Duarte is reportedly suffering from a gastrointestinal tract problem, and it is understood that she has gone under the knife quite successfully and her recovery process is already underway.
However, knowing how complicated gastro surgeries are, and as alluded by the party that she will spend some time on medical leave, this will certainly be a significant blow to President Cyril Ramaphosa's running of affairs at Luthuli house and potentially his prospects for re-election at the 2022 national elective conference.
By virtue of being the DSG, Duarte had taken over the responsibilities of the entire Secretary general's office in the wake of Ace Magashule's unceremonious suspension. And she quite curiously surprised many by ditching the RET faction to align herself with the President.
With Magashule consigned to the doldrums of the political arena, there was a sense that Duarte whose job mainly involves dealing with branches and ANC structures, was seen as somebody who can actually help the CR22 camp to mobilize support for Ramaphosa's candidacy.
PHOTO: Daily Maverick
Ordinarily, or in a historical sense, incumbents secretary generals have always produced presidents. In recent history, we bore witness as former SG Kgalema Motlanthe helped Jacob Zuma in 2007 at Polokwane. Gwede Mantashe delivered Ramphosa in 2017 at Nasrec.
Therefore, whoever is the president needs a secretary-general who is on their side if they are in desperate need of success at conferences. This is why Duarte's absence at this critical moment is a huge worry for Ramaphosa.
It is believed most of her responsibilities will be carried out by other National Executive Committee (NEC) members, and quite frankly, it would have to be people Ramaphosa trusts completely, or branches and memberships will be manipulated to his detriment.
Part of the reason Magashule was dispensed with is that he is diametrically opposed to the President, and he had made clear of his intentions to contest the incumbent in 2022, therefore he would certainly have used his power to possibly manipulate ANC systems in his favor.
It is therefore one's opinion that Ramaphosa needs to earnestly pray for Duarte's quick recovery, otherwise her continued absence could have far-reaching consequences for him in so far as 2022 is concerned.
The OnlineNewzBible wishes Duarte a speedy recovery.
- Duarte was born in 1968. She is of Portuguese descent.
- She joined the ANC in 1979 after she was recruited by struggle stalwart Albertina Sisulu.
- She has held a vaudeville of positions during her years as an activist.
- She served as the ambassador of SA to Mocambique from 1999-2003.
- She was elected DSG for her first term at the Mangaung conference in 2012 and subsequently re-elected at Nasrec.
- She is set to retire after the 2022 ANC conference.
- Duarte has been dogged by a myriad of scandals in her political career. She was accused of using public resources to fund an overseas trip with her lover.
- At the Zondo commission, her son-in-law was said to have been a Gupta Ally during state capture.
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