Home South African Duarte’s death will not create a vacuum in SG’s Office – Mashatile

Duarte’s death will not create a vacuum in SG’s Office – Mashatile

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The ruling party says that it has moved to ensure that the work of the critical Secretary General’s Office is not impacted by the passing of its deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, who died on Sunday.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, 68, passed away on Sunday. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

THE ANC’s acting secretary-general and treasurer-general, Paul Mashatile, says the party will ensure there is no leadership vacuum in the Secretary General’s Office (SGO) following the passing of ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Sunday morning.

Duarte, 68, who succumbed to cancer on Sunday, had acted in the secretary-general role following the suspension of secretary-general Ace Magashule last year. She had been on sick leave since November.

Magashule was placed on suspension by the ANC after he was charged in November 2020 with corruption, fraud and money laundering charges for his alleged role in the R255 million Free State asbestos roofing eradication project during his tenure as the province’s premier.

Mashatile said that they had ensured that the Office of the Secretary-General had capacity during Duarte’s absence since November when she took sick leave.

“We’ll continue to beef up the office in various ways, but as we speak, we have a number of full-time people at the head office, Luthuli House, NEC members, and we will be working with them to make sure that there is no vacuum,” Mashatile said.

He described Duarte as a strong, hard-working administrator and that the party had set its sights on ensuring that a vacuum was not created following her passing.

“We must close that space and make sure that we continue her hard work and continue to strengthen the work of the ANC. The SGO is working hard to make sure that nothing falls between the cracks,” Mashatile said.

The South African Communist Party, the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance partner, said that the alliance had suffered an irreplaceable loss with Duarte’s passing.

“A while ago, Comrade Jessie revived her membership of the SACP and was a member of the SACP in good standing at the time of her passing. The party, like the ANC, will be poorer without her,” said SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo.

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