JOHANNEBURG – The grievance hearing into allegations of sexual harassment against ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe continued until late on Thursday at the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg.Acting ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete told Independent Media that a decision on the outcome would only be known once proceedings were concluded.
The inquiry into the sexual harassment-accused national executive committee (NEC) member started on Wednesday, and is being chaired by former Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and Thoko Didiza, a National Assembly house chairperson.
Dlamini and Didiza are members of the ANC’s powerful NEC.
Supporters of Mabe’s 26-year-old personal assistant hoped that the hearing would be concluded on Thursday.
ANC Youth League Greater Alexandra zonal chairperson Thabang Lediga said although they wanted the matter to be completed, they were fully aware that it might depend on the number of witnesses that still needed to be called in to testify.
The league also encouraged Mabe to do the honourable thing and release himself from the responsibilities of being the spokesperson of the ANC until the matter had been concluded.
It saluted the victim’s “bravery and courage” and her decision to speak out about her experiences, and encouraged all young women and men to speak up against any forms of abuse.
Mabe, who served as ANCYL treasurer-general, is accused of making sexual advances to his subordinate and insisting on staying in her room at an ANC event despite having been booked his own room.
According to the woman’s 14-page statement, Mabe switched off the lights in her room, but she insisted that the lights must be kept on.
In her grievance letter, she expressed her disappointment in Mabe because she considered him a “brother, leader and comrade” and did not understand why the married father and her boss could want to be in bed with her.
The ANC Women’s League put pressure on the ANC to consider suspending Mabe from all party duties pending the outcome of the case.
”We are hoping for a fair and just internal disciplinary hearing, as no one is above the ANC,” the ANCWL said in a statement earlier this week.
Mabe then asked ANC secretary- general Ace Magashule to allow him to take leave until such time that processes of dealing with the grievance brought against him were completed.
Legoete and ANC head of the presidency Zizi Kodwa were appointed the party’s acting spokespeople.