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‘She paid her dues in the struggle for liberation’: 5 tributes to Jessie Duarte

18 July 2022 - 07:00
The ANC's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte died on Sunday. File photo.
The ANC's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte died on Sunday. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi

Tributes continue to pour in for late ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte  following her death over the weekend

Duarte died in the early hours on Sunday after a battle with cancer. She was laid to rest at Westpark Cemetery after a short service.

Opposition parties and political figures extended condolences to her family and friends. 

‘She walked a long road with SA’

“There is no doubt she had meteoric rise to deputy secretary-general, travelling across the country settling disputes within the ANC,” said UDM leader Bantu Holomisa.

“She was an outspoken and independent individual who did not shy away from expressing her opinions. She walked a long road with SA, especially as a woman politician who had carved a deep notch in our body politics.”

‘Dedicated ANC member’

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille described Duarte as a dedicated member of the ANC. 

“She was well-known for being a fiery character who had worked closely with Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela and who held various posts in the party and government before standing in as secretary-general for the suspended Ace Magashule. May her soul rest in peace.”

‘Heartfelt condolences’

Former president Jacob Zuma conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the Duarte family and friends and to the ANC.

‘She paid her dues in the struggle for liberation’

The EFF said Duarte will be remembered fondly by many young men and women who passed through her hands and grew through her guidance. 

“The ANC has lost a committed member,” said the party. 

“Duarte was a fierce, firm and forthright person who paid her dues in the struggle for liberation in SA. She was passionate about gender-equality and fighting against forms of sexism and patriarchy.”

‘A matriarch and pillar of her family’

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said Duarte’s death was a great loss to her family, the ANC and the country as a whole.

“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. Comrade Jesse was undergoing cancer treatment and had been on medical leave since November,” said Mabe.

“She dedicated her entire life to the struggle for a united, nonracial, non-sexist, democratic, prosperous and just SA. 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.”

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