South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s national working committee (NWC) has decided its spokesperson Pule Mabe and acting spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, who has been in that role since last month, should “step aside” from their responsibilities in giving comment to the media.
The two have faced allegations of sexual violence, with Mabe being accused of sexual harassment by his former personal assistant Kgoerano Kekana, while a claim of rape have been levelled against Kodwa, who is also head of the ANC’s presidency office.
The NWC met on Monday following a meeting held by the party’s top 6 officials.
“Although the ANC has cleared Pule, remember that his matter is not closed. His former PA went to the police,” said a member of the NWC, who asked not to be named.
Mabe returned to work last week, after being cleared by a grievance panel.
Last year, Kekana handed over a 14-page letter, detailing alleged sexual harassment and the first assignment she worked on with Mabe.
She claimed Mabe forced himself into her bed on two occasions earlier this year.
After she rejected his advances, it resulted in her being ill-treated by the ANC’s national spokesperson as his assistant, she said at the time.
Kekana, who has expressed some dissatisfaction with how the ANC handled her sexual harassment complaint, has already indicated she would be taking more steps, including approaching the CCMA.
“Zizi just simply can’t continue in this role, given these claims, how would he be able to assist? You must also remember he is not a spokesperson. He was acting, only Dakota (Legoete) will continue there” said the ANC insider.
Over the weekend, the ANC’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte confirmed the party received a letter laying a complaint of rape against Kodwa. She said the party had advised the complainant to take her issue to law enforcement agencies.
Kodwa has vehemently denied the claims, labelling them as factional. He also said he would be consulting with his lawyers on a way forward.
Both Kodwa and Mabe would remain active at Luthuli House and have not been formally suspended, News24 understands.
News24 attempted to get hold of Kodwa but his phone was switched off, while calls to Mabe went unanswered.