Duarte COVID-19 conspiracy theories Jackson Mthembu 2

Photo: YouTube screenshot

Jackson Mthembu: Emotional Duarte slams ‘COVID conspiracy theories’

Jessie Duarte, the ANC’s Deputy SG, briefed the media following Jackson Mthembu’s death: She is fuming with those sharing COVID-19 ‘conspiracy theories’.

Duarte COVID-19 conspiracy theories Jackson Mthembu 2

Photo: YouTube screenshot

Jessie Duarte was given the devastating task of briefing the media on Thursday, after her colleague and fellow ANC stalwart Jackson Mthembu passed away earlier in the day. The minister succumbed to the effects of COVID-19, falling ill at the start of last week. While paying tribute to Mthembu, Duarte slammed the ‘conspiracy theorists’ of South Africa.

Jessie Duarte briefs the media

Clearly in no mood for silliness, the ANC Secretary-General spoke from the heart. She was openly devastated by the tragic death of a party veteran, and this is not the first time Jessie Duarte has lost someone close to her due to the virus:

RIP Jackson Mthembu: Conspiracy theorists given warning from ANC SG

Jessie Duarte, in her emotional state, repeated that Jackson Mthembu ‘would not be coming back’. Almost suspended in disbelief, she begged South Africans to follow the protocols and safety guidelines of COVID-19. As someone so deeply affected by this disease, Duarte had a very raw, and very powerful message for the conspiracy peddlers:

“Our brother is gone and he is not coming back. It does not help coming up with conspiracy theories about the vaccine. We can no longer pretend that this thing does not exist. People are dying… Cease and desist with conspiracy theories.”

“It is too early to say how it feels. I have known him for many years and it is really difficult to believe that he is dead, not coming back. Our brother is gone, he is not going to come back… Our valued NEC member is gone for good.”

“The vaccine is not the only solution. We must continue with the wearing of masks, and continue to avoid gatherings because COVID-19 is not here to play with anyone. It does not care who you are.”

Jessie Duarte