News24

Jobless Duarte blames media

2010-04-30 17:05

Cape Town - ANC heavyweight Jessie Duarte claimed she lost a new job because of "destructive" media reports about her reasons for resigning from the presidency.

Duarte, the chief operating officer in the presidency, was quoted in the Star newspaper on Friday as saying she had received a telephone call from an international company after her resignation from the presidency, withdrawing a job offer to her.

"I had a job, until about an hour ago," Duarte told the newspaper.

"I don't know what I am going to do. I just pray that I get a job."

Duarte, who was not answering calls on Friday, said the company she would have joined on June 1 had contacted her on Thursday morning to withdraw its employment offer.

Controversy

The firm said it was concerned about being linked with the controversy that had dogged her since the resignation email she wrote to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe in February was leaked to the media.

Duarte dismissed reports that she resigned because of her poor relations with her colleague Lakela Kaunda, who heads President Jacob Zuma's private office.

"I am not sleazy, I am a professional. I took a decision which I discussed with the president and Mantashe and my employers. They all understood."

She insisted that she and Kaunda were friends.

"Kaunda is not a bully. She is an assertive black woman. There are people who want to push people around (for their own gain), but she is not one of them."

Duarte is a member of the ANC's national executive committee and national working committee.

She has served as the Gauteng safety MEC, ambassador to Mozambique and a spokesperson for the ANC.