those news broadcasts from the Omega player on the farm in Mpumalanga, birthed the political consciousness of the boy who would become the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services of South Africa two and a half decades later.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane is on a daring experiment that could backfire badly. She is testing the powers vested in the office of the Public Protector against those that are within the realm of the head of the executive. The reasons for her approach are not yet clear although there is public speculation about her dabbling in the factional politics of the governing party and her attempt to divide Parliament in order to survive impeachment.
Former ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama declared memorably that he did not join the struggle against apartheid to be poor. This statement captures the global culture of consumption but also, more importantly, how the impoverishment of black people was intrinsic to apartheid and colonialism. The corruption crisis in South Africa should be analysed in relation to both the largely failed project of redistribution of wealth since 1994 and those mass robberies known as colonialism and apartheid.