‘No police guarding Jessie Duarte or her house,’ says Cele after media report of burglary
Police minister Bheki Cele on Sunday denied that the police were providing security for ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte after media reports that her home had been burgled.
“There is no member of the SA Police Services that is guarding either Jessie or her house,” said Cele during an interview with eNCA’s Dasen Thathiah.
Cele, who was visiting Lamontville in KwaZulu-Natal after a woman was killed by a stray bullet, was responding to a report by the Sunday World newspaper that Duarte’s life was apparently in danger after her home had been broken into and that as a result her personal security had been beefed up.
He said he was disappointed by the report because he had explained to the journalist who wrote the story that this was false.
Cele said: “I saw the editorial of one paper this morning. I spoke to their reporter who raised the matter with me. I did not threaten him. I said my problem with the Jessie Duarte issue is that it looks like some journalists are taking sides on it.
“Why would a journalist ask me a question that (suggests that) Jessie is given [protection by] the police because the police minister is trying to woo Jessie to join the CR17 camp. That is politics from journalists. When you try to explain to them, you are taken to task and it is said that you are threatening journalists.”
We condemn the reported threats against our comrade DSG Jessie Duarte. Cde Jessie is hard at work focusing on the tasks assigned to her by the organisation
When contacted, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said he was aware of the report and would be speaking to Duarte about the matter.
There were no further details on the matter by the time of publishing.
Meanwhile, the ANC's Nomvula Mokonyane told TimesLIVE that the organisation was concerned about the reports.
“We condemn the reported threats against our comrade DSG Jessie Duarte. Cde Jessie is hard at work focusing on the tasks assigned to her by the organisation,” she said without giving further details.
During an interview with eNCA she said she considered Duarte “as a sister”.
“What is happening is unfortunate and again, from where I am seated, it’s something that can only be done by men who are dealing with their own insecurities and men who are threatened by the capabilities of this woman.”
She added that Duarte was a threat to some because she was doing “great work by holding the fort in the political administration of the ANC and I think all of us, not only women, the entire ANC, should rally behind comrade Duarte and reaffirm the fact that she is now the one holding the fort in the office of the secretary-general,” said Mokonyane.
Duarte was not immediately available to comment on the matter.