Following allegations of sexual harassment against ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, the ANC Women’s League has called for his suspension.
In a statement issued on Monday night, the ANCWL said it had noted the “disturbing reports” alleging that Mabe had sexually harassed his personal assistant.
“The ANCWL condemns sexual harassment and any form of violence against women [and] children.
“Whilst we take into account the principles of innocent until proven guilty, the ANCWL is resolute in supporting the victims of sexual harassment and wishes to reiterate this position.
“Based on media reports, we are led to believe that a case has been reported to the ANC leadership and we urge the ANC to move with speed and deal with this allegations in [an] unbiased, impartial and very objective manner.
“The ANC must also consider suspending Cde Mabe from all ANC duties pending the outcome of the case. All shall be equal before the law and we are hoping for a fair and just internal disciplinary hearing as no one is above the ANC,” ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said.
The 26-year-old accuser, who asked not to be named, is expected to present her case before the ANC’s grievance committee on Wednesday.
The former PA told News24 she was appointed by Mabe himself but describes her period in his office as “the most difficult four months”.
The woman handed over a 14-page letter, which News24 has seen, detailing the alleged sexual harassment and the first assignment she worked on with Mabe. She claims Mabe forced himself into her bed on two occasions earlier this year.
‘Difficult to work with’
She says she rejected his advances and that this resulted in her being ill-treated by the ANC’s national spokesperson as his assistant.
The former assistant also said Mabe had created a difficult working environment, not only for herself, but the entire department of information and publicity at Luthuli House.
News24 also spoke to other workers in the department who described working with Mabe as “hellish” and “toxic”, accusing him of being difficult to work with.
When News24 approached Mabe for comment he initially claimed he knew nothing of the allegations or the woman’s appointment with the party’s grievance committee. Mabe later confirmed the complaint to News24. He said he would be willing to speak on Wednesday.
In a statement issued on Monday, the ANC confirmed that a complaint has been lodged at its headquarters last week.
“We have since established a Grievance Panel, as per our personnel manual, to ensure a fair process. The panel will hear the case later this week,” said the ANC’s head of presidency, Zizi Kodwa.
The party said it would not comment further until the finalisation of these internal processes.