PRESSURE is mounting for the removal of Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu from his Cabinet post following damning allegations of sexual harassment dating back to 2018.
ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) on Thursday joined calls for the removal of Mchunu, saying he must do the honourable thing and step aside from both the ANC and government while he clears his name.
“We were aware of the allegations against him when they happened and we knew of the ANC process to align with the outcome of the CCMA awarded to the victim. We supported the victim then and we still support her now,” said women’s league secretary general, Meokgo Matuba, in a statement.
“To the best of our knowledge the matter was to be resolved internally by the ANC because the victim had approached the ANC as her employer. However, we will make follow ups to make sure that the victim is supported and is not victimised for standing up and is treated fairly by the ANC.”
Meokgo said Mchunu has to account about these allegation.
“We want to call upon the victim to leave no stone unturned so that we all understand how patriarchy has been changing its face to pre-empt the laws, outcomes of processes and protect the interests of those men that have put a perfect face in the eyes of the society while abusing women. It is for this reason that we have never sought to support perfect victims. Society must really show interest in such issues so that women can be protected at all times,” she said.
Dr Leon Schreiber, the DA’s Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration, said his party planned to submit a series of parliamentary questions to President Cyril Ramaphosa to establish whether he was aware of the allegations against Mchunu when he appointed him to Cabinet in May 2019.
“If he was indeed aware of the abuse claims but failed to take action, Ramaphosa would be complicit in protecting an alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment,” said Schreiber.
“While the ANC’s contempt for the victims of sexual abuse and violence does not come as a surprise in the wake of scandals like the ones involving Mduduzi Manana and the allegations levelled against Pule Mabe and David Masondo, South Africans should be outraged at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s apparent failure to investigate the extremely serious allegations against a senior member of his Cabinet and inner circle.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters have also called for Ramaphosa to remove Mchunu from his Cabinet position pending investigation into his sexual harassment charges.
“These allegations arose as a result of a sequence of unbecoming inappropriate, unethical and violent sexual advances made by the Minister towards a junior employee of the ruling party at their headquarters,” the party said in a statement.
“It must be noted that the Minister and the ruling party are aware of the contents of this case and confirm that the matter was closed. However, there has been no evident action which was taken on this matter against the Minister. It is a shame that the women’s league continues to subject young women who serve in the administration of their party to dangerous and violent political heads who abuse power and damage the confidence and psychology of their juniors.”
Attempts to get comment from Mchunu were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.
(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)