Heartbreak as African National Congress’ secretary-general Jessie Duarte dies aged 68

Heartbreak as African National Congress' secretary-general Jessie Duarte dies aged 68. Image: Twitter @princecloete

TRIBUTES flooded social media on the morning of Sunday, July 17 after news of the death of Jessie Duarte, secretary-general of the African National Congress, began to spread.

Mourners have paid tribute to African politician Jessie Duarte who died following a months-long battle with cancer on Sunday, July 17 at the age of 68.

African National Congress, South Africa’s governing party and national liberation movement, broke the news via social media.

In a letter, they wrote: “It is with profound sadness that the African National Congress has learned of the passing of Deputy Secretary General Yasmin ‘Jessie’ Duarte during the early morning of Sunday, July 17, 2022.”

“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 Comrade Jessie was undergoing treatment for cancer, and was on medical leave since November 2021.”

It added: “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.

“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 ad empowerment of women. Her life and work reflected a consistent commitment to advancing the rights of the poor and marginalised.

“At the time of her passing, Comrade Jessie was serving as Deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress since 2012 and a member of its National Executive Committee since 2002.

“Comrade Jessie Duarte will be buried this afternoon in Johannesburg according to Muslim rites.

“Comrade Yasmin Duarte (September 19, 1953 – July 17, 2022) is survived by her children, grandchildren, siblings, and extended family.”

Carl Niehaus wrote: “With great sadness I have just received the news that Cde. #JessieDuarte, #DSG of @MYANC, passed away. I’ve known Cde. Jessie for over 35 years. Her dedication to the #ANC was very strong. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family. May Her Revolutionary Soul Rest In Peace.”

“My heart is shattered at the shocking news of the passing of our DSG, Cde Jessie Duarte.Heartfelt condolences to the family and our movement for this great loss. May her revolutionary soul rest in peace. Hamba kahle Mkhonto,” another person wrote.

One person said: “Rest in peace, Antie. Jessie Duarte.”

I am suffering with great pain by your passing DSG. Restlessly now I must concede #Rest In Peace,” another said.

Another person on Twitter wrote: “My condolences to waher family , ANC and friends. She played her innings . She and Barbara Masekela used to welcome me , when called by Madiba for meetings at Shell House. Ubambe Kakuhle Nkosazana , ugqatso ulufezile. May her soul rest in peace.”

Cameron K. Peters wrote: “ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte has died at the age of 68. The ANC announced her passing via their official Twitter page. Rest in Peace, aunty Jessie. Lala ngoxolo.”

“Rest In Peace Cde Jessie, the media once called you President Jacob Zuma’s lap dog because you refused to bow to their narrative,your own comrade Paul Mashatile hated you for defending the truth. Lala ngoxolo Mama ukulwile ukulwa okuhle,” another person said.

One person said: “May her soul rest in peace. You fought the fight Ma Duarte.”

“Rest In peace Auntie Jessie Duarte,” wrote another.

“Always kind to me. Always a teacher. Rest in Power DSG, forever and ever,” another Twitter user said.

“May her beautiful soul Rest in Peace, Mme Jessie Duarte our ANC Deputy Secretary General . She was a great leader. I personally enjoyed her leadership and learned from her a lot,” another person said.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]