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Parliament, Sunday, 17 July 2022 - The Presiding Officers of Parliament, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, convey their heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family of the African National Congress Deputy Secretary General, Ms Jessie Duarte, who passed away today.

A seasoned leader and stalwart of the anti-apartheid struggle, Ms Duarte devoted her life to the service of the people of South Africa in various capacities, both pre and post the democratic era, with courage, bravery and dedication.

Ms Duarte, who as a young activist served closely under some of the greatest and iconic leaders in history such as President Nelson Mandela, Reverend Beyers Naudé, and Ms Alberina Sisulu in pursuit of anti-apartheid struggle activities, was a lifelong champion for women's rights, gender equality, human rights, social justice, equality and freedom. 

Following South Africa's democratic breakthrough, Ms Duarte played a key role as part of a generation of democrats responsible for laying a solid foundation for a new democratic Constitutional order and inclusive, sustainable government system based on the rule of law.

She was one of the pioneers who set up the then PWV Provincial Legislature and was part of the Government of National Unity in the province. She also served in various positions at provincial and national levels, both in the government and in her party. She has been a proponent of a generational and gender mix in all government and the ANC leadership structures.

She will be remembered as a feisty and fiery voice of reason amid the most turbulent times in the life of our nation and the Majority Party in the recent past. South Africa has lost an outspoken and uncompromising critic of social injustice, discrimination and gender inequality in her passing.

Parliament also extends its condolences to Ms Duarte's organisation, the ANC, her comrades and friends on this sad loss.


Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo