17 July 2022
The human rights organisation #Africa4Palestine joins South Africans, Africans, Palestinians and progressives across the globe in mourning the loss of our formidable mother, sister, comrade and dear leader – Cde Yasmin “Jessie” Duarte.
Duarte (19 September 1953 – 17 July 2022) passed away early this Sunday morning and will be buried later this afternoon in Johannesburg according to Muslim rites.
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. Duarte was an internationalist who stood with the peoples of Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela, Western Sahara and all other oppressed nations.
Duarte was central to the adoption of the resolution by the ANC in 2017 for the “immediate and unconditional downgrade of the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office”. In a protest co-organized last year by the ANC and #Africa4Palestine, Duarte then further called for the complete closure of Israel’s embassy in Pretoria and South Africa’s embassy in Tel Aviv. We recommit ourselves and will continue to campaign for this and other calls that Cde Jessie made in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
In addition to her political leadership, Cde Jessie was a close friend and ally of #Africa4Palestine and of our Board Members. Someone who we regularly consulted with. We will miss both her guidance as well as her warm and generous presence. We send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Cde Jessie as well as to the members of her party, the ANC.
We will miss you, Cde Jessie.
ISSUED BY TISETSO MAGAMA ON BEHALF OF AFRICA4PALESTINE
Africa4Palestine Director, Muhammed Desai: +27 (0) 84 211 9988
Africa4Palestine Spokesperson, Tisetso Magama: +27 (0) 61 414 6348
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