The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed its condolences to the family of Comrade Jessie who passed in the early morning of Sunday 17 July.
At the age of 68, Yasmin ‘Jessie’ Duarte is survived by her children, grandchildren, siblings, and extended family. She was undergoing treatment for cancer and was on medical leave since November 2021 when she passed away.
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.
“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 and empowerment of women. Her life and work reflected a consistent commitment to advancing the rights of the poor and marginalised,” stated the National Spokesperson Pule Mabe on the morning of 17 July.
As reported by IOL, human rights organisation #Africa4Palestine has praised the late Jessie Duarte for her role in defending the rights of Palestinians.
“Duarte, at the time of her passing, was serving as the Deputy Secretary General of South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC. She was a fierce and unapologetic defender of the Palestinian cause and struggle against Israeli Apartheid.
“For her role she is celebrated by peace loving peoples the world over,” said organisation spokesperson Tisetso Magama.
Comrade Jessie Duarte will be buried in the afternoon of 17 July in Johannesburg according to Muslim rites.