ANC allows Pule Mabe to go on leave amid sexual harassment accusations
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe has asked to be placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the party's grievance panel into allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Mabe said on Tuesday he had written to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, requesting leave until the matter was finalised.
"I have taken this decision in order to ensure integrity and fairness in the said internal processes and to remove any possibility of any perceived interference in or influence of such processes. It is only fair and/or prudent that when we are faced with such serious allegations we put the interest of the organisation first and allow ourselves to attend to matters of concern without constraining the integrity and standing of the movement," Mabe said.
He added: "I was raised by a single woman - my own grandmother - who went an extra mile to provide for us. I have been nurtured from a very early age to understand what it means to preserve the rights of women. I will never in my clear mind and conscious go out of my way to violate women.
"Throughout my life as an activist I have come to appreciate the importance of coexisting with my own fellow cadres regardless of their social or sexual standing. I will be doing injustice on my part if I don’t give these allegations the attention and respect they deserve."
TimesLIVE reported on Tuesday that Mabe's personal assistant had lodged a complaint against him in a 14-page document.
The ANC said on Tuesday it had accepted Mabe's request for leave.
"The ANC has accepted this request, and thanked [Mabe] for putting the integrity and image of the ANC ahead of himself. In the interim period, NEC members deployed to headquarters, Zizi Kodwa and Dakota Legoete, will act as spokespersons," the party said on Tuesday.