'I am still alive' and 'getting stronger' - Jessie Duarte dispels rumours of her supposed death

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Jessie Duarte briefs the media at Luthuli House.
Jessie Duarte briefs the media at Luthuli House.
PHOTO: Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images
  • ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte is alive and well.
  • The senior ANC member sent a message on Sunday dismissing rumours circulating that she had died.
  • Duarte has been on sick leave for months.


ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has personally dispelled rumours that she has died.

In a voice note on Sunday, Duarte said she could not understand where the rumour about her death had come from.

Duarte said: 

There is a rather unfortunate message making the rounds and it is creating a little bit of unpleasantness and panic. Apparently, according to whoever started this rumour, I passed away this morning.

"I am still alive, and I am getting stronger by the day. It is cancer, and it has its own challenges, but I am fighting very hard to regain my health," she said.

Duarte has been on sick leave for months recovering from an illness related to cancer.

READ | ANC NWC ask Mashatile to take up secretariat duties while Duarte on sick leave

ANC treasurer Paul Mashatile has temporarily taken over her duties at the party's Luthuli House headquarters.

ANC NEC member Gwen Ramokgopa was also roped into the secretary-general's office to help run things.

Duarte had been acting in both her official capacity and that of secretary-general Ace Magashule, who was forced to step aside from his role last year due to corruption charges.

The ANC said in a statement on Sunday that, if the rumours do not stop, the party would have no alternative but to approach the relevant authorities to investigate the person spreading the lies.

The party also confirmed its support for Duarte in her recovery.



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