Tina Joemat-Pettersson Biography: Net Worth, Spouse, Age, Instagram, Nationality

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Tina Joemat-Pettersson was a prominent South African politician who held various government and parliament positions.

She was known for her involvement in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and energy. She was also a vocal advocate for women’s rights, education, and social justice.

She was a loyal member of the African National Congress (ANC) and a close ally of former President Jacob Zuma.

Many admired her courage, charisma, and goodwill, but she faced criticism and controversy for some of her decisions and actions.


  • Full name: Tina Monica Joemat-Pettersson
  • Date of birth: December 16, 1963
  • Age: 60 years old (at the time of her death)
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of birth: Kimberley, South Africa
  • Nationality: South African
  • Profession: Politician
  • Height: 1.65 m
  • Parents: John Joemat and Monica Joemat
  • Siblings: N/A
  • Spouse: Thorvald Pettersson (deceased)
  • Children: Two
  • Relationship status: Widowed
  • Net worth: $5 million

Early Life & Education

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who was 60 years old when she passed away in 2023, was born on December 16, 1963, in Kimberley, South Africa.

She was the only child of John and Monica Joemat, both teachers and activists. She grew up in a politically conscious family and was exposed to the struggles of the oppressed and marginalized people in South Africa.

She was a member of the Azanian Students Organisation (AZASO) and participated in the anti-apartheid movement.

She was also a labor activist and joined the National Education Union of South Africa (NEUSA) and the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU).

She attended the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape, where she obtained degrees in Executive Management in Education, English, and History and a Higher Diploma in Education.

She worked as an educator before entering politics. She taught at various schools in the Northern Cape and the Western Cape and also served as a lecturer at the University of the Western Cape.

Personal Life

Tina Joemat-Pettersson married Thorvald Pettersson, a Swedish national, in 1991.

They met in Sweden when she was on a study tour sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). They had two children, a son and a daughter.

Thorvald Pettersson was a businessman and philanthropist who supported various South African causes, especially education and health. He died in 2006 after a long illness.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson was devastated by his death and described him as her soulmate and best friend. She never remarried and remained a devoted mother to her children.


Tina Joemat-Pettersson began her political career in 1994 when she was elected to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature as a member of the ANC.

She became a Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Education, Arts and Culture in the same year. She was responsible for improving the quality of education and promoting the province’s cultural diversity.

She also initiated several projects and programs to empower women, youth, and rural communities. She served as the MEC for Education from 1999 to 2004 and the MEC for Agriculture and Land Reform from 2004 to 2009.

She was instrumental in developing the agricultural sector and facilitating land reform and restitution in the Northern Cape.

She entered the National Assembly of South Africa in 2009 and was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in the First Cabinet of Jacob Zuma.

She oversaw the implementation of various policies and strategies to enhance food security, support small-scale farmers, and protect the natural resources and biodiversity of the country.

She also championed the interests of women and workers in the agricultural sector.

She faced several challenges and controversies during her tenure, such as allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and abuse of power.

She was accused of irregularly awarding tenders, wasting public funds, and interfering in the affairs of state-owned entities.

She was also involved in a legal dispute with the Public Protector over investigating a controversial lease deal for the department’s headquarters.

She became the Minister of Energy in 2014 and served until 2017 under President Zuma. She was tasked with ensuring the security and affordability of energy supply in South Africa and promoting the development of renewable energy and nuclear power.

She was a key figure in the negotiations with Russia and the US over the proposed nuclear deal, which was widely criticized by the opposition, civil society, and the media as being secretive, costly, and risky.

She was also accused of irregularly awarding contracts to independent power producers and failing to comply with the parliamentary oversight and public consultation processes. She was removed from her position in 2017 by President Zuma in a cabinet reshuffle.

She returned to the National Assembly in 2019 and became the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police. She was responsible for overseeing the performance and accountability of the police service and the security agencies.

She also served on the ad hoc committee on the Section 194 Enquiry into the fitness of the suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. She supported the impeachment of Mkhwebane, who was accused of misconduct, incompetence, and violating the constitution.

She contested for deputy Secretary General of the ANC in 2018 but lost to Nomvula Mokonyane by a narrow margin.

She remained loyal to the ANC and its leadership despite the party’s factional divisions and power struggles. She was regarded as one of the country’s most influential and experienced female politicians.

Net Worth

Tina Joemat-Pettersson had an estimated net worth of $5 million at her death. She earned her wealth from her salary as a politician and her investments in various businesses.

She also inherited some assets from her late husband, a wealthy entrepreneur.


Tina Joemat-Pettersson died on June 5, 2023, in Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa. She succumbed to a heart attack after a long battle with diabetes.

She was admitted to the hospital a few days before her death and was in critical condition. She was surrounded by her family and friends when she passed away. She was 59 years old.

Her death was mourned by the president, the government, the parliament, the ANC, and the public. She was praised for her contribution to the development and transformation of South Africa, especially in the fields of education, agriculture, and energy.

She was also remembered for her passion, courage, and charisma. She was given a state funeral and buried in Kimberley, her hometown.


Tina Joemat-Pettersson was no stranger to controversy and scandal throughout her political career.

She was often accused of corruption, mismanagement, and abuse of power by her critics and opponents. Some of the most notable controversies that she faced were:

The lease deal for the Department of Agriculture, forestry, and Fisheries’ headquarters: She was investigated by the Public Protector for allegedly signing an unlawful and inflated lease agreement for the department’s new offices in Pretoria in 2011.

The deal was worth R500 million and was awarded to a company linked to her friends and associates. She was found to have acted improperly and recklessly and was ordered to pay back some of the money.

She challenged the findings in court and claimed that she was innocent and victimized.

The nuclear deal with Russia: She was involved in the negotiations with Russia over the proposed nuclear deal, which was estimated to cost R1 trillion and would have seen South Africa buying eight nuclear reactors from Russia.

She signed a secret agreement with Russia in 2014 without consulting the cabinet, the parliament, or the public.

She was accused of undermining the constitution, the rule of law, and the national interest. She defended the deal aligning with the government’s energy policy and vision. The courts and the new administration eventually scrapped the deal.

The independent power producers contracts: She was accused of irregularly awarding contracts to independent power producers (IPPs) to supply renewable energy to the national grid.

It was alleged that she had ignored the advice and objections of the state-owned power utility Eskom, which claimed that the contracts were unaffordable and unnecessary.

It was also alleged that she favored certain IPPs over others and received their kickbacks and benefits. She denied the allegations and insisted that the contracts were transparent and beneficial for the country.

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: N/A
  • Twitter handle: N/A

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