ANC KZN team probing allegations of abuse by senior members to disband
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is expected to announce the closure of a task team that sought to establish the veracity of abuse allegations made by a source against three of its senior members.
The party will, according to insiders, make this announcement at its post provincial executive committee (PEC) news conference on Tuesday.
Sources told TimesLIVE that “after the time frame of the investigation lapsed and nobody came forward, the PEC decided at the weekend to disband the task team”.
The ANC has extended an invitation to the author of an anonymous letter alleging abuse by PEC member Jomo Sibiya, co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka and Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba. The letter was dated June 28 and sent anonymously via e-mail to KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and speaker of the legislature Nontembeko Boyce.
Announcing the establishment of the task team, provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said: “Part of what she said (in the anonymous letter) is that only if the ANC guarantees her protection will she come forward. The assurance is that coming before the task team will guarantee her safety.”
The task team was required to present its findings and recommendations for consideration to the ANC provincial working committee by August 25. However, TimesLIVE has been informed no-one came forward.
At the media briefing, Ntuli said the PEC received a report from the task team which found that because nobody appeared before it, the anonymous allegations couldn't be tested.
“The PEC welcomes the report and agrees the investigation into the three leaders of the ANC is now officially closed since nobody appeared to take ownership of the anonymous letter.”
However, the PEC endorsed the request from the task team to investigate how the letter ended up in the possession of the premier and speaker.
“The PEC agreed this is a separate process not directly linked with the first one, which was affording an opportunity to the anonymous author.”
Ntuli acknowledged that the implicated trio and their families endured more than a month of difficulty as a result of the letter and investigation by the party.
“We want to give reassuring messages to the affected comrades, their children, wives and parents that the ANC had to undergo the process to be sensitive to the request made by the person purportedly abused by the leaders of the ANC. We believe the families understood it was a necessary process,” he said.
Reacting to the developments, Mahlaba suggested the letter was a political ploy against him and the other two accused ANC members. He said gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious issue and shouldn’t be taken lightly, nor should it be used to advance the narrow interest of certain individuals.
“We cannot win the battle against GBV if we have mischievous people fraudulently using this societal problem to damage the reputation of others. I’m very concerned about the extent of damage the letter has had, both as an individual and as mayor. I’ve always believed the intention of the letter was to tarnish my reputation and sidetrack our fight against GBV,” he said.
“The act was very callous and cowardly. I’ll continue to serve the public diligently as the mayor of Newcastle, medical doctor and chairperson of the ANC Emalahleni region. Most importantly, I remain a disciplined cadre of the ANC,” he said.