Jessie Duarte keen to appear before Zondo Commission

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.
Image: Thulani Mbele/Sowetan

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has revealed that she is keen to appear before the ongoing Zondo commission of inquiry.

Duarte has also encouraged people with relevant information to make themselves available to the inquiry.

Duarte addressed journalists in Cape Town a day after finance minister Nhlanhla Nene resigned following a furore over his lies regarding meetings with the controversial Gupta family. Nene apologised for the contradictions and later resigned.

Duarte revealed that Nene had not informed the party of his decision to resign nor whether he would remain an MP. “Comrade Nene hasn’t spoken to the ANC at all‚ so we are not sure what his plans are. We only know that he resigned and it was announced yesterday.”

“We appreciate the fact that he chose to resign after the furore that took place after his own submission to the commission. He is a valued person in the ANC and we think that he has made a contribution to our country. We believe that he made a decision that sat well with himself and we appreciate that.”

Duarte said the ANC welcomed the appointment of Tito Mboweni to replace Nene‚ describing him as a veteran of the ANC who had a vast wealth of experience both in policy formulation within the governing party and saying he was an integral part of the ANC’s economic transformation committees at Luthuli House long before his appointment as labour minister.

“We are speaking about a person who is very au fait with the direction that the governing party hopes to go. Primarily his appointment is to ensure the implementation of the stimulus package that the president talked about. We also all know that the stimulus package differs a little from what the ANC has pronounced over the last 10 years‚” she said.

Duarte said the ANC has full confidence in Mboweni’s ability to ensure that there are moves towards the recovery of the economy.

“He is also very well respected internationally and as governor of the SA Reserve Bank had interacted a great deal with other governors and we believe that does stand us in good stead‚” she added.

Duarte said they were concerned with the perception that the ANC was on trial and even more concerned that "whatever generates perceptions in the Zondo commission should be based on facts.

We are concerned that it should not [be] a perspective of a view that is put about an individual that governs how the commission will finally make its own conclusions.

“It is correct for anyone who has information that will assist the Zondo commission to make themselves available as a participant.”