South Africa: Condolences Pour in for Duarte

Messages of condolences continue to pour in for the late struggle stalwart and ANC Deputy Secretary General, Yasmin “Jessie” Duarte, who succumbed to a battle with cancer in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has described Duarte’s passing as a sad loss for the country and the political system in South Africa.

“We wish to send our deepest condolences to her family and to ask that the almighty receives her with mercy and grace. She made an immense contribution as a freedom fighter, a leader within the liberation movement and as a woman who fought for freedom in particular for the rights of women and for diversity in South Africa. May her gracious soul rest in peace,” Pandor said.

Taking to twitter, Deputy President David Mabuza said that the country is poorer without the late Struggle stalwart.

“Today we woke to the news of the sad passing of our dear comrade and sister in struggle, Jessie Duarte. We bow our heads to salute her immense contribution to the struggle for freedom, as well as her dedication to building a democratic South Africa. We are poorer without her,” the Deputy President said.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said that the Gauteng Provincial Government is deeply saddened by the passing of Gauteng’s first MEC for Safety and Security, Jessie Duarte.

“Duarte was elected to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 1994 as part of the first contingent of ANC public representatives who charted the way in building the institutions of our new democratic dispensation.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to Ms Jessie Duarte and her generation of public representatives and public officials who played a pioneering role in setting up the democratic institutions of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and Gauteng Provincial Government,” Premier Makhura said.

On behalf of the Provincial Government and the people of Gauteng, Makhura expressed his heartfelt and deepest condolences to the Duarte and Dangor families, friends and comrades of Duarte.

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has also conveyed its condolences to the Duarte and Dangor family on the loss of their daughter, mother and grandmother.

SALGA hailed Duarte as an activist who fought in the forefront for the liberation of the African people.

“Her contribution as an anti-apartheid activist and a gender activist contributed to the attainment of democratic South Africa and her passing is a huge loss for South Africa. On behalf of the Local Government, SALGA honours her life, which she dedicated to the emancipation of the people of South Africa. A fearless and gallant fighter of our time, Duarte was a real servant,” SALGA said.

Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director-General, Phumla Williams, has also sent her condolences to the Duarte and Dangor family.

“Deepest condolences to the Duarte and Dangor family on the passing away of Jessie Duarte,” Williams posted on twitter.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that Duarte’s caring, revolutionary and tenacious spirit will live on.

“Fare yee well ANC DSG Jessie Duarte. You have fought a good fight and run a good race in the service of the Almighty and our people. Condolences to the family,” the Minister posted on his twitter account.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, has also sent her condolences to the family, saying that Duarte fought a good fight.

At the time of her untimely passing Daurte served as the Deputy Secretary General and Acting Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC). She was a member of its National Executive Committee, a role she occupied since 1997.

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