Rape allegations against Zizi Kodwa: What we know so far

25 February 2019 - 08:07
By Cebelihle Bhengu
ANC NEC member Zizi Kodwa stands accused of rape. File photo.
Image: Thuli Dlamini ANC NEC member Zizi Kodwa stands accused of rape. File photo.

Acting ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has dominated headlines since the public learnt of rape allegations levelled against him.

A letter from the person who made the claims was sent to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's office, in the ANC headquarters in Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

On Saturday, a letter purported to be from the alleged victim hit the public domain and has been making the rounds on social media since. The validity of the letter has not been confirmed. 

This is what we know so far:

How the allegations surfaced

ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte on Saturday confirmed the receipt of the letter with the accusations.

In a statement released by Kodwa on Sunday, he said he was aware of the letter and confirmed Magashule had alerted him about it on February 14.

Police involvement

Although Duarte could not confirm when exactly the letter was sent, she confirmed its receipt and said the woman had been advised to report the matter to the police.

Duarte said this was because the ANC has no authority to investigate and gather the facts around the incident, which allegedly happened at a private function.

Kodwa refutes claims

Giving his side of the story, Kodwa released a statement on Sunday denying the allegations of rape, sexual assault and drugging of two women.

"At the outset, I deny these accusations with the contempt they deserve. I refuse to succumb to extortion and blackmail. Most importantly, I refuse to bow down to dirty tricks."

"I wish to expose and condemn this feeble yet dangerous attempt at political blackmail and manipulation."

The details

The alleged incident happened in April 2018, the day after a private function to which the woman was invited by Papa Leshabane, who is the director of the controversial company African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.

Leshabane has distanced himself from the alleged incident, but admitted that the woman is known to him.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Leshabane said the woman reported the alleged incident to him, but when he asked Kodwa, the latter denied it.

ANC's reaction

The party's chairperson of the Economic Transformation Committee, Enoch Godongwana, said although the party is worried about the allegations levelled against Kodwa, he too deserves due process like any ordinary South African. 

"I want to point out that no organisation would not be worried with that. Any organisation would be worried about that but for God's sake, ANC members like all other South Africans are entitled to due process."

Godongwana made these comments at the party's media briefing on its economic policies at Luthuli House, on Sunday. 

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*Editor's note: Rape accused are not allowed to be named until they plead in court. In this case, we are naming Kodwa because he has given permission to be named and issued a public statement.