Tue. Jul 23rd, 2019

Ronald Lamola: Meet South Africa’s new justice minister

Minister of Justice: Ronald LamolaHe certainly has the right qualifications for the job.

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A lawyer by trade, Ronald Lamola seems like a perfect fit for the department of justice in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

ANC Youth League and Lamola falling out of favour

Early in his career Lamola was a rising star in the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League and was deputy president to Julius Malema.

However, in late 2011, he – along with Malema, Pule Mabe, Sindiso Magaqa and Kenetswe Mosenogi – was sanctioned by the ANC for bringing the party into disrepute. They suggested a team would be sent to Mozambique to unite opposition parties to bring about regime change in the country.

Lamola was suspended by the ANC Youth League and subsequently disappeared from the public eye for several years.

Not afraid to speak his mind

During his time away from politics, he returned to his bread and butter: Law. After being ousted by the ANC Youth League he formed his own law firm, Ndomela Lamola, which by all accounts has been a large success.

Even then though, he has not been afraid to speak out against his party.

He called for Jacob Zuma to step down following the Constitutional Court judgment against him in the Nkandla incident.

In 2012, he implored members of the party to fight for a better ANC and strongly endorsed Kgalema Motlanthe to lead the ANC.

He visibly re-entered the political fray in 2017 when he joined David Mabuza in support of Cyril Ramaphosa at an event before the Nasrec conference.

The very same conference in which he was elected to join the National Executive Committee, becoming the youngest ever person to achieve this.

Lamola paved the way for his nomination into Ramaphosa’s cabinet early in 2019 when he told a reporter from the Sowetan Live that he was willing to quit the law industry in order to serve the people.

Qualifications and law background

It is often a contentious point when South African politicians are elected to roles they seemingly have very little experience or knowledge about.

When it comes to Lamola and the justice department, nothing could be further from the truth.

Lamola’s credentials:

  • Bachelor of laws degree – University of Venda
  • Practical legal training – University of South Africa
  • Post-graduate certificates in corporate law and banking law – University of South Africa
  • Post-graduate certificates in competition law, mining and prospecting rights, and telecommunications policy, regulation and management – University of Pretoria
  • Master of law in corporate law – University of Pretoria
  • Master of law in extractive law – University of Pretoria

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