The African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners in the North West have paid tribute to the late ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte. The party has declared a week of mourning, ordering all provinces to fly the party’s flag at half-mast.
68-year-old Duarte died in the early hours of Sunday, after an eight-month battle with cancer. She was buried the same day according to Muslim rites.
Duarte’s funeral was attended by the ANC’s top leaders, who hailed her for her commitment to the renewal of the party.
In the North West, the ANC Interim Committee (IPC) has lauded Duarte for her hard work and dedication in the struggle against social injustice.
” Comrade Jesse was the epitome of hard work; she was an epitome of commitment. She has dedicated her entire youth and adult youth to the struggle against social injustices and all forms of injustices. So, as the province we are saddened by her passing on,” says Spokesperson for the ANC IPC, Kenny Morolong.
Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) Provincial Secretary, Kopano Konopi, says Duarte was committed to ensuring the unity of the alliance.
” She was indeed an embodiment of the alliance, a committed comrade in the struggle for our people. The freedom fighter who was committed to fight against gender disparities and against any form of discrimination. She was a real embodiment who was committed to making sure that the alliance and the ANC its working and is committed to better the lives of South Africans.”
Provincial Chairperson for Civic Organisation SANCO, Paul Sebegoe, has described Duarte as a loyal cadre who always respected the decisions of the leadership.
” We had looked upon her for principled leadership because she was not intimidated by anyone. She understood very well the importance of being above factions in order to advance the unity of the ANC. The way she handled the controversy surrounding the step aside resolution, demonstrated her loyalty to the ANC and respect for collective leadership.”
The ANC has announced that Duarte’s memorial service will take place on Thursday.
In the video below, ANC Northern Cape chairperson Saul Zamani speaks of his memories of Duarte: