ANC’s spokesmen step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Charles Molele

Just two months ahead of the country’s May general elections, the ANC’s two national spokespersons Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa were forced to step down amid allegations of rape and sexual harassment.

Party secretary Ace Magashule announced on Tuesday that Kodwa asked to step aside pending an investigation into the allegations of rape against him.

He said Mabe, who was cleared of sexual harassment charges by the party’s grievance panel, also stepped down voluntarily after the woman who accused him of sexual harassment indicated that she would be approaching the CCMA to contest the outcome of her case.

They will both remain members of the National Executive Committee, while Dakota Legoete will continue acting as the national spokesperson of the ANC.

‘No evidence found against Mabe’

Last year, Mabe’s former personal assistant, Kgoerano Kekana, accused him of sexually harassing her on two occasions while she was his personal assistant. However, the party’s grievance panel said there was no evidence to back her claims.

A few days ago, Kekana told the media in an interview that the ANC had failed her.

“I feel the outcome was not fair on my side. I feel that my case, to a large extent, has been politicised to an extent that my pain was overlooked. Sexual harassment is not like murder; it’s not like when someone puts a bullet in my head and I say this is a bullet in my head to prove it and so on. Sexual harassment is mostly about how I feel; how I felt that my rights were violated by someone I considered as a comrade and a brother,” she told a reporter.

Kodwa claims ‘Dirty Tricks’ at play

At the weekend, a Johannesburg woman accused Kodwa of rape in a grievance letter addressed to deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.

Kodwa denied the rape allegations, saying in a letter on Sunday that they were part of a well-orchestrated ‘dirty tricks’ campaign reminiscent of the Apartheid era.

The ANC has been working hard to restore public confidence after multiple blunders committed by former President Jacob Zuma during his nine-year misrule. His term in office was characterised by scandals and corruption amounting to millions of rand. 

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