Duarte’s memorial service to be held at Johannesburg City Hall on Thursday

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The memorial service for the late African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte is expected to be held at the Johannesburg City Hall on Thursday.

The party declared a week of mourning in her honour, ordering all structures to fly the party flag at half-mast after her passing.

Duarte died on Sunday after battling cancer.

She was 68-years-old.

She was laid to rest in a Special Official Funeral Category 2 at the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg in accordance with Muslim rites.

ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile says, “The ANC is highly indebted to comrade Jessie for her sterling contribution both as an activist and leader of the ANC and its alliance, in all her responsibilities as a dependable and principled leader who spoke her mind within the confines of our platforms.”

“She is certainly one of the best DSG [deputy secretary-general] the ANC has ever had. Her loss will … [be felt] in all our structures and will leave a huge void as we confront challenges in the movement.”

ANC to honour Jessie Duarte on Thursday in a memorial service:

Tributes pour in for Duarte

On Monday, the ANC and its alliance partners in the North West paid tribute to Duarte.

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 Jessie 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 fighting 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.”

Chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in North West, 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.”-Additional reporting by Patrick Dintwa