Pule Mabe sexual harassment accusations: Hawks 'get ready' to investigate

2018-12-11 10:54
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Sexual harassment accusations against ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe have "caught the attention" of the Hawks, EWN reported on Tuesday.

The Hawks told EWN that "we want to get ready in case the case lands on our door".

Mabe has denied the woman's claims.

The 26-year-old, who asked not to be named, is expected to present her case before the ANC's grievance committee on Wednesday.

The former PA told News24’s Tshidi Madia that she was appointed by Mabe himself, but has described her time in his office as "the most difficult four months".

The woman handed over a 14-page letter, which News24 has seen, detailing the alleged sexual harassment and the first assignment she worked on with Mabe. She claims Mabe forced himself into her bed on two occasions earlier this year.

She says she rejected his advances and that this resulted in her being ill-treated by the ANC's national spokesperson.

"I could see there was a continuation in how Pule treated me and so on; it led to an unwarranted salary cut. That's when I realised, if you don't speak out you are going to go down for nothing," she told News24.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) has since asked its mother body to consider suspending Mabe from all ANC duties, pending the outcome of his sexual harassment case, EWN reported.

In a statement released on Monday evening, the women's league says: "Whilst we take into account the principles of innocent until proven guilty, the ANCWL is resolute in supporting the victims of sexual harassment and wishes to reiterate this position.

Read more: ANCWL calling for Pule Mabe’s suspension following sexual harassment allegations

"The ANC must also consider suspending Cde Mabe from all ANC duties, pending the outcome of the case. All shall be equal before the law and we are hoping for a fair and just internal disciplinary hearing as no one is above the ANC," the statement reads. 

The accuser says she is aware of claims by Mabe that her grievance is an attempt to hit back at him, because he raised concerns about her qualifications. But she says he was aware of the fact that she had not completed her degree when he hired her.

"I was hired by Pule and human resources; HR knew. Upon arrival on my first day, I mentioned to him I started at [university]. I never hid that I did not have qualifications and said I am working on it."

'Toxic' working environment

The woman dismissed the idea that she was being "used" as a pawn in ANC battles that are playing out at Luthuli House, saying she was an independent woman who had decided "enough was enough".

The former assistant also said Mabe had created a difficult working environment, not only for herself, but the entire department of information and publicity at Luthuli House.

News24 also spoke to other workers in the department who described working with Mabe as "hellish" and "toxic", accusing him of being difficult to work with.

However, a number of staffers who are close to Mabe claimed he was often undermined by older members who are linked to the unit's previous leaders.

Others had previously raised concerns over the treatment of his assistant, claiming he often reduced her to tears.

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"The working environment is completely toxic; the way he treats us is terrible. We are often shouted at and being told we were found at DIP (department of information and publicity), so we obviously serve (Gwede) Mantashe and Zizi (Kodwa)," said one staffer.

When News24 approached Mabe for comment, he initially claimed he knew nothing of the allegations or the woman's appointment with the party's grievance committee. Mabe later confirmed the complaint to News24. He said he would be willing to speak on Wednesday. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the ANC confirmed that a complaint had been lodged at its headquarters last week.

"We have since established a Grievance Panel, as per our personnel manual, to ensure a fair process. The panel will hear the case later this week," said the ANC's head of presidency, Kodwa. 

The party said it would not comment further until the finalisation of these internal processes.

Read more on:    anc  |  hawks  |  pule mabe
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