The African National Congress’ Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte, has passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning. The news was confirmed by the party.
This after she battled with cancer and had been on medical leave since November 2021.
She will be buried on Sunday afternoon in Johannesburg according to Muslim rites.
The ANC described Duarte as the matriarch and pillar of her family.
“The ANC expresses its heartfelt condolences to the Duarte, Dangor, and Whitley extended families, loved ones, and friends. She was both a tower of strength to the organisation as well as a matriarch and pillar of her family. “
“The passing of Comrade Jessie is a great loss, not only to the family but to the democratic movement and the country as a whole. As a committed internationalist and former diplomat, not only will she be mourned by South Africa, but by colleagues and comrades on the African continent and in the international progressive movement,” National Spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said in a statement.
“She dedicated her entire life to the struggle for a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, prosperous, and just South Africa. A committed gender activist, she relentlessly championed the emancipation and empowerment of women. Her life and work reflected a consistent commitment to advancing the rights of the poor and marginalised.”
Duarte served as the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC since 2012 and a member of its National Executive Committee since 2002.
@MYANC mourns the passing of its Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jessie Duarte. pic.twitter.com/MsBWvLlQFb
— African National Congress (@MYANC) July 17, 2022