President Cyril Ramaphosa Lindiwe Sisulu

Sisulu has apologized following a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS/ Flickr

More Sisulu drama! Jessie Duarte SLAMS ‘attacks’ on Lindiwe Sisulu

ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte has now decided to get involved in the Lindiwe Sisulu saga. She has come to the minister’s defense.

President Cyril Ramaphosa Lindiwe Sisulu

Sisulu has apologized following a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS/ Flickr

Just when you thought it was all over! Hours before Lindiwe Sisulu is set to appear before the ANC integrity commission, Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte, has written her own opinion piece calling out those who “attacked” her. It seems it’s time to prepare for another round of back and forth between the ANC top brass.

Jessie Duarte defends Lindiwe Sisulu

After reportedly meeting with the ANC top 6 earlier this week, Sisulu has been hauled before the party’s integrity commission to explain herself.

Last month, Sisulu came out against the Presidency. In a statement from Ramaphosa’s office, it claimed that Sisulu had “retracted and apologised” for her “hurtful” opinion piece about the judiciary and the Constitution. In that opinion piece, Sisulu accused some black judges of being “mentally colonised”.

Minutes after the presidency’s statement (which even included quotes from Sisulu), the minister released her own follow-up. She insists that she made no commitment to apologising and stands by her words completely.

Many people in the ANC found that Sisulu’s behaviour has left President Cyril Ramaphosa embarrassed. It certainly did. But now Duarte thinks the criticism against Sisulu since has got to do with a “hatred of black women”.

“As we saw five years ago, when a black woman put up her hand to stand for the presidency of the ANC, so too we now witnessed this complete onslaught of racist misogyny. For example, to this very day, articles are churned out in which Sisulu, a woman and freedom fighter in her own right, is referred to as a “princess.”

Jessie Duarte writes in a News24 column

According to Duarte, Sisulu is being trashed for “simply raising her views”.

“What we have seen in the last month or so is an almost coordinated attack on her person and she has been trashed for simply raising her views.”

Duarte: Sisulu “exposed” her play for ANC presidency

While Duarte defended Sisulu and her calls for changes to the Consitution, she also fired a few shots of her own at the Tourism Minister.

Duarte writes that Sisulu should have responded in a more “measured” manner to the Presidency’s statement. She goes on to say that Sisulu’s response “lowered the debate” and did not do South Africa any good.

“In fact, her response to the Presidency statement undermined her standing as an important political actor in the country and diverted the attention away from issues at hand. Sadly, this time, she fell into the trap of playing the person and not the ball exposing a play for the ANC presidency.”

Duarte also insisted that the independence of the judiciary must be fully supported. The Deputy Secretary-General believes that Lindiwe Sisulu’s points on colonial education. And its effects on people must be interrogated.