Rape-accused ANC councillor opts to step aside
A rape-accused ANC councillor from Alexandra, Johannesburg, has branded himself a “proponent for the gender struggle” and opted to step aside from his deployment with immediate effect.
In a letter addressed to ANC Greater Johannesburg region secretary Dada Morero and Gauteng secretary Jacob Khawe, the man said his voluntary decision to step aside from his position as proportional representation (PR) councillor was to give himself “an opportunity to clear my name away from my everyday responsibilities as a public representative of the ANC”.
The accused, who in terms of the Sexual Offences Act cannot be named until he has pleaded, is out on R2,000 bail.
Khawe was not immediately available for comment.
Morero said the party “takes the allegations very seriously and hence we choose to stand on the side of the victim”.
“The ANC remains an organisation that believes in fighting the scourge of GBV, therefore we believe the allegations against the councillor are serious and hence the matter is now being referred to our integrity committee for consideration and decision,” he said.
Morero said the councillor was “officially on temporarily suspension from all activities in council pending the decision by the integrity committee”.
“We have full trust in the impartiality of the judicial system and we hope justice will be served,” he said.
The rape accused said: “I note that the ANC has no current policy position on accused stepping aside from their positions and I note that the NEC has not finalised any guidelines in this regard.”
“However, given the seriousness of such an allegation levelled against me, as well as my steadfast commitment to end all forms of gender-based violence and attain a non-sexist society, I have taken a voluntary decision to request a special leave of absence with immediate effect from my position as PR councillor.”
In the letter, the accused made it clear that he intended to plead not guilty to the charges.
The matter was postponed to February 22.