ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has announced that she will retire from her position in two years’ time.
It is a strong indication that the 67-year-old will not be making herself available for re-election to one of the ANC’s top six positions.
She indicated that she wants to be succeeded by a “young woman”.
The position of deputy secretary-general is not reserved for a woman, but has in recent years been occupied by a woman as the ANC tries to maintain a gender balance in its leadership structures.
The ANC is expected to go to its elective conference at the end of next year, by which time Duarte would have been in her current position for a decade.
She was previously a spokesperson for the party, an ambassador to Mozambique, and a MEC in Gauteng.
Duarte told the ANC Women’s League Charlotte Maxeke intergenerational dialogue that she was recruited into the ANC in 1979 and said she’s “no newcomer, I’m rather an old lady, 67 years old”.
She continued: “I’m looking forward to writing books and retirement quite soon, in two years’ time, and handing over to a younger woman who will be able to do what I do, without any hesitation, and who would also understand that when you work in a misogynistic atmosphere, and you work in a patriarchal atmosphere, you become tough, you become hard, you become a person who is exact.
“You don’t make mistakes because if you make a mistake, the women will point out the mistake followed by the men.”
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