Special Category 2 Funeral For ANC’s ‘Tower Of Strength’ Jessie Duarte

Special Category 2 Funeral For ANC’s ‘Tower Of Strength’ Jessie Duarte

President Cyril Ramaphosa has designated Jessie Duarte’s funeral as a special official funeral category 2.

Pule Mabe, an ANC spokesperson, confirmed the death of “comrade Yasmin ‘Jessie’ Duarte, 68, in the early hours of Sunday.”

Duarte, whom he described as “both a tower of strength to the organization as well as a matriarch and pillar of her family,” was undergoing cancer treatment and had been on medical leave since November 2021, he said.

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The presidency said in a statement on Sunday that the funeral would be declared a special official category “as a mark of reverence” for the former Mozambique ambassador and long-time anti-apartheid activist who worked as a special assistant to former president Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Walter Sisulu.

On Sunday afternoon, Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy at the funeral.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has described Duarte as a “comrade and friend” of the late former statesman.

In a statement, the foundation said it was “deeply saddened to hear that comrade Jessie Duarte has passed away.”

“Jessie’s extraordinarily rich life intersected with that of Nelson Mandela and with the journey of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

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“Together with Barbara Masekela, between 1990 and 1994 she gave Madiba the dedicated executive assistance he needed in those tumultuous years of transition.

“She became both comrade and friend to him. Jessie was the beloved sister of Achmat Dangor, renowned author and the chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation between 2007 and 2012.

“We join with many in saying hamba kahle to an outstanding South African.  She will be missed.”

Saddened by the passing away of Cde Jessie Duarte, a longstanding Cde in the struggle for liberation! May her soul rest in peace. Deepfelt condolences to the Dangor&Duarte families, who themselves are Veterans of the struggle & younger gen that is following. pic.twitter.com/6Dp3Vzx1hG

— Frank Chikane (@RevFChikane) July 17, 2022

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