South African’s National Liberation Movement

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ANC Statements


In the early hours of Sunday, 17 July 2022, the African National Congress conveyed the news of the passing on of our Deputy Secretary General Comrade Jessie Duarte to our structures and the general public. In line with muslim burial rites, our DSG was laid to rest on the same day at the West Park cemetery in Johannesburg.Following our DSG’s passing, the ANC immediately moved to declare this week a national week of mourning and directed all our provinces and regions to fly ANC flags at half must.

Born and bred in Newclare, Johannesburg, Comrade Yasmin “Jessie” Duarte became actively involved in politics at a young age and developed a reputation as an activist and an advocate for equality over the years. She worked closely with Mama Albertinah Sisulu, who recruited her into the MDM, to establish women’s structures throughout the country, while serving as the Provincial Secretary of the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDSAW), which was a UDF Affiliate.

Later Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jessie Duarte earned her stripes in the MDM, from her days as a youth activist, swelling the ranks of the MDM during her tenure as a PEC Member of the ANC in Gauteng to the higher echelons when she was elected Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC at the 53rd National Conference in Mangaung in December 2012, a position she was re-elected to at the ANC’s 54th National Conference in Nasrec in 2017 and continued to occupy until her untimely passing.

The Late Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jessie Duarte was epitome of the calibre of what the ANC sought for when they called for the ‘Decade of the Cadre” at the Mangaung conference; a cadre of stoical discipline who lived amongst her people and spoke their language.

The DSG served her country and her people with great humility at various levels in government as well as in the Diplomatic community as South Africa’s High Commissioner to Mozambique. She was an all round accomplished communicator and served her organisation, the ANC, in various capacities including as National Spokesperson.

She was a colossal giant whose track record in the struggle was unparalleled; a human rights activist and leader of absolute conviction to the cause. Like the warrior women who burnt their passes in 1913, and as the defiant women who marched on the Union Buildings in 1956, Comrade DSG was determined that women should occupy their rightful place in the struggle for national liberation.

We dip our revolutionary banner in honour of this selfless and loyal servant of the people, Yasmin “Jessie” Duarte. Hamba Kahle Mbokodo.

As part of the national week of mourning, a number of activities have been planned culminating into a National Memorial Service scheduled to take place on Thursday the 21st of July 2022 at the Johannesburg City Hall.

Condolence books are also available at our provincial offices for both our members and the general public who may wish to convey their condolence message in person.

From tomorrow, Wednesday 20 July 2022, a number of National executive committee members including other veterans of our struggle for liberation as well as others who worked with Comrade Jessie in various capacities will be conducting media engagements reflecting on the life and times of this gallant freedom fighter of our people.

Province will have their own memorial services, starting with Mpumalanga tomorrow, 20th July 2022 in Middleburg and the Free state province in all their 5 regions, North West, Limpopo and Western Cape will have their respective memorial services on Friday the 22nd of July.

KwaZulu Natal will dedicate part of the opening of their provincial conference scheduled to take place this coming weekend to the life and times of our late DSG.

The ANC staff at Luthuli House who have been working closely with the DSG until her last days are also planning to host a memorial service on Friday the 22nd of July 2022 to further reflect on their own intimate experience working with the DSG.

The leagues of the ANC are also expected to conduct memorial services in honour of the DSG.

The community of Riverlea is also planning to have a joint memorial service for both Comrade Jessie Duarte and renowned poet Don Mattera this coming weekend.

The Sonia Bunting branch in Ward 66 Johannesburg will also have its own memorial service in honour of Comrade Jessie, who was one of their oldest members.

We call on all our structures from branch level in all the 53 Regions and 9 Provinces throughout the country to initiate and participate in activities reflecting on the life and times of our Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte as part of our ongoing renewal programme which she championed and led until the end.

We will be providing update on other planned activities upon finality.

We want to thank the international community and other fraternal formations for their outpouring messages of support.

We have also activated our memorial website hosted on to grant both our members and the general public a platform to convey and deposit their messages of condolences online.
We are dedicating this week’s edition of ANC Today to reflect on the life and times of Comrade Jessie Duarte, a devoted revolutionary.


Similarly, the ANC also takes this opportunity to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family of our National Executive Committee member comrade Sindisiwe Chikunga who is also the Deputy Minister of Transport following the shocking and devastating passing of her son, daughter in law and their four children in a car accident on Sunday the 17th of July 2022.

Our NEC member who is also a Minister of Cooperative Governance Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is expected to visit the family today to convey our condolences. We wish the Chikunga family strength and fortitude during this difficult period. We also call on all South Africans to stand with them in prayer as they navigate through this difficult period.




Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson 071 623 4975